From Dr. Mercola:

By Dr. Mercola

When you’re thirsty, pure water is always a good choice, but sometimes you may be craving something different – a cool refreshment on a hot summer day or a warm mug to sip on when temperatures plummet. Green tea fits the bill in both cases and, even better, provides significant benefits to your health.

You’re probably already aware that green tea is healthy… but you may be surprised to learn just how healthy it actually is. Green tea is one beverage you can feel good about enjoying even multiple times a day.

9 Health Benefits of Green Tea

1. Bioactive Compounds with Medicinal Properties

Green tea is rich in naturally occurring plant compounds called polyphenols, which can account for up to 30 percent of the dry leaf weight of green tea.

Within the group of polyphenols are flavonoids, which contain catechins. One of the most powerful catechins is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to positively impact a number of illnesses and conditions.

2. Improve Brain Function

Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has psychoactive properties. Theanine increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and alpha wave activity, and may reduce mental and physical stress and produce feelings of relaxation.1

Theanine may also help to prevent age-related memory decline2 and has been shown to affect areas of your brain involved in attention and complex problem-solving.3

3. Increase Fat Burning and Weight Loss

There is some evidence that long-term consumption of green tea catechins is beneficial for burning fat and may work with other chemicals to increase levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis.

In one recent study, men who took a green tea extract reduced their body fat by 1.63 percent and increased their fat oxidation rates by 25 percent compared to those taking a placebo.4 And according to research in Physiology & Behavior:

Positive effects on body-weight management have been shown using green tea mixtures. Green tea, by containing both tea catechins and caffeine, may act through inhibition of catechol O-methyl-transferase, and inhibition of phosphodiesterase.

Here the mechanisms may also operate synergistically. A green tea-caffeine mixture improves weight maintenance, through thermogenesis, fat oxidation, and sparing fat free mass… 

Taken together, these functional ingredients have the potential to produce significant effects on metabolic targets such as thermogenesis, and fat oxidation.”

4. Lower Your Risk of Cancer

Green tea components have been shown to downregulate the expression of proteins involved in inflammation, cell signalization, cell motility, and angiogenesis, while an association between green tea intake and decreased risk of cancers (including ovarian and breast5) have been reported.6

Women who drank more than three cups of green tea a day also had a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence,7 and previous research has shown green tea polyphenols act on molecular pathways to shut down the production and spread of tumor cells.8

They also discourage the growth of the blood vessels that feed the tumors. EGCG even acts as an antiangiogenic and…

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