It’s a new year and that means that many of us are looking at our health. We all want good health, but if we really want to be healthier in 2018, we need to make some changes to our lifestyle. Some of them may need to be drastic, but some changes can be simple – like drinking more green tea.
Hold on! Don’t click away because I said the dreaded words “green tea.” While my husband loves green tea, I personally can’t stand the taste of it. To me, it tastes like liquid grass. (shudder) However, one thing I have learned is that you can mix green tea with other teas which will mask the flavor while still giving you the health boosts that green tea offers.
Let’s talk first about how green tea is healthy and what it can do to help you have a healthy life.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
You may be wondering why you should drink green tea at all. Does it really do anything for health problems? Yes, it really does! I promise you and I’ll show you just what it can do.
- It protects heart health
The flavonoids and antioxidants in green tea can help with metabolic and cardiovascular health. If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, green tea also has 10 beta-blocking compounds, seven calcium channel blockers and 16 diuretic compounds that can help lower those extremely risky health factors. Finally, it has more ACE-inhibiting properties than other plant food. Those properties increase the amount of blood your heart pumps which can lower your blood pressure.
The flavonoids that green tea has have been known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective.
What does any of that mean for a healthy body? Well, an anti-inflammatory is something that reduces inflammation or swelling.
Anti-thrombogenic means it helps prevent clots from forming in the bloodstream.
I think we all know what anti-diabetic and anti-cancer mean.
And, finally, neuroprotective means it protects nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.
- It Can Boost Your Metabolism
If you’re trying to lose weight this year, you might want to add drinking one cup of green tea a day to your new daily habits. A meta-analysis from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that green tea can reduce body mass index (BMI), weight and waist circumference.
We all know that we need a faster metabolism, especially as we get older (right ladies?). While fitness is equally important, what you put into your body is vital to weight loss or just maintaining a healthy weight.
- It May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss
At the University of Newcastle in 2004, scientists studied green tea and how it affected Alzheimer’s. Apparently, it breaks down acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that is linked to memory. It can also inhibit the enzymes BuChE and beta-secretase which are found in the protein deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Green tea also has antioxidant flavonoids that can protect our brains from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants. Oxidative stress is also found in Alzheimer’s patients.
- It Can Boost Your Immune System
Especially in these winter months, it’s very important that we have healthy vitamins to keep us from getting sick. Green tea has antioxidants that are perfect for boosting our immune system which can ward off infections, as well as improving teeth and gum health.
There are actually a lot more health problems that can be helped by consistently drinking green tea. In some of the above links, you’ll find longer lists with all the health benefits of green tea.
How to Make It Taste Better
There are a LOT of green tea options out there. Yogi Tea happens to be my personal favorite brand of tea and what my husband and I drink every morning (sometimes twice a day). They have tea for almost every need that you want to fix, including weight loss. My husband drinks the Super Antioxidant green tea every day which helps to boost your immune system and prevent you from getting sick. My favorite is the Kombucha tea, which tastes amazing. It has a fruity taste to it and doesn’t taste like grass at all. They have a green tea for muscle recovery, for when you come back from the gym and your weight-lifting routine. And there’s one for energy, which I think we all need sometimes (I know I sure do).
So, one of the ways to make green tea taste better is just to find one that is mixed with other flavors, rather than a straight up green tea. Just remember that not all herbal tea is green tea. Make sure you read the box and find out if it is green tea or another type of tea.
The other way to make green tea taste better is to mix it with another tea. For example, because I do like some caffeine in the morning, I’ll mix one tea bag of Kombucha green tea with one tea bag of Lady Earl Gray tea (a black tea). My husband likes mixing his with Earl Grey tea. You can also (if you want to stay away from black teas which have a higher caffeine level than green teas), mix your green tea with other herbal teas. Most herbal teas help with various health issues. One of my favorites is the Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea which tastes delicious and helps you stay calm and relaxed. Yogi also has things like Caramel Apple Spice Slim Life for helping you to lose weight, Honey Lemon Throat Comfort if you have a cold or a sore throat (or just like honey and lemon), and finally Purely Peppermint, simply because I love peppermint flavors in anything. But even if you don’t use Yogi, there are plenty of tea companies out there that offer different teas that will help you achieve what you need to for natural health.
I hope this article about health really helps inspire you to make 2018 a healthier you and that my advice will actually come in handy!
Please post in the comments below about your favorite green tea and how you drink it!