Green Tea Benefits & Side Effects
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, at least 20% of which is Green Tea. The reason is its extraordinary taste, character and Green Tea benefits.
If you’re interested in learning more, please keep reading our blog. We will explore the facts, figures, history and health benefits of this ever-popular infusion, with topics covered including:
- What is Green Tea?
- Is Green Tea Good for You?
- Can Green Tea Help with Weight Loss?
- How Many Calories in Green Tea?
- Does Green Tea Stain Teeth?
- Should I Drink Green Tea Before Bed?
- Is Green Tea a Diuretic?
- Are There Green Tea Side Effects?
- How to Make Green Tea?
These are just some of the area’s we’ll be examining in greater depth. Afterwards, you can try the health benefits of Green Tea for yourself right here with us.
For over thirty years, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company has stocked some of the best Green Tea types available. We pack almost all of our products fresh to order, ensuring quality and consistency with every cuppa brewed.
What is Green Tea?
Green Tea is a type of Tea from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant. This is the same as Black, White and Oolong. The difference between each variety happens at the factory, whereby this particular kind undergoes only minimal processing.
Its lack of oxidation, in particular, means that it retains its “natural” character when brewed, which often boasts grassy, floral, vegetal or herbaceous notes.
The first use of Green Tea leaves, according to legend, was the product of a pure accident. The story goes that a Chinese Emperor named Shennong, the man who discovered Tea, came to rest underneath an unknown tree one day.
He subsequently fell asleep in the midday sun - with a cup of boiling water by his side. When he awoke, he found that leaves from the tree above had fallen into his drink.
Shennong, an avid herbalist, decided to try the strange infusion. He fell in love with it immediately for it was, of course, Green Tea. Some might say, then, that this was the beginning of Green Tea benefits - or so the tale goes.
Regardless of the truth behind its creation, we today recognise it as one of the most nutritional beverages around. But why - and how?
Green Tea Antioxidants
The primary reason behind its remarkable potential is its Green Tea antioxidants. Specifically, it contains several antioxidant compounds known as polyphenolic catechins, of which the most vital is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
EGCG lends itself to the characteristic taste and colour of Loose Leaf Green Tea. It also contributes to Green Tea benefits.
When it comes to the Green Tea antioxidant level, an average of 50-100 mg of EGCG exists in your cup. This is enough to combat free radicals in the body, the product of natural, though often harmful, human oxidation.
In doing so, it reduces the risk of developing a multitude of chronic conditions, including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even (although not yet proven) cancer.
Does Green Tea Have Calories
We’ve established that Green Tea has antioxidants capable of improving your life in small yet significant ways. Furthermore, we have answered the question, “Is Green Tea High in Antioxidants?” (once again, it's a definite “yes”).
Now, let’s explore the prospect of Green Tea calories, and whether your morning cuppa can support a healthy and active lifestyle.
First off, does Green Tea have calories? It does indeed. The next question, then, is “How Many Calories in Green Tea?” The good news is that there is little more than two calories per 8-oz serving, thus making it an excellent alternative to sugary, fatty soft drinks.
Perhaps best of all, according to the latest research, it’s more likely to help you burn fat than contribute to it. (We’ll talk more about this later).
Green Tea Nutritional Information
The Green Tea super antioxidants found in it aren’t the only Green Tea properties worth noting. Its other vitamins and minerals, too, can do much to support your health and wellbeing.
Below, we have created a table showcasing the most important Green Tea nutritional information. The following constituents exist in varying amounts in your cuppa:
Why Green Tea is Good for You
|Vitamin A||Vitamin B||Vitamin C|
Additionally, if you’re wondering “does Green Tea have caffeine?,” the answer is “yes.” This stimulating chemical compound famously helps us to get out of bed in the morning.
It provides us with an extra boost while also playing a small role in Green Tea benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about Green Tea Caffeine, specifically, we have written another article on this topic.
Benefits of Green Tea
Green Tea benefits the mind, body and soul in a plethora of ways. It helps with your mental health, for example, by relieving mild anxiety and depression.
