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8 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

This article outlines the difference between green & white teas and all the amazing health benefits you can drink up in every cuppa!
Oct 6, 2022 | Joy McCarthy

It’s no surprise I love tea in all its forms. From herbal teas to lightly caffeinated green and white teas, I’ve never met a cuppa I didn’t want to curl up with on a busy day. Since I’ve shared a lot about the health benefits of many herbs (which you can find in our Joyous teas!) I thought today I would spotlight the powerful, research-backed health benefits of one of my faves: Green tea!

So brew up a cuppa and settle in to learn why this tea should become a part of your joyous lifestyle!

What’s the Difference Between Green & White Tea?

If you’ve heard of green and white tea, you may be wondering whether there’s a difference between them. Is one better than the other? Well, I have some good news for you! Both green and white tea come from the same plant, camellia sinensis, so their health benefits are very similar. The main difference between these teas is how they’re processed and how that impacts their unique flavours and subtle variations in caffeine content. Both teas originated in China, but are now grown in other countries around the world such as Nepal and Japan.

Green tea leaves are typically pan-fired or steamed to prevent the leaves from oxidizing. This process enhances the flavor of the tea leaves so this brew is typically a little earthier in flavour and has slightly more caffeine than white tea.

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When you brew green tea, you’ll notice that it has a beautiful golden-green colour, though some people find it can taste bitter. If you want to slurp up the benefits of green tea, but aren’t a fan of the bitter taste, then I’ve got you covered with the trick to getting the perfect cup every time: Use water that is about 80 degrees celsius instead of boiling water and only steep your tea for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to use water that is too hot since the tannins (compounds that make the tea bitter!) dissolve above this temperature. The lower temperature will allow all the sweet and subtle flavours to develop, without the bitterness!

White tea tends to have a more delicate, fruity flavour than green tea since it’s picked when the leaves are young and is air dried and minimally processed. It contains very little caffeine, so it’s a perfect choice for people who may be sensitive to its effects. This subtle tea contains plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients, so it’s a powerful addition to any whole foods diet!

Since trying to choose between green and white tea is virtually impossible, we decided to include both in our best-selling Radiance Tea! This organic blend is subtly caffeinated and the light earthy flavours of the green and white teas are perfectly complemented by the floral notes from lavender and rose petals.

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Now that we know more about green and white tea, let's dig into their health benefits a little deeper. Remember that since they come from the same plant, the benefits will be similar for both teas, though one or the other may be slightly higher in different beneficial nutrients.

Health benefits of green tea

1. Reduce inflammation

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are natural, plant-based anti-inflammatory compounds. Probably the most well known compound in green tea is a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It is one of the most studied polyphenols that has been shown to lower inflammatory markers in the body. And in case you thought EGCG was a one hit wonder, recent research has shown it to be an antiviral that has potential in the treatment for you-know-what! You may have seen green tea extract (EGCG) in some cosmetics, but drinking it boosts the beauty benefits from the inside out.

2. Boost Brain Function + Reduce Anxiety

The synergy of L-theanine and caffeine together are magic. Caffeine, which can enhance brain function, is balanced by the chill effects of L-theanine (an amino acid) which increases GABA in the brain. You may have heard of GABA before when I talked about The 6 Best Herbs for Stress Relief and Relaxation. This compound is an inhibitory neurotransmitter (that means it reduces activity in the brain), which allows the nervous system to access the relaxation response easier and may help reduce anxiety.

The combination of L-theanine with the caffeine also means that people who may otherwise be sensitive to the effects of caffeine can typically enjoy a cup or two of green tea without getting the jitters! To take things up a notch, there’s also evidence that these two compounds work as a power couple with their synergistic effects providing extra powerful brain-boosting benefits!

Joy McCarthy Drinking Tea

3. Protects The Brain From Aging

Not only can green tea help boost brain function and reduce anxiety, it may also have neuroprotective benefits as well! Some studies have shown a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, specifically from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, with daily consumption thanks to those catechin compounds I mentioned above!

Since age-related cognitive decline impacts about 20-35% of people over age 65 (with your risk increasing as you age), it’s always worthwhile taking preventative steps to nourish and protect your brain!

4. May Lower The Risk Of Developing Some Types of Cancer

While cancer is a complex disease with many risk factors and potential contributing causes, there is some promising research connecting green tea consumption to reduced risk of certain cancers. Since oxidative damage to cells can lead to chronic inflammation, which can contribute to the development of some cancers, consuming foods rich in antioxidants is a potent way to protect your cells.

Research has linked green tea consumption to a reduced risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer, thanks to all those antioxidants. Adding a cup of green tea to your daily routine is one simple health hack you can incorporate to lower your risk factors!

Joyous Health Radiance Tea for skin health

5. Can Help Boost Short Term Metabolic Rate

Thanks to the short term effects of thermogenesis, green tea can boost your metabolic rate after consumption. That means you’ll burn more calories, which could help you lose weight. Some studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea is associated with a reduction in body fat, especially around the belly. Adding some green tea to your movement plan and whole foods diet can be another great tool to help you achieve your health goals!

6. Helps Balance Blood Sugar

Balancing your blood sugar is a key to long-lasting joyous health since it can impact everything from your hormone levels to mood to cravings and more! Green tea helps with blood sugar balance by increasing the body’s insulin sensitivity, which means it’s a lot easier for your cells to absorb and utilize the glucose that you eat. If you want to learn more powerful hacks for balancing your blood sugar, check out this informative episode of the Joyous Health Podcast with the Glucose Goddess!

7. Nourishes Our Gut Microbes

Supporting optimal gut function is the root of vibrant, long-lasting health and a big part of that puzzle is a robust community of healthy gut microbes! While green tea doesn’t contain beneficial bacteria, the polyphenols in it that reach the large intestine are metabolized by the gut flora. These polyphenols act like a prebiotic, feeding our microbiome to support digestion and gut health.

Green tea contains polyphenols that nourish our microbiome to support good digestion and gut health!

8. Supports Clear, Healthy Skin

When taken as an extract, green tea has been shown to reduce acne lesions thanks to that catechin, EGCG (is there anything it can’t do?) thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. It can also help with rosacea by reducing inflammation and improving skin elasticity.

If you drink green tea regularly, you also get a boost of antioxidants that can protect the skin from UVB damage caused by the sun, which can cause premature aging.

Our refreshing Radiance Tea contains both green tea and white tea and you can find it in the Joyous Shop. In the summer months, it makes a wonderful base for a chilled tea. Try adding a squeeze of lemon and some fresh mint for a refreshing, skin-loving, antioxidant rich summer treat!

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