Top 5 Reasons to Drink Green Tea Everyday
By Sarah Axtell, ND • November 22, 2015
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. Here are reasons why you should incorporate green tea or green tea extract as part of your daily regimen.
1. Anti-Cancer Benefits
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the bioactive constituent of green tea that suppresses tumor formation by inhibiting the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is thought to promote and progress cancer cells. Studies suggest that EGCG inhibits the growth of breast cancer, colorectal, endometrial, lung, pancreatic and stomach cancers.
2. Weight Loss
EGCG can reduce body weight by decreasing fat cell differentiation and proliferation. One study has demonstrated that green tea extracts and drinks could reduce body weight and body mass index in obese individuals in 2 months. A recent study also demonstrated a trend of decreased total cholesterol, LDL and ghrelin levels (your “hunger hormone.”). This implies that a high dose of EGCG might increase energy metabolism and interrupt lipid accumulation and directly inhibit ghrelin secretion.
3. Hormone Balancing
The most common hormonal imbalance I see is estrogen dominance. Research shows that green tea can change a woman’s estrogen metabolism. The primary estrogen pathway connected with breast cancer is the 16-hydroxylated estrogens. As for the 16-hydroxylated estrogen pathway, both estradiol and estrone markers were 40% lower among those women who drank green tea at least one time daily compared to those women who drank less than one cup of green tea a week.
4. Memory and Focus
Green tea promotes memory and focus for two reasons: Caffeine and L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that improves mental performance while also decreasing anxiety and stress.
5. Blood Sugar Balancing
A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that green tea had favorable effects on blood sugar, ie. decreased fasting glucose and HbA1c concentrations.
But what about the caffeine in green tea?
Green tea contains approximately 24-45 mg caffeine per cup. As a comparison, coffee contains 95-200 mg per cup. So the content is significantly less and the effects of the caffeine also differ from coffee. Because green tea contains L-theanine, the rate of caffeine release is slower, instead of all at once. This results in less of a “caffeine crash.” L-theanine in green tea also reduces the negative side effects associated with the caffeine in coffee, such as increase in blood pressure, anxiety, and poor sleep quality.
If you suffer from anxiety, insomnia and/or fatigue, the caffeine in coffee may be over-taxing your adrenal glands. Here is more info on coffee’s effects on your adrenals.
If you are sensitive to all types of caffeine, you can still benefit from the antioxidants in decaf green tea.
Best Sources of Green Tea:
Many patients tell me, “But I just don’t like the taste of green tea.” Yogi brand, Super Antioxidant Green Tea, is my favorite because of its lemony (less bitter) taste.
For an antioxidant powerhouse, try matcha green tea. Matcha is made from skillfully cultivated, shade-grown tea leaves that have been meticulously stone-ground into a fine powder. You can add 1 tsp of this bright green powder to hot water to sip as a tea. Or you can add to a smoothie for an energizing smoothie. See this recipe for Matcha Green Tea Smoothie.
Dosage of Green Tea or Green Tea Extract: Aim to drink 3 drinks green tea daily. For more concentrated therapeutic effects, look for EGCG capsules with approximately 300 mg of EGCG. Dosage of EGCG is 600-900 mg daily.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.