When it comes to the body, it works as a Green Tea weight loss treatment - alongside other factors. Finally, and arguably most important of all, it is an unmistakably soulful infusion from start to finish.
From Sencha to Gunpowder; Flavoured to Decaf Green Tea, Organic and Matcha Green Tea, the possibilities are nearly endless. Indeed, all of these types of Green Tea, and many more, could help you to feel healthier, stronger, more energised and more confident.
Let’s now explore “Why is Green Tea Good for you?” using the latest evidence to back each claim.
Green Tea Weight Loss
There are several questions we’ll be answering here, including “Does Green Tea Help with Weight Loss?” and “Is Green Tea Good for Weight Loss?” With the former, it’s first essential to note that this infusion isn’t a fix-all solution.
It has its limitations to what it can achieve, in other words, meaning you should manage your expectations during a Green Tea diet period.
That said, it can, indeed, enable you to fit into your favourite pair of jeans again. This is not only because of its few calories, but also because it boosts the metabolism of fat cells.
With increased metabolism comes the ability to burn fat quicker and more efficiently, ultimately leading to periods of exercise producing better, more noticeable results.
The research comes from a Green Tea weight loss study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. It involved participants living with type-2 diabetes, all of whom drank four cups of Green Tea daily for two months.
Scientists concluded that each volunteer experienced a significant drop in body weight, their BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure.
Is Green Tea Good for Your Teeth?
Some people worry themselves thinking “Does Green Tea Stain Teeth?” While this is, admittedly, true in rare cases, most would agree that Green Tea benefits for teeth outweigh its negative aspects.
Proof exists in a 2010 Japanese study. It reported that participants who drank one or more cups of this Tea a day could prevent tooth decay and loss. Doesn’t that put a smile on your face?
But that’s not all on offer here. Green Tea is also antimicrobial, meaning it can kill the microbes that cause bad breath. Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Canada, measured the level of foul-smelling compounds in volunteers’ mouths after they had received Matcha Green Tea Powder.
It found that the extract outperformed mints and chewing gum at fighting halitosis.
Green Tea Benefits for Skin
Can Green Tea benefits keep your skin looking healthy, vibrant and youthful? Absolutely. And in more than one way. We have written an article dedicated to this topic (“Is Green Tea Good for Skin?”), but right now, let’s look at the big picture.
A 2000 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Dermatology suggests that it protects against swelling, sun damage and even ageing.
Green Tea for skin, then, is a fantastic option for numerous reasons. The key to most of its success is its high levels in EGCG, which, as already established, neutralise free radicals in the body.
Also, Green Tea anti-inflammatory properties play a part - as, of course, do its anti-ageing properties. We’ll explore a few more of the specifics further down in this article.
Green Tea For Acne
Green Tea for acne, specifically, has the backing of several scientific reports. One noteworthy example comes from a 2016 study conducted in Basel, Switzerland.
Those involved discovered that the polyphenolic Antioxidants in Tea, when applied topically, reduce sebum secretion. By decreasing sebum production, Loose Green Tea prevents significant acne breakouts while also stopping oily skin.
Another study published in the Bosnian Journal of Medical Science provides yet more evidence. Ten male test subjects with acne and oily skin used 3% Green Tea extract over eight weeks.
The results showed a 70% success rate in reducing sebum production. This should hopefully be enough to answer “Does Green Tea help acne?” once and for all.
Is Green Tea a Diuretic?
Is Green Tea a diuretic? Let’s first try to understand what this term means. A diuretic refers to promoting the formation of urine.
Despite sounding unpleasant, it has its uses - namely helping those with high blood pressure, heart failure, swollen tissues and kidney disease.
Doctors will often prescribe diuretics, or “water pills,” to combat these conditions. However, Green Tea benefits can also provide support.
Caffeine in Green Tea is the reason for its diuretic ability. Its lack of processing, though, means that it contains less caffeine than, say, Black Tea, which is the most processed type.
In other words, this infusion can indeed help someone to excrete excess water. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that it isn’t as effective as other, more caffeinated types of Tea.
