Green tea is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia synensis, which have not undergone the drying and oxidation process used to make oolong and black teas.
Green tea originates in China, but its production and manufacture has spread to other countries in East Asia.
There are several varieties of green tea, which differ significantly based on the variety of variety used, growing conditions, gardening methods, processing and harvesting time.
There are significant studies on the many health benefits of regular consumption of green tea. One of them is weight loss!
We will return to the topic of weight loss, but let’s first see the other benefits of drinking green tea.
- Can protect the brain from aging
Alzheimer’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Parkinson’s disease is another common neurodegenerative disease in which dopamine-producing neurons in the brain die.
Some studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have different protective effects on neurons, thus likely reducing the risk of dementia.
- May help prevent type 2 diabetes
In recent decades, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased. Type 2 diabetes includes elevated blood sugar levels, which can be caused by insulin resistance or inability to produce insulin.
Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Japanese researchers found that those who drank the most green tea had approximately 42% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, tea drinkers had 18% more low risk of diabetes.
There are hundreds of studies examining the effect of green tea on cancer, mainly as a preventative. However, it can potentially be used as a drug to treat cancer. Many studies support the belief that the catechins (antioxidants, also known as flavonoids) found in green tea can prevent tumor formation.
Studies have also been conducted on specific types of cancer:
– Stomach and breast cancer:
A 2015 study found that a compound in the drink combined with the drug Herceptin could be used to treat stomach and breast cancer. In addition, a meta-analysis of studies found that women who drank a lot of green tea have a 22% lower risk of developing the most common breast cancer in women.
– Prostate cancer:
It has been found that men who drink a lot of green tea are 48% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
– Colorectal cancer:
A study of more than 69,000 women in China found that people who drank green tea regularly had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer, which can form in the colon, rectum or intestines.
- Heart disease
According to scientists, green tea acts on the lining of blood vessels, helping them stay healthy and better withstand changes in blood pressure. It can also stop the formation of clots, which are the main cause of heart attacks.
How green tea can help you lose weight
One of the elements in green tea is caffeine. Although a cup of green tea contains much less caffeine (24-40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100-200 mg), it still contains enough to have a mild effect.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that has been found to help burn fat. Additionally, green tea has a huge antioxidant content. Studies show that drinking a cup of green tea increases the amount of antioxidants in the blood.
Green tea increases metabolism
The body constantly burns calories. Even when you sleep or sit, your cells perform millions of functions that require energy.
It is believed that taking green tea extract or supplements can cause the body to burn more calories, even during sleep! Although most of these studies are very short-lived, some evidence suggests that the metabolic-stimulating effect is long-term.
In a study of 60 obese patients, those who took green tea extract lost 3 kg and burned 183 more calories a day after three months than those who did not take the extract. However, not all studies show that green tea extract boosts metabolism. The effect depends entirely on the individual.
Green tea can help with fat loss
When it comes to actual weight loss, green tea is relatively modest. Although many studies show that there are people who lose weight, they are not many. Two well-controlled studies on green tea supplements found that participants lost an average of about 3 pounds of weight.
Keep in mind that not all fats are the same.
Subcutaneous fat is obviously found under the skin, but you can also have significant amounts of visceral fat, also called belly fat. High amounts of visceral fat are associated with inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which are strongly associated with several serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Studies on catechins in green tea show that although it is not a particularly strong weight loss agent, a significant percentage of fat lost is precisely the harmful visceral fat. That is why green tea reduces the risk of many basic diseases, which in itself can lead to a longer and healthier life.
Diet for weight loss with green tea
The green tea diet essentially consists of drinking at least 4 cups of green tea every day. It does not limit your food choices, so you can consume your usual food. Keep in mind that the best dietary results are achieved by combining a healthy diet with an exercise regimen.
- Start the day with a cup of green tea
You can drink it hot or cold. As mentioned above, green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, which can help you feel more alert. Antioxidants and vitamins will also help you restart your immune system.
- Drink green tea before each meal
Your second cup of green tea comes just before breakfast. The theory is that if your stomach is full of green tea, you will consume fewer calories. Green tea also contains chemical compounds that signal the need for fat stores to be converted into energy. Eating a glass before each meal helps digestion and fat burning.
Your diet does not limit you to drinking more than four cups of green tea a day, but still, keep in mind that the recommended dose is a maximum of 5 or 6 cups a day.
Side effects from green tea consumption
Drinking green tea has very few side effects compared to other weight loss supplements. Most side effects occur only when consuming excessive amounts – more than 6 cups a day. Here are some things to keep in mind when drinking green tea.
It is a diuretic
Green tea has diuretic properties and can cause dehydration if consumed in large quantities. Remember to drink equal amounts of water throughout the day to avoid this side effect.
Although green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, it can cause sensitivity in certain people. Drinking green tea after dinner or at bedtime can lead to restless sleep or insomnia. Drink your last cup of green tea just before dinner. Try to eat dinner at least 2 or 3 hours before bedtime to get a good night’s sleep.
Drinking large amounts of green tea can cause stomach irritation in certain people. This side effect tends to intensify when people also consume coffee. Try to drink less coffee than normal if you are on a green tea diet. You can also drink green tea after or during a meal, but not before, if this helps to minimize discomfort.
Anemia and iron deficiency
Green tea reduces the absorption of iron in food. Its polyphenols bind to iron and make it less accessible to your body. Green tea was previously thought to interfere with the absorption of non-heme iron (iron from animal sources) by about 25%, but recent findings show that it can also interfere with the absorption of plant iron.
However, vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, so you can squeeze half a lemon into your tea or consume other foods rich in vitamin C, such as peas, broccoli and tomatoes. If you have iron deficiency / anemia /, we recommend drinking tea between meals.
Mild to severe headaches
Although green tea is considered a safe drink for migraine patients, it can still be excluded from the diet of people with chronic daily headaches. Studies show that caffeine is a risk factor for chronic daily headaches, and although green tea contains much less caffeine than coffee or other teas, it is best avoided by people suffering from these conditions.
Drinking this powerful tea can help you lose weight fast when combined with traditional weight loss techniques. Increase levels of physical activity and combine them with drinking green tea and a healthy diet.