What pairs well with sushi, can have a lightly sweet flavor; when brewed right, and has been consumed for hundreds of years for its health benefits? If you guessed green tea, you’re correct!
Green tea has been speculated to have been around as early as 600 AD, but has definitely existed since 1191 AD when a Zen priest described how drinking it might positively affect five vital organs in the human body. This favorite health elixir of countless people has grown much in popularity since its days of mainly being found in the hands of sushi connoisseurs or Zen Buddhist monks.
While green tea contains health properties that can be good for just about anyone, there are three specific health benefits that aging men and women will want to pay attention to.
Green Tea Improves Memory and Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
Memory loss can start as early as the age of 45, and more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. One out of ten people who are 65 years or older have Alzheimer’s, and almost two-thirds of Americans with the disease are women.
Green tea increases the brain’s connectivity or, more specifically, the connectivity between the frontal cortex of the brain and the right superior parietal lobule an important study done by The University of Basel in Switzerland uncovered. The participants of the study who consumed green tea, rather than a placebo made to taste similar, demonstrated improved performance when working on memory-related tasks, and brain scans clearly showed improvement in areas of the brain that are related to memory.
It has also been discovered that green tea, specifically, slows the growth of the kind of plaque that causes Alzheimer’s in patient’s brains. Laboratory results from scientists from the University of Michigan were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and researchers from the team, including chemists, biochemists, and biophysicists, discovered that Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, also known as EGCG, is the specific molecule inside of the tea that is responsible for this incredible finding. They hope to continue their research in order to find out more about what this might mean for the future of natural remedies, such as green tea, for Alzheimer’s patients.
Green Tea Prevents Stroke
Over 140,000 people die every year in the U.S.A due to having a stroke making it the third leading cause of death in the United States. The chance of having a stroke more than doubles for every decade after the age of 55, and three-fourths of strokes happen to people who are older than 65.
Green tea can prevent stroke by as much as 20% says a study published in the American Heart Association journal, that included 82,369 Japanese men and women aged between 45–74 years old. The same study found that higher green tea consumption was associated with inverse risks of stroke, which means the more green tea a person drinks; the less likely they are to suffer from a stroke. Dr. Yoshihiro Kokubo, the lead author of the study, stated in an interview performed by npr.org, that “green tea contains compounds known as catechins, which help regulate blood pressure and help improve blood flow.” These properties along with the anti-inflammation abilities found in green tea are believed to be, at least, partially responsible for its stroke fighting reputation.
Green Tea Can Help With Weight Loss
Whether it is due to a slowed down metabolism, loss of muscle mass, or lack of sleep, the truth is as men and women age it gets more and more difficult to lose weight. The good news is that studies are showing that green tea can be helpful for weight loss with people of all ages but that it also contains some specific benefits for elderly people aiming to shed some pounds.
A very interesting study demonstrated the effectiveness of green tea for elderly people who suffer from metabolic syndrome (MS). In the study, 45 elderly people were separated into two groups; one group that drank three cups of green tea a day, and one group that was instructed to make no lifestyle changes, at all. The group who drank the green tea lost weight, while the other group did not. There was also a reduction in BMI and waist circumference in the green tea group.
Green tea improved fat loss in obese men in another important study that was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the fact that green tea increases weight loss through thermogenesis and fat oxidation was proved by this study done by the Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
If you’re a senior who is looking to lose weight, you might want to start brewing up a nice cup of green tea, now.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Green Tea
First of all, the kind of tea that you find sold in stores already in the bottle or in a glass container will not contain many, if any, of the health benefits found inside of green tea. It has usually been over-processed and is accompanied by loads of sugar that won’t do you any good either. The best way to get as many of the health benefits of green tea as possible is to brew it yourself. Before you do, you need to know that green tea should not be brewed as hot as other beverages like coffee, herbal tea, or black tea. Doing so destroys many of the antioxidants and other healthy components found inside of it. You don’t want to steep your green tea in boiling water and, in fact, the optimal temperature for brewing it is somewhere between 140°F – 185°F for 2 to 5 minutes.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you are taking high blood pressure drugs, blood thinning preparations, antibiotics, or cardiovascular drugs, you should consult with your doctor before adding green tea to your diet. Green tea also contains caffeine, which some people may want to avoid, as well.
Memory loss from aging can start as early as 45: Study, Cbsnews.com
2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alz.org
Green tea may boost our working memory, Medicalnewstoday.com
Green tea extract interferes with the formation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease, Ns.umich.edu
Stroke Statistics, Strokecenter.org
The Impact of Green Tea and Coffee Consumption on the Reduced Risk of Stroke Incidence in Japanese Population, Ahajournals.com
A Daily Habit Of Green Tea Or Coffee Cuts Stroke Risk, Npr.org
Effect of green tea (Camellia sinensis) consumption on the components of metabolic syndrome in elderly., Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and postprandial fat oxidation in overweight/obese male volunteers: a pilot study, Nature.com
Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation., Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
How to Drink Green Tea Without Sugar, Healthyeating.sfgate.com