Does Green Tea Help with Bloating
Bloating is a common digestion problem that takes place in the abdomen (stomach). It is usually the product of the gastrointestinal tract filling with air or gas.
When you’re bloated, it sometimes feels like you’ve eaten a big meal and there’s no more room in your stomach. But does Green Tea help with bloating or does Green Tea cause bloating?
Clinical trials have shown that one of the benefits of drinking Green Tea is its ability to stimulate the digestive system. This ultimately makes it one of the Best Teas for Bloating - mostly because of its antioxidants (once again!).
Other options worth considering include Ginger Root Tea, Peppermint Tea, Fennel Tea and Dandelion Leaf Tea.
Does Green Tea Help You Sleep?
On the surface, drinking Green Tea before bed doesn’t sound like the best of ideas because of the effects of caffeine. Most know all too well, after all, that it enhances our energy levels, thus usually having the opposite impact to nodding off.
So, does Green Tea help you sleep or stay awake? Would you believe that the answer is “both?” Its antioxidants, for starters, contribute. However, its amino acids play a bigger part.
The most abundant amino acid found in Loose Green Tea is theanine. This chemical compound works with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is already in the body, to increase melatonin levels.
By boosting melatonin, it stabilises moods while regulating the wake-sleep cycle. Alternatively, you could try Camomile Tea, a Herbal Tea that famously combats insomnia.
Green Tea for Anxiety and Depression
In Britain alone, around one in ten people live with anxiety, a condition characterised as an often incessant feeling of worry, fear or nervousness.
A variety of triggers can cause it, including stressful events, life changes, and being in danger. Depression, too, is on the rise, particularly during these unprecedented times. But what can Green Tea benefits do here?
First and foremost, it’s essential to recognise that a Green Tea anxiety treatment is NOT a cure. Nor, for that matter, is a Green Tea depression treatment, so be sure to ignore anyone telling you otherwise.
However, the same amino acid that improves sleeping patterns can also provide assistance with your general mental health. It is best, though, to talk to your doctor first.
Green Tea Benefits for Hair?
Would you believe that Green Tea benefits extend to your hair health, too? Indeed, according to one small study, it might enable healthy growth and regrowth.
Researchers studied a topical treatment of Green Tea-derived EGCG to the scalps of three volunteers with alopecia. They ultimately found that, after four days, these test subjects experienced a sizable increase in hair growth activity.
Green Tea for hair can also improve nutrient delivery. This is according to a trial involving fifteen participants consuming extracts over 12 weeks. By the end of the study, skin blood flow and oxygen delivery increased by 29% compared to the control group.
But why? Once again, it’s all to do with Green Tea antioxidants, specifically its polyphenols.
Green Tea Anti-Inflammatory Effects
We’ve previously mentioned Green Tea anti-inflammatory effects concerning healthier skin. Yet there is more still to discuss.
There is evidence, for instance, that this infusion can relieve some of the flare-ups associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).
The answers come from a 56-day study involving people with ulcerative colitis, in particular.
It found that volunteers experienced improved symptoms by 58.3% compared with no improvements in the placebo group. Then there is the possibility, although not proven outright, that Loose Leaf Green Tea reduces inflammation-driven conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and even certain cancers.
Until we know more, however, we do NOT endorse it for this purpose.
Does Green Tea Help Lower Blood Pressure?
Many scientists have noted correlations between Green Tea and blood pressure reduction, although much of the evidence is inconclusive. Does Green Tea help lower blood pressure, then - and is it safe?
One meta-analysis makes a compelling case on both counts. It looked into twenty-five randomised controlled trials (considered the “gold standard” in modern science), the findings of which appear to be promising.
It discovered that, while a short term application of Green Tea benefits has a limited impact, long term use can have a considerable influence.
After twelve weeks, participants found that their blood pressure was lower by 2.6 mmHg systolic and 2.2 mmHg diastolic. Another option is Hibiscus Tea for Blood Pressure , which has well-documented blood pressure-lowering abilities.
Is Green Tea Good for Constipation?
