The Elixir of Life isn’t coffee or Red Bull. It’s green tea, and you’re probably thinking you’ve heard this one already.
Green tea as you know it in the single serving tea packet with a cute saying is great, and it has beneficial qualities. Matcha is where the real Elixir of Life is at, and this fancy looking word is another way of saying “stoneground green tea leaves.”
The difference between matcha and green tea packets is in the pure minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that matcha maintains when ground. With typical packets of green tea, you’re not getting actual leafy nutritional goodness, because those leaves are left in the packets. You’re only taking in the nutrients infused from the leaves into the hot water.
Matcha packs a more nourishing punch than regular green tea, but both are good for you. Here are thirteen reasons why green tea leaves are the elixir of life:
Protection from Sun Damage
The antioxidants in green tea will protect your skin from sun damage, making it extra resistant to UV light and radiation, preventing aging of the skin. The active antioxidant in green tea is catechins. Know that catechins is protecting your skin while you’re catching some sun, but don’t skimp on the sunscreen.
The antioxidants in green tea prevent aging, but on a deeper level this is due to their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to eliminate free radicals in the body. The Japanese, known for their love of green tea, have longer life spans than average around the world. Your body stays youthful internally and externally thanks to green tea.
Bye-Bye Bad Cholesterol
Green tea has the ability to reduce bad cholesterol in your blood, while improving the balance of good and bad cholesterol in the body. Keep in mind that your complete cholesterol levels need to be under 200 mg/dL, and bad cholesterol should be kept under 100 mg/dL.
Green tea boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL, good cholesterol), and supplementing with green tea may reduce cholesterol levels up to 16 percent. Drink two to three cups of green tea per day, but talk to your doctor about interactions.
Does your blood need cleansing? Then, drink green tea to clean your blood, because the higher chlorophyll content inside the leaves detoxifies the bloodstream and terminates heavy metals.
Burn the Fat
Need some assistance burning fat? Turn to green tea to boost your metabolic rate and burn that fat. A prior study discovered that exercise immediately following the consumption of matcha green tea contributed to 25 percent more fat burned.
Regulate Blood Sugar
If you suffer from blood sugar problems or Diabetes, consider drinking green tea to help regulate your blood sugar. This will help to prevent spikes in insulin.
The polyphenols in green tea affects the way that glucose is absorbed, limiting amylase, and just one cup of green tea has been proven to inhibit amylase by 87 percent in the body.
Reduce your cancer risks by drinking green tea, as the primary anti-carcinogen in green tea is due to a powerful antioxidant named EGCG, a specific catechin polyphenol. Green tea consumption has been shown to reduce and prevent cancers of the bladder, prostate, breasts, liver and more. The antioxidant power of EGCG is especially powerful in matcha, due to the consumption of the full leaf.
Stabilize Blood Pressure
Help your blood vessels relax with green tea, which will stabilize your blood pressure. Shifts in blood pressure are more readily maintained.
About three cups of green tea daily will benefit your heart health overall, and one study showed that green tea consumption lowered systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 2.2 mmHg.
Prevent Blood Clots
As you age, arteries harden and this elasticity loss may lead to high blood pressure. Thromboxane production hardens the arteries, yet studies show that green tea reduces clotting and helps to maintain the elasticity of your arteries. Drinking green tea inhibits platelet activating factor (PAF) and fibrinogen, which are responsible for clot formation.
If you are taking a blood thinner, talk with your doctor as vitamin K is found in green tea and can affect some medications with this purpose.
Prevent Gum Disease
Green tea will help strengthen your gums and teeth, preventing gum disease. One study found that individuals between the ages of 40-64 who drank one cup of green tea benefited from its consumption: Men were 19 percent and women were 13 percent more likely to still have more than 20 teeth compared to those who didn’t drink green tea. The catechins in green tea also have anti-microbial properties that help to prevent gum disease.
Green tea is considered to be a brain food to boost your concentration, along with your productivity in turn. It contains caffeine and l’theanine, an animo acid which raises the alpha waves in your brain. The latter relaxes you and works to release the caffeine more slowly. These two ingredients combine to increase your overall concentration.
As l’theanine in green tea works to slowly release caffeine and boost concentration, this amino acid also offers a sense of clarity and calm awareness. This improves your mood and helps you maintain a positive frame of mind. Recent research reveals that five cups of green tea a day could help decrease episodes of mental distress by at least 20 percent.
Lower Alzheimer’s Risk
The EGCG flavonoid in green tea has the ability to connect with beta-amyloid proteins to stop formations and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Brain activity has also been shown to increase in MRI scans of study participants with a higher consumption of green tea compared to those who took a placebo. More studies remain to be conducted, but there is promise of lowering one’s risk for Alzheimer’s.
Who knew that a simple tea could have so many beneficial qualities? Green tea is essentially the Elixir of Life. Brew yourself a pot of green tea or matcha, relax with a good book and sip all the nourishing benefits.