The Unexpected Effects Green Tea Has On Your Health

For centuries, tea has been used for health care purposes. Green tea, in particular, is known for the powerful punch it packs for your mind and body. Even before the invention of modern medicine, it was used to ward off infections (via ScienceDirect). Today, green tea has been demonstrated to positively impact a wide range of health maladies from stress levels to heart disease.

Those looking to get a leg up on their fitness goals will be happy to know that a study in The Journal of Nutrition found that green tea can help to decrease abdominal fat when used in conjunction with exercise, thanks to a group of antioxidants called catechins. In addition to their fat-burning power, the catechins in green tea also promote heart health. A 2014 study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases (NMCD) found that green tea can lower high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, both of which are closely related to cardiovascular disease.

Green tea may even help you maintain a youthful glow. A study published in Dermatologic Surgery suggests that drinking green tea and applying it to your skin preserves its elasticity, meaning fewer wrinkles and sagging.

Maximizing the powerful health benefits of green tea

Green tea can also positively impact your mental health. According to a 2016 study published in Nutrients, an amino acid found in green tea called L-theanine was found to significantly reduce stress. Thanks to its stress-relieving properties, green tea also may help with depression. As part of a 2009 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants reported feeling less depressed after a period of drinking green tea. Those who ingested higher amounts reported more significant decreases in their depression levels.

As far as how much green tea to consume to feel the benefits, it's up for debate. Some resources suggest 3 to 5 cups per day (via Healthline). Others warn that no more than 8 cups per day should be consumed to avoid an overload of caffeine (per GoodRx). While caffeine is a naturally occurring component in green tea, you can opt for decaf if you are particularly sensitive to it or wish to imbibe a cup before bed. Be sure to purchase a decaf green tea brand that is specifically processed to preserve its antioxidant properties (via Chicago Tribune).