Constipation is an unpleasant experience whereby it becomes difficult to use the loo. Most medical professionals characterise it as defecating fewer than three times a week.
But does Green Tea help with constipation or can too much Green Tea cause constipation? In other, somewhat cruder words, does Green Tea make you poop or does it lead to further problems?
It seems to depend on the person. Several studies exist suggesting that Green Tea caffeine has something to do with its laxative effects, whereby it induces bile production and increases bowel movement.
Other reports, however, debate this fiercely. The truth is that no one knows the definitive answer to “is Green Tea a laxative?” As such, we await further research before making any kind of an endorsement.
Does Green Tea Aid Digestion and IBS?
When it comes to Green Tea digestion abilities in general, things appear to be a little clearer. Already above, we’ve talked about Green Tea anti-inflammatory effects for numerous digestive disorders.
This, indeed, is the main factor contributing to improved digestion, so it stands to reason it helps in several areas. Right now, though, we’re going to examine Green Tea for IBS, specifically.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an exceptionally common condition that affects the gastrointestinal system in many ways. It can lead to symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, among others.
Most sufferers find it to be a lifelong problem. Seeing as Green Tea benefits bloating and might also help with constipation, it ultimately reduces side effects associated with IBS.
Green Tea Liver Health
Green Tea liver repair, according to early (emphasis on “early”) research, has great potential in the future. The evidence comes from a Japanese study, which found that drinking 5-10 cups of this infusion daily improved blood markers of liver health.
A smaller study, meanwhile, discovered that participants taking Green Tea for twelve weeks had boosted liver enzymes.
There is also a chance of Green Tea benefits assisting those with high liver cancer risks. One research project published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer found that four cups daily could make a huge difference.
However, it remains essential to note that the above evidence is still in its preliminary stages. We do NOT, as a result, endorse this Tea, or any other Tea, for liver cancer.
Does Green Tea Boost the Immune System?
The body’s immune system is our most crucial line of defence. It is an expansive network of cells, organs, proteins and tissues working together to protect us from seemingly endless pathogens.
Without it, we’d be open to attack from viruses, parasites and, of course, harmful bacteria. Its ability to distinguish our tissue from foreign tissue, in particular, is key to our survival.
Green Tea and your immune system is a match made in heaven. It contains a sizable amount of Vitamin C, which, in itself, encourages the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes.
These, in turn, help protect the body against infection. Additionally, one study indicated that its antimicrobial properties might kill influenza (flu) viruses.
Green Tea Cancer
We must stress before we get into this that a Green Tea cancer treatment is strictly NOT a solution to this ravaging disease. If you have cancer, it remains vital that you accept the care and attention of medical professionals.
Although there have been some promising findings related to Green Tea for cancer, none, as of yet, have broad scientific consensus.
Nevertheless, one 2015 meta-analysis found that drinking a cup of Tea daily (regardless of the specific type) reduced the risks of developing cancer by 2%.
Those who drank the “most” Tea, on the other hand, had up to a 21% lower cancer risk than those who drank none. We still await further research before endorsing Green Tea benefits, or any other Tea, for this purpose.
Does Green Tea Lower Cholesterol?
The simple answer to the above question, “Does Green Tea Lower Cholesterol,” is “yes.” This is according to a meta-analysis from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It indicates that Green Tea significantly reduces total cholesterol, including “bad” LDL cholesterol, in the blood to 2.19 mg/dL. It’s worth noting, though, that it doesn’t appear to affect “good” HDL cholesterol.
There are, in fact, several ways in which Green Tea benefits improve cardiovascular health. Another meta-analysis of thirteen observational studies, for example, found that volunteers who drank the “most” Green Tea had a 28% lower risk of coronary artery disease.
One such contributing factor is, indeed, high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Green Tea antioxidants, too, yet again provide support.
Green Tea Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a chronic condition involving tissue similar to the lining of the womb growing in other places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
It can cause immense pain in the lower stomach or back, as well as equally unpleasant discomfort during periods and before or after sex. Treatments for it include painkillers, hormones and surgery. There is also the option of a Green Tea endometriosis treatment.
