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13 Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Benefits of drinking green tea

One of the things that I miss most about living in Hong Kong is popping into a 7-Eleven (yes, they exist in Asia) to grab an iced green tea to-go. They don’t have Big Gulps in Hong Kong, fortunately. Hong Kong residents drink soda, of course, but not like we do. I drink far too much Diet Coke for my own good. I make green tea at home almost every day (I also drink lemon water every day), but am finding it a pain to make iced green tea. Truth be told, it just doesn’t taste as good as ITO EN or other bottled green teas.

Antioxidants Galore in Green Tea

Green tea has multiple antioxidants or catechins, however, one called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is what scientists are focused on. These catechins destroy free radicals and have far-reaching positive effects on the entire body.  EGCG is the “super” antioxidant believed to be 100 more times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

Green tea leaves go through less processing than oolong and black teas so it actually retains more antioxidants. Oolong and black teas are fermented while green tea leaves are steamed. Below is a hand-wrapped jasmine green tea called dragon’s tears that we also used to drink in Hong Kong.

Jasmine green tea called Dragon Tears. With bamboo tea strainer.

Green tea also has an amino acid called theanine, that gives the tea its mellow taste. It helps deliver glucose to the brain. When the brain is lacking in glucose, that’s when we all get moody.  Green tea helps keep us calm and less stressed. Most green teas sold in the US have lower amounts of theanine so there is some skepticism that you’d see too much benefit, though some people seem to believe it’s enough.

13 Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea

  1. Helps with hangovers. I know this from personal experience and it’s probably due to replenishing depleted antioxidants.
  2. Treats rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Reduces risk of esophageal cancer.
  4. Helps with weight loss.
  5. Helps lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  6. Antioxidants serve as dialators which improve the flexibility of blood vessels and make them less vulnerable to clogging.
  7. Balances hormone levels resulting in lower stress.
  8. Helps prevent acne.
  9. May help prevent/slow Alzheimers and Dementia.
  10. May lower risk of stroke (black tea too).
  11. May lower risk of diabetes (black tea too) and diabetic cataracts.
  12. May help prevent hair loss, but data is sketchy
  13. Reduces stress, as mentioned above.

Here’s a National Cancer Institute article about green tea and something I wrote about the benefits of Pu Erh tea.  There’s a whole host of other benefits that I’m forgetting but isn’t the above list enough to make you want to grab a cup?

15 Comments
  • Rosalind - September 29, 2009

    My local Von’s Market stocks Japanese canned Ito En green tea in chilled area near the fresh veggies and imported asian foods.

    Love it!

  • BRF - September 16, 2009

    I enjoy Hoji from Infusions of Tea in San Diego. You can purchase online http://www.infusionsoftea.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=green
    Hoji tastes good hot or cold. Thanks for outlining green tea benefits. I plan to enjoy more often!

  • Tim - September 16, 2009

    I wonder how much of Hong Kong’s success could be measured in it’s green tea, rather than the soda habit so many American’s have? Would be interesting to measure if we could.

    This is a good article on why green tea is so beneficial. If articles like this help more people to drink healthy alternatives to the mostly poor quality of so called sports and energy drinks, then some good has been done.

    Speaking of green tea, and healthy alternatives, there is a drink that got introduced Sept 1st, 2009 that is in a category of it’s own- and yes, it does contain green tea among other things.

    Natural and yet with years of scientific research, it has amazing benefits and is especially suited for the mind and alertness. Since sugars are not present (it’s sweetened with natural Stevia), it can also help some with their weight.

    It has a bit of caffeine, mostly due to the green tea extract, but it’s the other ingredients that make the big difference as it turns out that the American diet under-consumes specific nutrients that are vital to the brain. Make a difference there, and it affects everything including mood.

    I was able to obtain some before it was officially launched, and drink it everyday with great benefit. (Mostly alertness, long lasting energy). I almost feel sorry for the general public that will never find out about a drink too good to be found in a grocery store isle.

    http://focusuponline.com

  • beth aka confusedhomemaker - September 15, 2009

    I love green tea. My mother always extols the benefits of it.
    .-= beth aka confusedhomemaker´s last blog ..Annie Le: Her Funeral Where Her Wedding Should Be =-.

  • Lynn from For Love or Funny - September 12, 2009

    You’ve convinced me to drink more green tea!!
    .-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..I’ll pay you $10,000 to rake my driveway =-.

  • Amanda - September 12, 2009

    I love green tea and being so close to Asia green tea is everywhere here (in Western Australia) so I guess we are pretty lucky!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..My Inspiration – What’s The Matter Mary-Jane? =-.

  • Patty Reiser - September 12, 2009

    I do enjoy a nice ice cold glass of Green Tea just about every day. I have only been exposed to the Japanese Green Tea at Costco.
    Wishing you a scent-sational day!
    Patty
    .-= Patty Reiser´s last blog ..A Day to Remember =-.
    BTW I love your blog!

  • Jason Witt - September 12, 2009

    If you really want to do the best you can for your health (of course with tea), try Pu-erh tea. It has more antioxidants than green tea and also has probiotics like yogurt or kefir. No other tea can boast all that. And it’s in fashion in Hong Kong these days.

  • Jason Witt - September 12, 2009

    If you really want to do the best for your health (of course with tea) then consider Pu-erh tea. It has more antioxidants than green tea and also has probiotics like yogurt or kefir. No other tea can boast all that. And it’s in fashion right now in Hong Kong.

  • Patty Reiser - September 11, 2009

    I do enjoy a nice ice cold glass of Green Tea just about every day. I have only been exposed to the Japanese Green Tea at Costco.
    Wishing you a scent-sational day!
    Patty
    .-= Patty Reiser´s last blog ..A Day to Remember =-.

  • Theresa - September 11, 2009

    Yummy Yummy Yummy!!! Where can I go here to get ?
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..East Coast Whirlwind Tour =-.

  • Leah - September 11, 2009

    Time for me to seek out a Japanese market with the bottled iced green tea! You did a great sales pitch!
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Project 2,996 Tribute to Lisa B. Cannava =-.

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I'm Katie Dillon, a freelance luxury travel writer who lives in seaside La Jolla, CA. This is where I document my recent trips around the world, the latest San Diego happenings and other fun lifestyle topics. Thanks for stopping by!

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