9 Reasons to Drink Green Tea (and limit coffee)
Among the many, here are 9 reasons to drink green tea, reducing stress, increasing antioxidants and losing weight among them.
I’M WRITING this for myself as much as for you, for I need to keep reminding myself of the many marvels of green tea. Yes, green tea, not coffee. (Yes, Joe, listen up – less coffee, more tea.)
Now, to be fair, I’m “only” drinking a cup of joe a day, and then green tea thereafter. And I often quit coffee altogether for a month or so just to prove to myself that it doesn’t “own” me. But that constant voice lodged in the back of my mind asks why, if I’m so convinced of green tea’s superiority, do I continue to drink java?
Well, I do like the taste of coffee… that’s one reason. And it does seem to be heartier than tea… that’s another reason. Oh, what about that buzz… even one cup offers that in greater measure than tea.
So, there are reasons that I (and probably you) keep up my coffee habit. (Oh, I cringe at that word, “habit”.) Unfortunately, there are also reasons to give it up – or at least substitute green tea for most of our coffee cups.
One reason is cortisol, a hormone released by the body in response to stress. Cortisol is supposed to help quickly power you up to either fight or give flight (run) when threatened. If you do neither, it stays in the body, negatively affecting insulin production, immune system function and learning, among a host of other not-so-nice stuff.
And guess what? Cortisol levels can ramp up with just one cup of caffeinated coffee for more than eight hours! This is particularly true for those of us who don’t metabolize coffee very well.
Which gets me back to the subject of this post – Green Tea; in fact, the nine compelling reasons to drink it daily.
I took these nine reasons from Michelle Schoffro Cook, posted here. I’ll summarize them and you can click over for the full enchilada.
The 9 Reasons to Drink Green Tea
1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body. (Read this post about the thermogenic effect!)
2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.
3. Green tea keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels.
4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer..
5. Green tea may halt colorectal cancer.
6. In research, it appears to cause prostate cancer cells to commit suicide.
7. Green tea may prevent skin damage and wrinkling. EGCG appears to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals.
8. It has a potent antioxidant that kills free radicals. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. (More about free radical inhibitors – antioxidants — here.)
9. Green tea tastes good.
Well, that’s the story. I recommend you try drinking green tea, perhaps gradually substituting it for coffee till the day comes that you’re liberated. (Me too!)
UPDATE: About a year ago, I started drinking matcha and jiaogulan tea. MatchaDNA Organic Powdered Matcha Green Tea. I don’t know what the silly “DNA” reference is to, but what I do know that it tastes good, is organically and sustainably grown, hand-picked.
Moreover, according to Examine.com, green tea has been implicated in benefiting almost every organ system in the body. It is cardioprotective, neuroprotective, anti-obesity, anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic, anti-artherogenic, liver protective and beneficial for blood vessel health. These beneficial effects are seen in doses present both in green tea itself (as a drink) as well as from a supplemental form.
The two green teas I recommend that you try are:
I use and thoroughly enjoy both of them.
I don’t know what the silly “DNA” reference is to, but what I do know that it tastes good, is organically and sustainably grown, hand-picked.
MatchaDNA is a strangely named green tea. I don’t know what the silly “DNA” reference is to, but what I do know that it tastes good, is organically and sustainably grown, hand-picked and claims to have 10 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. The MatchaDNA brand now has 2.008 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4 (of 5) stars.
The “AMPK” (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) refereed to in my Jiaoglulan pick is an enzyme that plays a role in cellular energy homeostasis, largely to activate glucose and fatty acid uptake and oxidation when cellular energy is low. Apparently, this tea helps to activate AMPK. The Jiaogulan AMPK Activator brand is currently enjoys a 4.5 (of 5) rating on Amazon from 427 reviewers.
(Click either of the above images for more info.)
Yes, I cited 9 reasons to drink green tea either as a substitute for or in addition to coffee, but you need only remember these four things:
- Too much coffee can make you anxious, sleepless and keep your cortisol raised for many hours, rather than it’s intended effect, which is to get you run or fight.
- You need not completely abandon your coffee habit, just substitute some cups of it for green tea.
- The EGCG polyphenol in green tea can help you lose weight and ramp up your antioxidant defenses against excessive free radicals
- The Matcha and Jiaoglulan types of green tea are particularly healthy and taste great.