Health Benefits Of Green Tea
Green tea is rich in protective polyphenols, including catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These serve as powerful antioxidants that protect the body from disease.
1. Green tea can help treat acne. You know it as an ingredient in your beloved undereye serums and Korean sheet masks, but is green tea actually good for your skin? Some studies suggest that consuming green tea and applying it to the skin may help reduce sebum production-an oily material produced by your body’s sebaceous glands that can lead to clogged pores-and treat common types of acne. However, more research is needed to properly assess the effects of green tea in skin health.
2. May lower blood pressure. Some studies have found that green tea consumption significantly lowers blood pressure, while other studies have come to conflicting conclusions. “According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a few studies suggest that green tea may have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There are many limitations to these findings, such as differences in study populations and data analysis, so the NIH has stated that no definitive conclusions have been made regarding the cardiovascular health benefits of green tea.
3. You may have heard that green tea is associated with weight loss, and to some extent that is true. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and even black tea, but still enough to have an effect. Research has shown that caffeine reduces perceived exertion – the feeling that your body is working – during exercise. This means that consuming caffeine boosts endurance and allows you to really engage in your workout.
Side Effects of Green Tea
While there are benefits to drinking a steaming cup of green tea, overconsumption can pose a risk to people with certain medical conditions and sensitivities. Here are the side effects of green tea you should watch out for:
1. Dehydration. According to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 80% of humans’ total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages (including caffeinated beverages). However, green tea is a natural diuretic-a substance that stimulates increased production of urine-which means consuming too much green tea can lead to dehydration, headaches, fatigue, and other health problems.
2. Reduces iron absorption. The polyphenols in tea are considered significant inhibitors of iron absorption, and one study found that excessive consumption of green tea can lead to iron deficiency.
How much caffeine is in green tea? One cup (eight ounces) of green tea contains about 28 milligrams of caffeine, although different varieties and brands of green tea may contain more or less caffeine. There is ample evidence that mental performance and alertness improve after consuming caffeine.
How much green tea should you drink?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it’s safe to drink eight cups of green tea per day. However, since green tea contains caffeine, keep that in mind if you know the stimulant will disrupt your sleep or cause other problems. “For most people, it’s safe to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day,” Meyer says. “According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, if you exceed that amount, caffeine can cause health problems such as insomnia, anxiety, nausea, headaches, dizziness, restlessness, tremors and heart arrhythmias. If you want to know how much caffeine is in the foods or beverages you consume, visit the International Food Information Council’s caffeine calculator.
Preparing and drinking green tea. If you drink green tea at home, one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of water is the best ratio. Simply take a cup of boiling water and put it in a strainer or tea bag. Let the tea steep for only two to three minutes – if you let it steep longer, the tea will have a harsher, bitter taste. Green tea is traditionally drunk without added sugar or milk, which is easy if you make it at home. But if you want to drink tea on the go, things are different. Many bottled, iced varieties of green tea contain sweeteners, and in addition to the added sugar, these probably lack the flavonoids that green tea is famous for. So if you want to enjoy the most benefits of green tea, hot and fresh tea is best.
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