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What Does Science Say About Green Tea?

By Kate Gardner 

Did you know all true teas (teas that aren't herbal) are made from one type of plant, Camellia sinensis? Also known as the tea plant, it is grown throughout much of Asia and the rest of the world and is used to make green, black, oolong, dark, and white teas. The amazing variety of tea that can be made from this one plant is due to how the leaves are processed. 

Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is arguably the healthiest of the teas, though many would say they can all be pretty healthy. Since green tea is minimally processed, it is full of catechins. Catechins are antioxidants that help prevent damage to cells. The effects of catechins can be good for the whole body. 

  • Cardiovascular health - Green tea has been linked to lower blood pressure and a smaller risk of congestive heart failure. Studies have also shown green tea to reduce levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol. 

  • Brain health - Your brain is full of blood vessels, and studies suggest green tea can help keep them healthy. In one study, people who drank tea had more activity in the part of their brain responsible for working memory. In another, green tea helped block the creation of plaques in the brain that is connected to Alzheimer's disease. 

  • Diabetes - Green tea may be able to help keep blood sugar levels more stable. 

  • Weight loss - While there has been little evidence to date showing green tea can help you lose weight, recent research in mice might be turning the tide. In The study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, some mice were fed green tea extract while others were not. The mice who were given green tea extract had healthier guts and gained less weight than those who received no green tea extract.

How Much to Drink

Depending on the source, it is recommended to drink three to five cups of green tea, daily. If you're not a fan of hot beverages, iced green tea has the same beneficial catechins as hot tea. Green tea does have caffeine, but it is generally far less than coffee. The longer you steep your tea, the more catechins you get. Try adding a little lemon to your tea! Lemon can help protect catechins, making sure they survive the trip through your digestive system. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fayetteville, N.C. 

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