When it comes to the healthiest teas you can drink, green tea has been on everyone’s radar for some time now. There are numerous benefits to drinking green tea, but one that commands the most attention is its high levels of antioxidants, which fight free radicals that damage cells and can lead to many types of cancers.
This fact alone is reason enough to brew a warm cup of green tea, but there’s even more to love about this mostly decaffeinated tea: it will boost your metabolism.
Thanks to a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea, this tea type has been the focus of several studies that have been able to link it to an increase in metabolism.
According to one study: “Dose-response relationships observed in several epidemiological studies have indicated that pronounced cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits can be obtained by regular consumption of 5-6 or more cups of green tea per day. Furthermore, intervention studies using similar amounts of green tea, containing 200-300 mg of EGCG, have demonstrated its usefulness for maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health. Additionally, there are numerous in vivo studies demonstrating that green tea and EGCG exert cardiovascular and metabolic benefits in these model systems. Therefore, green tea and EGCG can be regarded as food components useful for the maintenance of cardiovascular and metabolic health.”
Drinking a cup of hot green tea in the morning, before or with breakfast, can speed up your metabolism and help you burn more fat and calories with less work needed to do so. It won’t necessarily cause you to lose weight — other dietary changes will be necessary if that’s your goal. But it adds to your diet as a healthy, natural aid that burns abdominal fat — an area that is linked to health conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
As we age, the health of our bones becomes equally important and osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone density, can become a major concern for many women. Luckily, drinking tea can help offset osteoporosis — and green tea is a winner in this area.
"Ingestion of green tea and green tea bioactive compounds may be beneficial in mitigating bone loss of this population and decreasing their risk of osteoporotic fractures," according to a study.
Yet another reason to add green tea to your daily regimen.
How much green tea should you drink to optimize its benefits? Many experts agree that consuming anywhere from two to five cups of green tea daily is perfectly healthy and will provide an abundance of antioxidants and EGCG.
Keep in mind that green tea isn’t completely free of caffeine. One 8 ounce cup of green tea contains 35mg of caffeine, which is half the amount found in black tea, but it can add up. All the more reason to incorporate green tea into your morning meal plan (and not right before bed).