People have hailed the health benefits of green tea for centuries. Studies suggest that consuming green tea may positively affect skin health, help with weight loss, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
While, other studies show that green tea also brings side effects to our body. What are the benefits and side effects of green tea? In this article we will go over the benefits and the side effects of green tea.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. From thousands of tea varieties, one of the most popular teas is green tea. Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, its low caffeine levels and beneficial antioxidants have led to it being viewed as a “healthy” option in the west.
Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols (EGCG) which is a powerful antioxidant. EGCG is purported to be around 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells from harmful influence.
There have been many studies which report further health benefits of green tea too, such as the ability to lower cholesterol or to delay deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
What is green tea?
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea is plucked, and the leaves are left to wither for a specified period. This process of withering is important because it enables the leaf to be manipulated for further processing.
The leaves are then rolled to give the tea leaf a definite shape and then the tea is dried. Due to green teas being unoxidized it means that they will always have a certain taste as a result. Flavor profiles can include descriptions such as buttery, nutty, sea-like, fruity, and woody.
With origins dating as far back as 5,000 years, green tea is commonly drunk and grown in East Asia where the health properties are highly valued. What are the benefits of green tea?
Benefits of green tea
1. Green tea is High in protective polyphenols
Green tea has numerous health benefits, many of which are attributed to the fact that it is largely unprocessed and rich in these plant compounds. The main bioactive compounds in green tea are flavonoids, with the most potent being catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
2. Green tea may boost fat burning
Some research suggests that green tea may boost metabolic rate and increase fat burning. This is thought to be thanks to the natural thermogenic properties provided by caffeine, and by the plant compounds such as catechins.
3. Green tea support blood sugar control
Studies suggest green tea may improve insulin sensitivity and as a result have a beneficial effect on blood sugar control.
Green tea side effects
1. EGCG in green cause anemia and iron deficiency
Research studies point out that drinking too much green tea may cause iron deficiency which leads to anemia and low RBC count.
2. Green tea cause Hypokalemia and Seizures
Hypokalemia is characterized by low potassium levels in the blood. Potassium is important for muscle contraction and the functioning of the body’s proteins. Drinking too much green tea may lower potassium levels, leading to muscle weakness, muscle twitches, muscle cramps, and abnormal heart rhythms.