In addition to its antioxidant benefits, green tea is a superfood that stimulates and improves digestion, serves as a natural diuretic and promotes weight loss. Green tea is still most commonly consumed as a hot tea but is also available as concentrated extracts, in capsules and in skin-care products. Its cleansing and disease-fighting benefits support a healthy digestive tract and a healthy body.
The use of green tea for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years to early Chinese societies. Green tea should be steeped at a lower temperature and for a shorter time than other types of tea because of the delicacy of the leaf and its abundance of polyphenols, which are chemicals with strong antioxidant properties. Most all tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, but the production, processing and drying of the leaves determines which type of tea it is. White tea is withered and dried, while black and oolong teas are manipulated and fermented before use. Green tea leaves are withered and steamed to prevent oxidation and to protect the polyphenols and antioxidant benefits.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Among its many benefits, green tea stimulates your digestive system, blocks cholesterol absorption and removes excess body fat--all while adding essential nutrients for health and energy. Green tea's anti-inflammatory properties benefit your gastrointestinal tract, aid your circulatory system, fight skin damage and support weight-loss management while lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Green tea is a natural diuretic, flushing your system of waste and excess nutrients while hydrating the body. Green tea contains about 60 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup, which is significantly less than the caffeine contents of coffee. Although someone with medical concerns or sleeping problems should avoid beverages with caffeine, the stimulant does offer several health benefits by boosting metabolism, encouraging digestion and providing energy.
Drinking green tea is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, so it protects your digestive system by preventing esophageal, colon and stomach cancers. It also boosts immunity, and its antioxidants fight damaging free radicals in the body.
Your digestive system begins in your mouth, and oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health. Green tea contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay, fight plaque and protect against cavities. It's also packed with vitamins A, B, C and E, which promote and strengthen teeth, muscles, bones and gums. Consider drinking a cup of green tea instead of your morning coffee; it will strengthen tooth enamel instead of staining it, helps hydrate the body because it has less caffeine, and is thought to have more antioxidant and immune benefits than a vitamin C supplement.
Other Health Benefits
Green tea's vitamins and minerals nourish your body, reduce stress, lower blood sugar, fight skin damage and boost the immune system. The B-complex vitamins in green tea benefit and alert the central nervous system, support the circulatory system and aid in the absorption of carbohydrates for energy. Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant, promotes healthy muscles and red blood cells, offers skin benefits and prevents aging. Vitamin C also helps with skin, muscles, bones and blood while offering strong antioxidant and immune defense. Green tea aids in weight management by satisfying hunger, helping you burn calories and hydrating the body.