Reviewed by Veena Angle, MBBS, MD and Physician Chu I Ta
Green Tea Benefits for a Healthier Digestive System
Published | 6 min read
There are many green tea benefits for the digestive system, including weight loss. Learn several unique ways to enjoy green tea.
Maybe it’s time to trade in your morning coffee for a cup of green tea. If you enjoy coffee, that may sound shocking. Why would you trade in your cup of Joe for green tea? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are many more green tea benefits than coffee benefits. And, you can still get your caffeine boost.
What exactly is green tea? Green tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Farmers steam the tea leaves immediately upon harvest to prevent fermentation.
Steaming the leaves destroys the enzymes that break down the color pigments in the leaves. This enables the tea to maintain its green color. Then the leaves are rolled and dried to preserve the polyphenols, a natural compound found in plant-based foods. This method of processing the leaves preserves the many health benefits of green tea.
Read on to learn why you should try green tea and enjoy some green tea benefits.
Green Tea Benefits for Your Digestive System
Polyphenols, the predominant natural compound in tea leaves, improve the health of your digestive system. It also reduces your risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.
“Green tea is classified as cool in nature, sweet and bitter in flavor, and influences the heart, lungs and stomach meridians in TCM. These indications show that green tea reflects the functions of relieving headaches, toothaches, and irritation. It is also capable of resolving phlegm, enhancing food digestion, treating diuresis, clearing heat and detoxifying the body, exhibiting anti-aging function, strengthening teeth, and fighting cancer,” explains Chu I Ta, the Chief Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician at Real Health Medical.
1. Green tea promotes weight loss
That’s right, you can drink green tea for weight loss. A study has shown that green tea consumption can help people lose weight by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Another study found that green tea consumption can help to prevent obesity by increasing good bacteria and lowering bad bacteria in the gut.
Use the soft infusion method and steep a bag of green tea leaves for approximately 3 minutes in warm water. To enjoy your cup of tea chilled, you can refrigerate it right after steeping. For a stronger caffeine effect, you may also choose to use 2 teabags. For a sweeter alternative, you can brew a cup of jasmine tea based on green tea leaves.
2. Regular consumption of green tea can help to prevent different digestive system cancers
The polyphenols in green tea also demonstrate antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic activities that can help to protect against cancers caused by environmental agents. These include cancers of the colon, mouth, pancreas, small intestine, and stomach.
Kombucha green tea is a mildly sweet and sour-flavored beverage. It is manufactured through a natural process involving the fermentation of green tea in urns without adding any yeast for 10 to 12 months. Give this fizzy tea a try and enjoy some green tea benefits.
3. Green tea can help to protect against liver diseases
Similarly, green tea consumption can inhibit the multiplication of fat-storing cells in the liver, which helps to prevent liver fibrosis (permanent scarring of liver tissue) in chronic liver diseases.
4. It has therapeutic effects on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Research has shown that the polyphenols in green tea can reduce the severity of colitis. Colitis is an inflammation of the colon caused by infection or other causes.
Consuming green tea decreases disease activity and inhibits the inflammatory response in chronic inflammatory diseases. Avoid taking green tea with foods that are yin (cold) or bitter in nature. Similarly, women who are experiencing a heavy menstrual flow should avoid drinking green tea as it can increase their risk of iron-deficiency anemia.
Unique Ways to Brew Green Tea for Maximum Health Benefits
Green tea can be consumed as a hot or cold beverage and infused into alcoholic beverages. While green tea’s side effects are rare, you shouldn’t consume it more than three times daily. This is due to the caffeine content found in green tea. The amount of green tea consumed should account for not more than half of your daily water intake.
This preparation method involves dipping green tea bags into warm water with a temperature of 167°F to 185°F for 3 to 5 minutes.
In the hard infusion method, you should steep green tea bags in distilled warm water. Your water should have a temperature of 167°F to 185°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Dip green tea bags in distilled water at a room temperature of 77°F to 80°F for 30 to 40 minutes to make an ambient infusion.
For cold infusion, steep green tea bags in distilled water at room temperature for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, place the green tea infusion in the refrigerator for an hour.
A decoction is an extraction method that involves boiling herbal plant material to dissolve its chemical properties. Using this method, place green tea bags or leaves in distilled water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
This method involves the infusion of green tea bags in distilled boiling water before refrigerating for another hour.
To make a chilled cocktail, infuse green tea bags in a concoction made up of distilled water and alcohol. Steep the teabags in the alcohol solution for 15 minutes. Done this before removing them and refrigerating the infusion for an hour.
Creating a hot cocktail involves the infusion of green tea bags in an alcohol solution before heating it to 126°F. Like chilled green tea-infused cocktails, hot green tea cocktails are commonplace in Western and Asian countries.
Pureed green tea is commonly enjoyed in Japan. To make pureed green tea, grind the tea leaves into a fine powder. Then, blend in warm water for 4 to 5 minutes.
The sun-exposed infusion method requires the infusion of green tea bags in distilled water before putting it under direct sunlight. One should leave it out for 3 to 4 hours.
There are many green tea benefits, including the treatment and management of digestive system disorders. However, if you want to avoid caffeine and improve your sleep quality, you can try drinking other types of herbal teas. For example, Rooibos tea is an alternative that can help alleviate a variety of health problems, such as allergies, headaches, insomnia, physical tension, or stomach cramps. If you haven’t tried herbal teas yet, you may want to consider them as part of a healthy diet.
- ResearchGate. 2016. Ten different brewing methods of green tea: comparative antioxidant study. [Accessed 4 November 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2010. Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. [Accessed 4 November 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2010. Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Green Tea Polyphenols. [Accessed 4 November 2021]
- Molecules journal. 2021. Green Tea and Its Relation to Human Gut Microbiome. [Accessed 4 November 2021]
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