How can a drink that was discovered hundreds of years ago still be one of the alternative remedies to many of our problems nowadays?
Americans switched from tea to coffee because of taxes. As crazy as that may sound, it's true. The reason behind the massive consumption of coffee in the US has to do with a political conflict that occurred when America was just 13 colonies. Many have heard this story in school before: the British imposed a tax on exported tea products, angering colonials and provoking a boycott on imports. In December 16th, 1773, colonials dumped 343 chests of imported tea into the ocean, resulting in the Boston Tea Party. Thus, drinking tea became an unpatriotic symbol and changed the culture behind consuming it. Centuries later, I have switched from coffee to tea but not because of feudal-tax conflicts between countries. I reduced my consumption of coffee because my stomach felt acidic. Like myself, many out there are focusing on alternative beverages that don't irritate the stomach or provoke ulcers and heartburn problems. To which tea did I switch? Green tea.
Green tea brings many benefits to our body and mind. It's now trending as a detox product, but its usage goes back hundreds of years to southern Asia, where it was used as an alternative medicine. In fact, institutions like the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health are looking into its contribution to battling illnesses like cancer. Cold or hot, green tea causes multiple changes in your body. Here are some of these benefits:
It improves your gut health.
Green tea helps your digestive system greatly. By drinking only two cups a day, it improves your stomach’s ability to break down food. Also, if you turn it into a routine, the tea will help you burn fat, prevent fatty buildup in arteries, and boost your metabolism – no wonder those fitness celebrities on Instagram get paid big bucks to promote tea products. In addition, you will notice a change in your breath since green tea can help the liver stay clean – one of the signs of the detoxifying process.
You feel more relaxed and have more energy.
Green tea was used as a relaxing alternative in ancient times. Its consumption can change aspects of your behavior, like decreasing anxiety by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. And according to the NCCIH, “there’s evidence that green tea enhances mental awareness.”
Your skin will glow.
Green tea helps fight skin papillomas and tumors caused by UVA light. It also hydrates your body, improving your overall appearance and lowering inflammation. Its best benefit is its detoxifying power. Instead of spending money on new products that promise you life-changing results, green tea reduces pores and cleanses impurities for a healthier skin.
It's also good for your brain.
Green tea contains caffeine, but not as much as coffee. The amino acid called L-theanime uses caffeine to boost your brain function. When drinking green tea, you'll notice an improvement in mood, alertness, memory and reaction time. If you drink it before studying or reading a book, chances are you'll retain the information better.
It prevents the signs of aging.
Besides helping us learn and making our skin look radiant, green tea's benefits are associated with aging. As was mentioned above, green tea can prevent wrinkles and signs of aging on your skin. Brain cells die as we age, causing mental illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer's. One of green tea's benefits is preventing brain cells from dying.
There's nothing like a good cup of coffee to start your day, but all of the health benefits associated with green tea will make you rethink your morning routine.
Images by Heather Goodman