WHO Green Tea: Benefits Nutrition Contained in Green Tea

WHO Green Tea: Benefits Nutrition Contained in Green Tea

 

piyolkocrot.com – The health benefits of green tea have been believed for a long time. In fact, green tea is touted as one of the healthiest beverages in the world and is believed to be able to prevent various types of diseases. Not only that, there are many other benefits of green tea that you can get.

Green tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This drink has been used in Japanese and Chinese medicine for centuries. The processing of green tea is shorter than other types of tea, such as matcha or black tea, so that the nutritional and antioxidant content in it is still maintained.

Green Tea Nutrient Content

In 100 grams of green tea, there are various nutrients as follows:

1 kcal of energy

0.2 grams of protein

1 milligram of magnesium

8 milligrams of potassium

12 milligrams of caffeine

In addition, green tea also contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer which are good for maintaining a healthy body. This drink is also good for toddlers and children to consume when they are tired of drinking water.

Benefits

Sipping green tea on the regular may help prevent some chronic health conditions and manage others. So far, research has found green tea:

May Improve Mental Health

There is a chemical explanation for why sipping a hot cup of green tea can be so relaxing. Tea—along with some mushrooms—contains an amino acid called theanine, which, according to research presented in a 2021 Molecules study may:

  • Relieve stress
  • Induce relaxation
  • Combat anxiety from caffeine

Green tea in particular has the highest concentration of theanine compared to other types of tea like oolong, black, and white tea, according to a 2016 study published in Pharmacognosy Magazine.

A 2020 review published in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that taking a 200 to 400 milligrams (mg) supplement of theanine daily reduced stress and anxiety in people exposed to stressful conditions.

Another 2019 study, published in Nutrients, of 30 people with no major psychiatric conditions found that those who took 200 mg a day of theanine for four weeks saw greater improvements in depression, anxiety, and sleep compared to those who took a placebo.

While both studies highlight the potential mental health benefits of theanine, the amounts of theanine used was much more than the amount you would find in a cup or two of green tea (approximately 8mg per cup, according to McGill University).

Might Enhance Memory

Research has also found that green tea can improve memory, partially thanks to its theanine content. For example, a 2014 study published in Psychopharmacology of 12 healthy volunteers found that green tea extract improved subjects working memory—a type of short-term memory important for planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem-solving.

Patients were given a milk-based drink that contained either 27.5 mg green tea extract or a placebo. They then completed certain tasks while an MRI tracked their brain activity. Those who consumed the green tea extract saw greater brain connectivity—aka how well different areas of the brain work together—as well as improved working memory and task performance.

Since the study used such a small sample of patients, the results are less definitive. More research is needed to further explore how green tea influences memory.

Protection Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

Some research has found drinking green tea can protect against certain neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is likely due to green tea’s high concentration of powerful compounds called antioxidants. According to 2018 research published in European Food Research and Technology, green tea was the best free radical scavenger out of green, black and earl gray tea. Antioxidants defend cells against damage that, over time, would otherwise lead to neurodegenerative diseases.

A 2022 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that after following 1,545 elderly people in China with healthy brain functioning for one year, those who habitually drank tea—including green tea—had lower rates of cognitive decline compared to non-tea drinkers. This was true even after researchers adjusted for factors like education, smoking, and exercise.

Cognitive decline is one of the first noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It refers to worsening or more frequent instances of confusion and/or memory loss.

Could Lower Cholesterol

About 38% of American adults have high cholesterol levels, which raises their risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the CDC. The good news? Green tea might help.

A 2020 meta-analysis of 31 studies published in Nutrition Journal found that consuming green tea was associated with lower levels of both total cholesterol and LDL (aka bad) cholesterol.

Can Reduce Blood Pressure

In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, green tea may protect heart health by lowering blood pressure. A 2020 meta-analysis in Medicine of 1,697 people found that drinking green tea significantly reduced blood pressure, particularly in those with high blood pressure and the greatest risk of cardiovascular disease.

High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke because it damages the lining of the arteries, making them more susceptible to the buildup of plaque, which narrows the arteries leading to the heart and brain, per the CDC. If high blood pressure is left untreated, it can also lead to kidney failure.

Green tea’s ability to lower blood pressure may be due to its high antioxidant content, according to the same 2020 analysis listed above. These antioxidants reduce inflammation and dilate blood vessels so blood can flow more easily.

However, most of the studies assessed in the analysis only lasted between three and sixteen weeks, meaning it’s not clear how drinking green tea for longer may or may not improve blood pressure.

May Prevent Stroke

Stroke remains a leading cause of death and disability for adults in the United States, according to the CDC. Drinking green tea may be one way to help prevent your risk of stroke.

For instance, a 2020 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tracked the tea-drinking habits of nearly half a million Chinese adults. It found that consuming tea—especially green tea—was associated with a lower risk of stroke. In fact, the more green tea people drank, the lower their risk of stroke.

Potentially Protects Bone Health

Green tea may also prevent the loss of bone mass. For example, a 2022 study published in Nutrients found that of almost 6,500 postmenopausal Korean people, those who did not consume any green tea or consumed less than one cup daily for the past year were more likely to have lost bone mass in their spine or thigh compared to those who drank green tea three times a day.

Reduced bone mass increases the risk of osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones more fragile and can lead to fractures of the hip, spine, or wrist, per the National Library of Medicine. Postmenopausal people in particular are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.

This may explain why a 2017 analysis published in Medicine concluded that tea consumption was linked to a reduced risk of osteoporosis, likely due to its high concentration of antioxidants which help prevent bone loss and enhance bone formation.

Helps Prevent and Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Consuming tea—including green tea—may be an effective way to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes, according to a 2019 review published in Antioxidants. The review found that green tea antioxidants, in particular, could reduce insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance occurs when cells are less sensitive to the hormone insulin, which helps cells convert blood sugar to energy. It is one of the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the CDC.

Improved Longevity

Drinking tea, including green tea, is associated with a longer and healthier life, according to 2020 research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The study followed 100,902 participants in China with no history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer for over seven years. It grouped participants as either:

  • Habitual tea drinkers, meaning they consumed tea three or more times a week.
  • Non-habitual tea drinkers, meaning they consumed tea less than three times a week. .

Compared to non-habitual tea drinkers, those who drank tea three or more times a week had a reduced risk of mortality from all causes. They also had a reduced risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which is when plaque builds up in blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Green tea, in particular, was associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes except for coronary heart disease. Researchers believe this is likely due to antioxidants in green tea protecting cells from damage that would otherwise lead to disease.

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