Next to water, Green Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.
It’s been around for thousands of years, and countless studies have proven that Green Tea is one of the healthiest ingredients to include in your diet. In fact, Green Tea has been touted as an all-natural cure-all, supposedly treating everything from headaches to insomnia to upset stomach.
“I believe in green tea based on everything written about it,” states Katherine Tallmadge, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, Green Tea can be prepared as a beverage or turned into an extract for more concentrated health benefits.
Yet what’s so great about green tea extract? Are there benefits of green tea extract that you don’t know about?
It Fights Fat
Green tea contains up to 2% to 4% caffeine, which can increase mental and physical performance, boosting caloric expenditure, suppressing appetite, and fighting fat.
Researchers at the University of Fribourg observed that green tea “stimulates brown adipose tissue thermogenesis to an extent which is much greater than can be attributed to its caffeine content per se.”
Where does the extra fat burning come from?
Unlike other forms of tea, green tea is steamed rather than fermented, enabling it to maintain higher concentrations of antioxidants than black and oolong teas.
In fact, green tea contains surprising amounts of EGCG (epigallocatechin 3-gallate), which can help stimulate thermogenesis.
It Lowers Cholesterol
Studies have shown if you want to improve your overall heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, then drinking 4 cups of tea a day (or taking a supplement with green tea extract) is one of the best preventative measures you can take.
According to Nieca Goldberg, MD, and spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, the antioxidants found in green tea act as dilators, improving the flexibility of blood vessels, which then makes them less vulnerable to clogging.
It Reduces Risk of Cancer
Although studies are still being conducted on the benefits of green tea extract in association with cancer, preliminary research is promising.
According to Marji McCullough, ScD, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society, green Tea’s EGCG regulates and inhibits cancer growth, killing cells that are growing incorrectly.
In a Japanese study involving 500 women with stage 1 and stage 2 breast cancer, those that increased their green tea consumption before and after surgery had lower cancer recurrence rates.
It Brightens Your Smile
In an article featured by BBC News, a study suggests that the chemicals in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries, and other dental problems.
“Our research shows tea extracts can destroy the organism that causes disease,” says Milton Schiffenbauer of Pace University, “If we can stimulate the immune system and at the same time we are destroying the organisms, then it makes sense to drink more tea.”
Consequently, many beginning to add green tea to toothpaste and mouthwash in order to protect teeth.
It Relieves Joint Pain
Many teas such as black, herbal, and oolong are fermented during processing, which can trigger inflammation and leave many individuals feeling sick. However, green tea extract is not fermented and can actually soothe arthritic joints.
Researchers at the University of Michigan observed that the EGCG in green tea could also inhibit the production of molecules contributing to inflammation and joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Salahuddin Ahmed, PhD and lead researcher, explains, “our research is a very promising step in the search for therapies for the joint destruction experienced by people who have rheumatoid arthritis.”
Where to Get Green Tea Extract
These are just a few of the surprising benefits of green tea extract, and undoubtedly there are numerous other health benefits waiting to be discovered.
Now that you know what green tea extract has to offer, where can you find reliable green tea supplements?