Is Green Tea Really THAT Good for You --and Why, Exactly?

Sometimes, advice for healthy eating makes my head spin. New trends and old advice from trusted sources seem to send me in different directions, and I’m not sure what to trust. Is coconut oil ‘bad for you’ because it’s high in saturated fat, or maybe it’s ‘good for you’ because the medium-chain triglycerides increase fat-burning and lower HDL (bad) cholesterol? Some people take an ounce of cider vinegar (an acid) every day for their health, and other people drink only ‘kangen’ water (water processed to lower its acidity) — also for their health! I get so confused trying to figure it all out, I usually give up, and go back to my Mom’s advice: more veggies, less sugar, a little of everything, not too much of anything.

The cool thing is that there is lots of well-researched information that proves that green tea really is ‘good for you,’ and has very few health risks. People ask me all the time about the health benefits of green tea, and I’m glad that I can honestly answer ‘YES!’ it really is THAT good for you…and here’s why:

Green tea – especially powdered Sencha or matcha tea– is packed with powerful antioxidants, and reduces inflammation in our bodies.

To quote a medical study published on the National Institutes of Health website: Through cellular, animal, and human experiments, green tea and its major component, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) have been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory effects. Our previous findings have indicated that green tea and EGCG suppress the gene and/or protein expression of inflammatory cytokines and inflammation-related enzymes.

Ok, I admit that’s a lot of pretty complex medical talk, but the key point is clear – the main anti-inflammatory component in green tea, EGCG, works at the genetic level in our cells to suppress inflammation. Many of the most common and worrisome health conditions we all want to avoid are caused by inflammation in the body: cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia-related diseases. Reducing inflammation is an important way to support our health.

Is there such a thing as ‘too much’ green tea? Remember my mom’s advice – not too much of anything? While green tea is very safe, it’s true that you can get ‘too much of a good thing,’ but that’s mostly if you’re taking concentrated green tea extracts, versus actual brewed or powdered green tea. At very high doses, some of the components of green tea can be hard on your liver. Also, green tea is quite low in caffeine, but for caffeine-sensitive people, more than 3 servings of matcha (the variety with the highest caffeine content) may cause a reaction. In all of my research, every expert seems to agree that 2-3 servings of powdered green tea per day is safe for just about anyone. It’s nice to know!

Reference:  Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea

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