Is your cholesterol level high? Did your doctor tell you that your lipid panel is abnormal? If so, meet your new best friend: Green tea.
Researchers analyzed data from 14 research papers published between 1967 and 2010 and concluded that cumulatively, drinking green tea or taking green tea supplements significantly decreased levels of total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol in participants. This effect seems to hold true no matter what how much green tea consumed, for how long, or the health status of the individual. HDL (high-density lipoprotein or “good”) cholesterol level, however, was not affected by green tea consumption.
If you have too much LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of arteries and form hard plaques in your blood vessels; this puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it’s packaged to be eliminated from the body. Reducing your blood lipids by 1 percent lowers chances of having a heart attack by 3 percent.
Traditionally, green tea is not fermented, which means it’s full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and flavonoid-like polyphenol compounds including catechins. Catechins are found mostly in teas derived from the tea-plant, but fermenting the tea (such as black tea) reduces the level of these compounds.
Top five reasons to include green tea in your diet:
- May help you curb fat and salt cravings and be useful if you are trying to lose weight.
- Reduce risk of gum disease.
- Helps your skin stay younger by improving skin elasticity and fighting wrinkles.
- May help you lose weight by replacing high-calorie beverages like sodas and juices.
- Green tea’s mild caffeine boost can help you up your stamina during a workout.