Tea is consumed by billions of people around the world, and there are several types including black, white, red and oolong. They are made from the same plant, but the difference is in how they are processed. Each type of tea provides different health benefits, but green tea offers it all. This is why people are commonly trying the green tea diet.
We all want to live happier, healthier lives. The green tea diet is a simple step you can take to improve your health today and protect your body and mind from degeneration in the future. Today we will discuss what this diet consists of, the health benefits associated with it, and delicious, nutritious recipes you can easily incorporate into your day.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is made from unfermented leaves derived from the Camellia sinesis plant. Shortly after it is harvested, it is heated quickly by steaming or pan-firing and dried to stop much of the oxidation from happening. This preserves the natural flavor, chlorophyl, and nutrients. Depending on the heating method, it can taste sweet, vegetal and seaweed-like, or toasted and grass-like. If not brewed too hot, it will be only mildly astringent and very light in color. It contains several bioactive compounds including vitamin K, polyphenols, caffeine, and other alkaloids. L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea which calms the nervous system, while theophylline, theobromine and caffeine act as stimulants.
Green Tea Diet
A diet is not a tool to lose a lot of weight very quickly. It is a lifestyle. The green tea diet fits the bill for an excellent diet because it only contains three steps. The first is to drink a glass of green tea when you wake up. The second is to drink a glass of green tea before lunch. The third and final step is to drink a glass of green tea before supper. There are several benefits to this diet. It helps you to burn fat at a faster pace than usual due to the caffeine improving your metabolism. It also blocks the absorption of carbohydrates which your body converts to glucose and stores as fat.
What Are the Benefits/Results of Drinking Green Tea?
There are numerous benefits of the green tea diet. These include living longer, supporting your skin during skin exposure, maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin, improving arthritis symptoms and helping you relax by improving your mood. Today we will discuss the best-researched benefits of green tea.
Boost Mental Performance and Brain Function
Stimulants help your brain function better. Caffeine, the main stimulant in tea, is adequate to boost your mental performance without causing jitters or anxiety like coffee often causes. L-theanine increases alertness while relaxing you to help the caffeine increase your focus and improve your brain function. Besides helping you concentrate and be more productive, caffeine improves memory by blocking adenosine receptors which allow your neurons to fire for longer.
Prevent Cognitive Decline
Caffeine is shown to protect your brain in the long term, delaying such diseases as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a leading cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson's kills dopamine-producing neurons in the brain and is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Catechins found in green tea are shown to protect your neurons from damage.
Green tea has caffeine which is proven to increase your body's rate of thermogenesis and burn fat. The green tea diet also allows you to feel more satiated, so you consume fewer calories, have fewer cravings, and maintain higher energy levels which helps you to be more physically active.
Improve Physical Performance
Green tea reduces your reaction time and increases physical endurance and exertion capacity. This means you can exercise longer and harder simply by drinking tea. These effects come from both caffeine and other ingredients in the tea. It also mobilizes your triglycerides making them more readily available to be used as fuel. The antioxidants found in green tea also help to prevent tissue damage during your workouts.
Prevent Illness and Infection
Green tea contains bioactive compounds with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. The green tea diet does not just improve your dental health by killing bacteria in your mouth, it also inhibits bacterial and viral infections in your nasal passages such as the flu or common cold, alleviate symptoms if you do fall ill, and reduces the bacteria in your bloodstream.
The green tea diet is ideal for individuals with irritable bowel disease (IBD) and other gastrointestinal conditions. The two types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Chron's disease, and they are caused by gut inflammation. Green tea also improves bowel health and aids digestion.
A common myth is that any beverage containing caffeine dehydrates you. This is false. While caffeine is a diuretic, so is water and no doctor advises you to not drink water because it will dehydrate you. There is more than enough water in tea to mitigate the chance of dehydration from the caffeine. Research shows there is no significant difference between tea and water in maintaining hydration.
Just as the green tea diet improves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome which is caused by inflammation, it reduces other instances of inflammation in your body as well. Many people live with daily pain from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the spine. Pain can particularly flare up when there are significant barometric pressure shifts such as before a rainstorm or when the fall or winter comes. Drinking green tea will reduce such pains in your joints.
Protect Your Skin
The green tea diet allows you to delay the signs of aging such as wrinkles because of the antioxidant properties of green tea fight damage caused by free radicals. Its anti-inflammatory properties prevent skin damage from environmental stressors. It reduces the irritation and redness that come along with psoriasis and the redness associated with rosacea. Furthermore, EGCG and other polyphenols in green tea support cellular DNA and skin cells against the harmful rays of the sun. Since polyphenols accumulate in the skin, the more frequently you drink green tea, the more significant the protection you are afforded.
L-theanine increases the production of alpha waves in the brain and dopamine levels which reduce depression, decrease stress, and help you relax. It also increases the activity of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter which reduces your anxiety.
Protect Your Heart
As discussed, the green tea diet helps you to burn fat including fat around your vital organs such as your heart. Furthermore, it helps to regulate your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The antioxidants in green tea protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation which is a major cause of heart disease. Green tea also mitigates your risk for strokes or other blood vessel and heart diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (the narrowing and hardening of your arteries due to fat, cholesterol, plaque and other arterial wall build-ups).
Favorite Green Tea Recipes
There are many ways to consume green tea as part of your green tea diet. Here are our favorite recipes.
Iced Green Tea With Mint and Honey
To make this tea, you will need:
Bring four cups of water to a boil, then remove from heat adding two mint sprigs and tea bags. Cover the saucepan and let the tea brew for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the mint and tea bags and stir in the honey until it is dissolved. In a large pitcher, add two cups each of cold water and ice and the green tea mixture. Combine by stirring well and chill until cold. Serve over ice with a mint sprig and lemon slice.
Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
Sometimes, after a workout, all you want is a smoothie. Matcha is a premium green tea powder unique to Japan steeped in unparalleled tradition including meditation and has 15 times the nutritional value of green tea. Each tea leaf is hand-selected and ground into a fine powder, so you are consuming the entire leaf rather than allowing a portion of it to infuse into the water and then discarding the rest. Here is how to make the best Matcha green tea smoothie for your green tea diet. First, gather the ingredients.
Combine the Matcha powder and banana in a blender and add the milk or dairy alternative along with the vanilla if you would like. Blend until the mixture is even and smooth and stop to stir if necessary. Serve and enjoy. Do not purchase over three months worth of powder at a time as it is best when consumed fresh.
Green tea contains many health benefits including protecting your neurons from degeneration, improving your metabolism and helping you focus. The green tea diet allows you to enjoy all of these benefits by simply drinking three cups of green tea daily. You can enjoy hot green tea sweetened with simple sugar, honey or agave nectar or iced green tea with lemon and mint. You can also drink smoothies made with Matcha powder, which is 15 times more effective than brewing green tea.