5 Health Benefits of Green Tea (and Possible Side Effects)

cup of green tea and gyokuro tea leaves

The health benefits of green tea have been touted for centuries, so it is no surprise that is one of the most popular and highly talked about teas on the market. Keep reading to find out why green tea is a favorite among so many health-conscious consumers.  

What is Green tea?

Green tea is a type of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Recognized by its natural green color, green tea is one of the least processed teas available, meaning it is loaded with beneficial properties. Since it is typically unoxidized, green tea boasts a delicate, light, and fresh taste.

What are some different types of green tea?

There is a wide variety of green teas to choose from – below is a list of some of the most well-known green teas, and links to our guides on everything you need to know about each one:

  1. Sencha
  2. Genmaicha
  3. Hojicha
  4. Gunpowder tea
  5. Matcha 
  6. Gyokuro tea
  7. Longjing “Dragon Well” tea
  8. Biluochun “Green Snail Spring” tea

5 Health Benefits of Green Tea:

1. Abundant in antioxidants

Green tea is one of the least processed teas available, which, in turn, means it is abundant in powerful antioxidants. Data shows that drinking green tea may protect you from oxidative stress diseases.

2. May improve heart health

Green tea may be a great cardioprotective beverage. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),a specific potent antioxidant that is found in green tea, helps prevent cell damage and provides a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, some studies have shown that green tea can reduce blood pressure, especially among consumers with hypertension.

3. May improve skin health

Green tea may be a powerhouse in skin repair. Studies have shown that the EGCG antioxidants found in green tea have “beneficial effects against the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation”. Plus, not only is green tea packed with Vitamin B2 and E, the catechins in green tea have great anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce redness, irritation, and swelling. 

4. May improve oral health

The flavonoids found in green tea may beneficial for your oral health! Research has shown that green tea can help “limit the growth of certain bacteria associated with periodontal diseases”. Another interesting find is the concept that green tea is quite effective in reducing bad breath

5. May aid in diabetes management and prevention

Studies have shown that consuming green tea may reduce the risk of diabetes and diabetic complications by improving insulin resistance.  

Possible Side Effects of Green Tea:

Green tea, when had in moderation, is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are always possible side effects. Some consumers may be more sensitive to things like caffeine than others and may experience caffeine-related side effects. Furthermore, if you have specific health conditions, or are on certain medications, you may need to avoid beverages such as green tea. Always speak to your doctor or health care provider to clarify it if is safe for your unique situation.

1. Upset Stomach

The caffeine found in green tea may cause digestive issues, upset stomach, and/or nausea for those that are sensitive, or if it is consumed in large quantities. 

2. Trouble Sleeping

It is not advisable to consume green tea before bed, as the caffeine content may cause things like difficulty sleeping, headache, jitteriness, or irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms after drinking green tea, refrain from future consumption and contact your healthcare provider.

3. Avoid if you have anemia

Consuming green tea may worsen anemia; if you have anemia consult your doctor before trying green tea. 

4. Use caution if you are diabetic

Blood sugar control may be affected by the caffeine found in green tea. If you have diabetes or other blood sugar issues, consult your doctor before trying green tea. You may need to avoid it, or closely monitor your blood sugar after consuming it. 

5. Use caution during pregnancy and while breastfeeding

It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid or limit their consumption of caffeine; discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation. Beware that overconsumption of green tea during pregnancy can lead to complications such as miscarriage. 

6. Use caution if you have a heart condition

High levels of caffeine can cause irregular heartbeats; if you suffer from any heart condition, use caution and speak with your doctor before adding green tea to your diet. 

In conclusion, green tea is a widely popular beverage with several positive health benefits and may be a great drink option, when consumed in moderation, for many people. 

Disclaimer: The information found in this post is for informational purposes only, and is in no way medical advice. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you have regarding your personal health situation and before introducing something new to your diet, such as Green tea. 

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