Green Tea Health Benefits
Interested in learning about the health benefits of Japanese green tea? Here's what you need to know.
Green Tea Health Benefits | An Overview
- What Makes Green Tea Healthy?
- What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Japanese Green Tea?
- Tea Nutrition Data
What Makes Green Tea Healthy?
The benefits of drinking green tea have long been a subject of interest for both researchers and tea drinkers. You may already have an idea of the benefits of drinking green tea, but do you know what actually makes it healthy?
The answer? Antioxidants. While green tea is packed with different beneficial antioxidants, the one group that is most strongly associated with health benefits are catechins.
What are catechins? Catechins are a group of compounds present in different plants that have a variety of benefits to the body, such as improving blood circulation and lowering blood sugar. Most people are probably familiar with catechins’ big brother, tannins, which are made up of chains of catechins.
Among many others, specific catechins present in tea are epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate. Of these, epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) is the most potent in green tea, and has been a subject of research for its role in decreasing many lifestyle-related diseases.
What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Japanese Green Tea?
Aside from catechins, green tea contains other components that have been associated with several health benefits.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
- Reinforces capillary resistibility — Tea contains theanine, an amino acid found only in tea and some mushrooms. Theanine reinforces capillary resistibility by dilating the blood vessels allowing for smooth blood flow of nutrients such as oxygen, glucose, and water. This is also linked to lowering blood pressure.
- Lowers blood pressure — Japanese green tea contains EGCG, γ-amino acid (GABA), and Saponin, which have all been associated with lowering blood pressure.
- Improves blood circulation — Along with EGCG, another component in green tea that has been linked to reducing the risk of clotting is Vitamin E.
- Decreases LDL levels — High levels of low-density lipoproteins, or “bad cholesterol,” raises the risk of heart complications. Drinking green tea may help lower LDL levels since it contains EGCG.
- Lowers blood sugar levels — Two components in green tea have been associated with lowering blood sugar levels -- EGCG and complex polysaccharides. EGCG, in particular, may help provide a new way of approaching Type-2 diabetes treatments.
2. Helps With Weight Loss and Management
3. Benefits Skin Health
Green tea contains Zinc, Vitamin B2, and the Coenzyme Q-10, which all promote skin health. Coenzyme Q-10 also has anti-aging properties that help keep the skin looking young.
4. Enhances the Immune System
Green tea contains immune system enhancers, like Vitamin C and E, β-carotene, Zinc, and EGCG. Likewise, Vitamin C and ECGC have antibacterial properties, with the former being particularly helpful with the prevention of a cold.
5. Decreases the Risk for and Helps in the Prevention of Certain Diseases
- Cancer — Green tea contains catechins that have been found to be potentially relevant in preventing and treating cancer.
- Migraines -- Green tea contains Coenzyme Q-10, which has been linked to migraine relief.
- Alzheimer’s — Researchers from UC Berkeley are looking to the EGCG found in green tea to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
- Dental issues — The fluoride in green tea helps in strengthening teeth to prevent dental problems like cavities.
6. Contains Components that Play a Role in Improving Respiratory Health
Japanese green tea contains Saponin, which has anti-asthmatic properties.
7. Enhances Cognitive Abilities
Green tea contains caffeine and theanine, which both help boost cognitive performance. And, while green tea contains the stimulant caffeine, you won’t get jitters or increased anxiety by drinking it because of the theanine, which is a caffeine-absorption inhibitor that counteracts these negative side effects.
In contrast, theanine produces a relaxing effect that can help with reducing stress instead of agitating it.
Tea Nutrition Data
Want to get an idea of how each tea stacks up for some of the major nutrients? Here’s a handy chart we made to compare the nutrition data of each of our teas.
Note: Figures are based on one gram of unbrewed tea.
Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Enjoy the health benefits of green tea when drinking any of our delicious teas, from our signature Sencha Fukamushi to the ever-popular, Matcha.
Not sure where to start? Check out our primer on Japanese tea varieties to help you understand more about each tea and help you pick the perfect one for you.
For more articles on green tea and health, check out our blog.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post is intended to provide information and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Additionally, any information in this post and any linked posts shouldn’t be used to replace professional medical advice or treatment.