How Much Antioxidants In Green Tea?
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
If you’re looking to improve your health, then you may want to start by drinking green tea.
It’s loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols, and other potent compounds that could do everything from preventing heart diseases to fighting cancer.
However it’s not just limited to your heart or cancer prevention…
Green tea may also improve brain function, kidney health, and weight loss.
But what makes green tea so powerful?
The Power of Green Tea
Green tea, which is an ancient drink popular in China and other Asian countries, is the second most consumed beverage in the world.
Next to water, there are more people drinking green tea than ever before.
And for good reason! Green tea has quite the nutrient profile that could do wonders for improving your overall health.
Now, before you think that green tea is just another drink, let’s clarify:
Unlike other drinks that lose their powerful health benefits when heat is applied … green tea is different.
Many of the powerful compounds in green tea make it in your cup each and every morning.
And to say these compounds are important would be an understatement. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and tannins.
In fact, almost 30 percent of green tea may be polyphenols, making it one the highest antioxidant-rich tea leaf around.
Green tea also contains one of the most widely researched nutrients on the face of the earth, EGCG. This powerful catechin may lower your risk for heart disease, improve brain function, boost your weight loss, and detox your body.
And catechins, like EGCG, may prevent cell damage and reduce your risk for free radical damage.
Free radicals, which are byproducts of normal metabolism, may speed up aging and damage healthy cells in your body.
Without the powerful compounds found in green tea, you may be susceptible to many different diseases associated with free radicals damage.
But it’s not just about preventing diseases…green tea does a so much more for your body…
The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
Although there are many benefits you may get from drinking green tea, the benefits listed below could do wonders for your body, and add many years to your life.
The benefits of drinking green tea may include:
1. Improved Brain Health
If you’re looking to improve your brain health, then drinking green tea may help.
Caffeine is one of the main ingredients found in green tea. Although it doesn’t come close to coffee, you may get a rush of energy, without the “jitters’ you may get from other caffeinated beverages.
So how does the caffeine in green tea protect your brain? Studies show the caffeine in green tea may block adenosine, a type of neurotransmitter in your body. The higher the levels of adenosine, the more fatigue you may have.
By blocking adenosine, the neurons in your brain may fire more rapidly, and you may see a skyrocketing level of dopamine and norepinephrine.
This could improve brain function, strengthen your memory and concentration, and could even prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s from occurring.
But it’s not all due to the caffeine…
Green tea also contains L-thealine, which could increase the powerful neurotransmitter, GABA in your brain. GABA has been shown to reduce anxiety, which could improve mood and overall brain function.
2. Increased Weight Loss
Everyone wants to lose weight. They search high and low for natural therapies for boosting both weight loss and metabolic rate.
Studies show that green tea may actually aid in your weight loss efforts. One study concluded that green tea may boost your metabolism by 4 percent.
Even though this doesn’t seem like a very big jump, an increase as little as 4 percent over time, could lead to a tremendous amount of weight loss.
Another study showed that green tea was able to increase fat oxidation (fat-burning) by as much as 17 percent.
Studies have also shown that the caffeine found in green tea may actually increase the mobilization of fatty acids from your cells, enabling them to be used as a source of energy.
3. Diabetes Prevention
There are over 400 million people that are impacted by diabetes. And there may be even more that are suffering from diabetes—and don’t even know it.
Diabetes is a disease associated with excessively high blood sugar levels. This could be due to insulin resistance, or an inability of your body to produce insulin.
But there is hope …
Studies have shown that green tea may increase insulin sensitivity, and may also lower blood sugar levels.
One study showed that those who drank green tea had a 42 percent lower risk for developing diabetes compared to non-tea drinkers.
4. Improves Mortality
As you get older, your risk for dying from different diseases or illnesses increases substantially.
However, those who drink green tea may have a slight advantage.
Studies show that those who drink green tea were less likely to die, than those who didn’t drink green tea!
In fact, green tea drinkers had:
• A reduced risk for death from all causes (23% in women, and 12% on men)
• A reduced risk for death from heart disease (31% in women, and 22% in men)
• A reduced risk for death from a stroke (42% in women, and 35% in men)
As you can see, drinking green tea may lower your risk for death, which could help you live a much longer, healthier life.
5. Protects You From Heart Disease
Heart disease kills more people each year than cancer and diabetes. The fact is, over 700,000 people will have a heart attack this year, and many of them will die.
Studies show that the antioxidants found in green tea may lower your risk for heart disease by reducing specific risk factors.
The catechin EGCG has been shown to lower LDL and triglyceride levels, therefore protecting your heart from potential damage.
Plus, green tea may increase the antioxidant levels in your body, which could prevent your LDL cholesterol from oxidation (often the first step in heart disease).
The Take Home Message
Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. It’s loaded with powerful compounds, antioxidants, polyphenols, and catechins that could improve your health and lower your risk for many different diseases.
How much antioxidants in green tea? Studies show that green tea contains 30 percent antioxidants by weight, making it one of the strongest drinks around. By drinking green tea, you could drastically change your health, prevent many chronic diseases, and boost your weight loss by flushing your body with the powerful antioxidant compounds your body needs.
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato