1. Promotes Heart Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Studies suggest that Gunpowder Tea may lower your bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol. Lowering these types of cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart disease.
One large Japanese study found that drinking three or more cups of green tea every day reduced the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death when compared to drinking less than one cup daily, especially in women. Another study concluded that people who consumed one to three cups of green tea daily had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, compared to those who drank less than one cup.
2. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that 30.3 million adults in the USA have diabetes. Another 7.2 million adults have it but don’t know it yet. It is not surprising that researchers want to find out if there is a relationship between green tea and blood sugar control.
One large analysis reviewed several studies and concluded that the catechins in green tea might help to lower fasting blood sugar levels when taken for three months or longer. Another study also supported that green tea may help improve fasting sugar levels, as well as lower levels of hemoglobin A1C. Hemoglobin A1C is a long-term measure of blood sugar levels. There are also studies that do not show any improvement in blood sugar control in people with diabetes. At this point, there is no clear answer, and more research is needed.
3. Supports a Healthy Brain
We are always looking for a way to help keep our brains sharp as we age. Some research suggests that the antioxidants present in green tea may have beneficial effects on our neurological system. Specifically, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may protect brain cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and others. One small study found that individuals who drank a green tea beverage daily had better brain function and improved task performance than those who did not.
4. May Promote a Healthy Weight
Be wary of green tea weight-loss claims. Some advertisements claim that green tea can speed weight loss, but research results are mixed.
Green tea contains catechins, as well as caffeine. Some studies suggest that it is the combination of these two working together that may increase energy metabolism leading to weight loss. One analysis concluded that green tea showed a “small positive effect” on weight loss and weight loss maintenance. A more recent, larger review also found that green tea may provide a small, “non-significant” weight loss, and no benefit for weight loss maintenance.
Although its caffeine and catechins may offer a slight metabolism boost, green tea is not the magic answer for weight loss. However, drinking a few cups of green tea or any non-calorie tea per day may be beneficial in other ways. For example, drinking calorie-free tea may help you decrease your hunger and stay away from other high-calorie foods.