While most research (like many of the above health benefits) is in its preliminary stages, there has been some compelling evidence. It comes from a 2008 animal-based study, specifically, which found that EGCG could prevent new endometriosis lesions from forming.
Whether this applies to humans, too, however, remains to be seen.
Is Green Tea Good for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an often long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It most commonly affects the hands, feet and wrists, with more than 400,000 people in the UK alone currently living with it.
Green Tea for arthritis offers assistance because its EGCG content blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage.
This has the backing of research from the University of Michigan, which concluded that Green Tea benefits work well against RA. A review published in Arthritis Research and Therapy, too, made a similar endorsement, as well as noting that EGCG may help protect your cartilage and bones.
At this stage, though, we still urge you to seek medical consultation over Green Tea for arthritis.
Is Green Tea Good for Gum Disease?
A study conducted at the University of Fukuoka, Japan, and led by Dr Yoshihiro Shimazaki, can explain why a Green Tea gum disease treatment works.
They saw male participants aged between 49 and 59 examined for three disease indicators. These were periodontal pocket depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum disease, and bleeding on probing (BOP) of the gum tissue.
Researchers, including Dr Shimazaki, noted that for every cup of Green Tea consumed daily, there was a decrease in all three indicators. It therefore signified a lower instance of periodontal (gum) disease in those who drank this beverage regularly.
The reason? A combination of Green Tea antioxidants and Green Tea anti-inflammatory effects, which responded well to periodontal bacteria in the mouth.
Green Tea and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is where bones become weak and brittle. Such is this brittleness in severe cases, in fact, that even something such as bending over or coughing can lead to a fracture.
This commonly happens in the hip, wrist or spine, although it can take place anywhere in the body. So, what can Green Tea and osteoporosis do, exactly, to make life a little easier?
The answers come from an Australian study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Scientists surveyed 275 women aged between 70 and 85 who were already taking part in a larger five-year research project of calcium supplements and osteoporosis.
They examined the women’s Green Tea consumption, in particular, ultimately noting that those who drank more had higher bone density.
Green Tea Can Increases Brain Function and Memory
An estimated 750,00 people live with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in the UK alone. Worse still, this number could double in the next forty years as Britain’s population ages.
EGCG in Green Tea, meanwhile, might reduce risks. This is according to a study conducted at the University of Basel, Switzerland, led by Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics.
It established that extracts of Green Tea increase the brain’s effective connectivity, referring to the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another.
The Tea’s impact on this connectivity also led to cognitive improvement proven by volunteers who, after consuming the extract, tested significantly better for memory tasks.
Nevertheless, we still await further research before confirmation of this benefit.
Green Tea Side Effects
Unfortunately, the benefits of drinking Green Tea do not apply to everyone. This is mostly because of its caffeine content, which can cause Green Tea side effects in some people.
Restlessness and sleeplessness are two of the most common symptoms associated with caffeine overconsumption. Furthermore, there is a risk of experiencing headaches, irregular heartbeat, tremors, ringing in the rings, nausea and vomiting.
Choosing to have Decaf Green Tea instead is one way of avoiding such health concerns. This is especially helpful to caffeine-sensitive individuals and pregnant women.
With the latter group, in particular, it's worth noting that while Green Tea pregnancy benefits exist, moderation is key. Indeed, according to one 2012 study, too much Tea can interfere with the absorption of folic acid in expecting mothers.
Green Tea Health Benefits Conclusion
How is Green Tea good for you? This article has given you a remarkable twenty-two ways - all backed by scientific evidence. Most amazing of all, this is to name but a few examples of Green Tea benefits.
There are many, many more to discuss, as well as many, many more no doubt waiting to be discovered. The potential of this infusion appears to be almost limitless.
We have learnt that it boosts metabolism and improves heart health. It also aids digestion while reducing inflammation, enhancing brain function and supporting the immune system.
If that wasn’t enough, there is the chance of it treating gum disease, endometriosis and osteoporosis. From Sencha Green Tea to Matcha Tea Benefits; Gunpowder to Decaffeinated Green Tea, we stock them all.