Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea
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Here are 10 possible health benefits of green tea.
1. Contains healthy bioactive compounds
Green tea is more than just a hydrating beverage.
The green tea plant contains a range of healthy compounds that make it into the final drink (1Trusted Source).
Tea is rich in polyphenols, which are natural compounds that have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer.
Green tea contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits.
These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals play a role in aging and many types of diseases.
EGCG is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. Research has tested its ability to help treat various diseases. It appears to be one of the main compounds that gives green tea its medicinal properties (2Trusted Source).
Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that can benefit your health.
Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive amounts of fluoride (3Trusted Source).
That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still outweigh any risk.
2. May improve brain function
Green tea does more than just keep you alert, it may also help boost brain function.
The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant.
It doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the jittery effects associated with taking in too much caffeine.
Caffeine affects the brain by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. This way, it increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
Research has consistently shown that caffeine can improve various aspects of brain function, including mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory (6Trusted Source).
However, caffeine isn’t the only brain-boosting compound in green tea. It also contains amino acid L-theanine, which can cross the blood-brain barrier (7).