Green tea is a great beverage to add to your daily diet. If you’re looking for an alternative to your morning cup of coffee, green tea is an incredible option. Avid green tea drinkers who consume 3 to 4 cups per day enjoy wonderful health benefits that positively impact the body.
Before you start swapping out your normal caffeine beverage for green tea, read on to learn about green tea benefits and some notable reasons why drinking great tea, particularly in excessive amounts, might not be the best option for you.
Pro: Health Benefits
Drinking green tea can have enormous health benefits which is the primary reason many people choose to add the beverage to their diet. The antioxidants in green tea are very potent and the polyphenols in the drink are known for having anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antioxidant properties. These antioxidants can help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other diseases associated with free radical damage and aging.
In some cases, the development of cancer is caused by oxidative damage. Consuming antioxidants, such as those found in green tea, can have a protective effect. Specifically, these antioxidants can reduce the risk of cancers such as breast, oral, pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and heart disease.
Green tea benefits diabetic people as well by slowing down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream. Similarly, this effect can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another health concern that benefits from the anti-inflammatory properties along with the vitamin K in green tea are those who suffer from arthritis. With reduced inflammation, the breakdown of cartilage is slowed down to heal the joints. This effect can help treat and prevent arthritis.
Con: Effects of Caffeine
While health is one of the best green tea benefits, it’s important to note that this beverage is a form of caffeine. Compared to other caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks, green tea has lower caffeine content. But that doesn’t mean your body can’t still be impacted.
Caffeine is known to increase anxiety. When overconsumed, the anxiety increase from caffeine can cause heart palpitations, insomnia, nervousness, loss of appetite, and restlessness. The caffeine can also trigger stomach issues, especially when green tea is drunk on an empty stomach. Caffeine stimulates the colon muscles, causing them to contract and release more frequently. This can cause an upset stomach and increase your trips to the bathroom.
If you do have a sensitivity to caffeine or suffer from a gastrointestinal disease such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will want to avoid drinking green tea and instead opt for a caffeine-free tea beverage.
Pro: Positive Impacts on the Body
The health-related green tea benefits extend beyond the potential treatment and prevention of diseases. There are many other benefits that the body can enjoy from adding green tea to your diet.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants which can be highly beneficial for the health of your skin. The antioxidants can reduce the formation of free radicals, which are known to play a role in aging. Green tea has incredible anti-aging properties that can help reduce wrinkles and leave your skin looking radiant as ever.
Green tea’s most potent polyphenol is epigallocatechin gallate, often referred to as EGCG. While EGCG is partially responsible for all the health benefits you can enjoy from green tea, it can be especially effective at burning fat and increasing the rate of your metabolism. Drinking green tea alongside healthy diet and exercise can help you control your weight.
Consuming green tea on a regular basis can support a healthy immune system. The antioxidants in green tea can inhibit the growth of bacteria along with certain viruses, such as the flu. Green tea benefits oral health in this way by preventing bacteria that is often associated with dental cavities.
Con: Adverse Health Effects
There are more good green tea benefits for health than there are adverse health effects but it’s still important to be aware of them. Primarily, these adverse effects impact your iron and calcium levels.
The tannin content in green tea can decrease the absorption of iron and folic in the body. This decrease happens particularly when consuming green tea in large amounts and leads to iron deficiency anemia. If you already have anemia, you will want to avoid drinking green tea.
Tannins can also increase the amount of acidity in your stomach. And, similar to the effects of caffeine, can cause stomach aches and constipation. Drinking green tea on a full stomach can reduce these effects.
Another danger of overconsuming green tea is the effect on calcium absorption. Green tea can increase how much calcium is flushed out in the urine, which prohibits calcium absorption in the bones. The deficiency of calcium can lead to osteoporosis.
Additionally, green tea can interact with certain medications that can cause problems. If you’re unsure whether green tea is safe to drink while taking your medications, consult with your physician before adding the beverage into your diet.
Pro: Cognizant Improvement
Green tea has a natural chemical called theanine in it that has a calming effect on the mind. This calming effect can reduce stress levels and improve your mood by soothing and relaxing your mind. Green tea has also been known to lower the risk of age-related mental decline by improving brain and memory function.
After reading through the green tea benefits and potential side effects, you are now equipped with the pros and cons that can come from drinking green tea. If you’re planning to add this beneficial beverage to your diet, enjoy it!