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Secret Effects of Drinking Green Tea, Says Science

It's as healthy as you think it is!
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Tea, in all of its varieties, is well-known as being one of the healthiest beverages you can have. In fact, besides water, it's the second most widely-consumed beverage throughout the world and is well-touted for its numerous benefits. Green tea, in particular, is well known for having a few incredible health benefits—but have you heard of these secret effects of drinking green tea before?

While green tea is regularly used as a caffeine-filled way to wake up or as a social drink in many cultures, there are a few other health benefits that many of its regular consumers don't know about. Here's what you need to know, and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

It can reduce your risk of cancer.

green tea
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There are a lot of things we know not to do to avoid our risk of getting cancer—don't smoke, protect yourself from the sun, and avoid cancer-causing chemicals. But there are also some things that you can do to help avoid cancer, including drinking green tea.

According to a study published by the journal BioFactors, participants who drank 10 or more cups of green tea a day showed a "decreased relative risk of cancer incidence." Drinking green tea also helps lower the risk of heart disease, according to the same study.

10 cups a day—isn't that a lot? A typical 8 oz. cup of green tea contains 35 milligrams of caffeine. This means 10 cups of green tea would equate to 350 milligrams of caffeine, which is still under the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommended daily limit of 400 milligrams a day.

If you plan on adding green tea into your routine, instead of brewing individual cups, make a pitcher of unsweetened iced green tea to have in your fridge when you're ready for a drink.

2

It can boost your brain health.

green tea leaves
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Between meditating, studying, and staying well-rested, there's a lot of things we do to make sure we're mentally at our best. Another way to help ensure that our brains are healthy is by drinking tea according to Heather Hanks, a nutritionist with Life Insurance Star.

"Green tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine that helps stabilize mood and help you concentrate better," Hanks says.

A study published in the journal Phytomedicine also attributed drinking green tea with the reduction of anxiety, benefits in memory and attention, and more efficient brain function. So if you're feeling extra crabby, or like you can't focus, try drinking a cup of green tea to help you get your mental health back in balance.

3

It may help you lose weight.

pouring green tea
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Commonly, when someone wants to lose weight they'll cut out unhealthy foods from their diet and work out regularly, but there's another step that anyone who is looking to drop a few pounds should take—drinking a few cups of green tea per day.

"Green tea is a powerful weight loss aid," says Sofia Popov, a gut health scientist and the founder of GUTXY. "Rich in polyphenols, drinking a couple of cups of green tea a day should boost metabolism and lead to significant weight loss."

While tea may contribute to weight loss, it could also tip the scales in the opposite direction depending upon what's added to it—if there's too much sugar or milk added to your tea that, of course, would result in weight gain.

4

It can strengthen your gums.

green tea cup
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Green tea has been proven in a study from the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology to be beneficial for dental health, and can even reduce halitosis—also known as chronic bad breath. More specifically, the study shows that drinking green tea can be a practical method for the prevention of periodontal disease, a gum disease that damages the soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports the teeth.

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Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance food writer. Read more
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