Why You Should Drink Green Tea

In the past few years, green tea has become extremely popular. At gourmet coffee shops, iced green tea and matcha lattes (matcha is powdered green tea) have become staples on the menu. But what’s green tea?

Green tea and black tea are actually harvested from the same plant. It’s the production process that differentiates the two. For green tea, the leaves are heated and dried to prevent oxidation. This keeps the leaves from turning brown. When brewed, green tea is light in color (it could be green, yellow or light brown) and has an earthy flavor to it.

Here are five reasons why you should drink more green tea.

1. Protects Against Chronic Disease and Cancer

Antioxidants such as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) fight free radicals in the body and are potent immune system boosters.

2. Enhance Cognition

Green tea contains a slight amount of caffeine which boosts energy and cognitive abilities. However, it doesn't contain so much caffeine that you will get jittery or anxious.

3. Calm Energy

While caffeine gives you energy, L-theanine fights anxiety. This amino acid increases the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA which is known to fight anxiety. It also stimulates alpha brain waves, similar to the brain waves generated in meditation. As well as a compound called dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Many people say drinking green tea gives them calm energy.

4. Protect Your Brain & Boost Your Immunity

Specific compounds known as catechins have been studied for their ability to protect brain function in old age. These compounds have also been found to elicit anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

5. Increased Metabolism

Green tea extract has been shown to increase metabolic rate and mobilization of fat, leading to a potential reduction in overall body fat. Some studies even suggest that it may also target the mid-section. However, the studies have not demonstrated the safety of green tea extract, and there is a risk of liver damage when consuming it in supplement form. It's best to drink your green tea and enjoy potential fat burning side effects.

Caution: There is one time in life when green tea appears to not be the best choice. During pregnancy green tea consumption has been shown to lower folic acid absorption. So, it's best to avoid it when trying to conceive or when you know you are pregnant.

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