Green tea has no calories but is rich in nutrients such as polyphenols and minerals. Adding natural honey to green tea multiplies the health benefits.
Depending on your preference, you can drink caffeinated or decaffeinated green tea. Moderate levels of caffeine have been shown to increase concentration and may even help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Unlike black tea, green tea is not exposed to an oxidation process. Typically, the fresh leaves of the plant are picked, dried in the sun or hot air (this stops their fermentation), pressed, and then crushed to be sold as is The benefits of green tea with honey are diverse, let’s see it in detail…
I. Benefits of green tea
Green tea, one of the best-known medicinal plants, was drunk for medicinal purposes as early as 5,000 years ago in Japan and China.
The benefits of green tea with honey and its possible uses are so diverse and comprehensive that we cannot summarize them in a few words. Let’s see the most known benefits of green tea:
1. Lowers cholesterol levels
Green tea has the ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
2. Strengthens the immune system
The antioxidant content of green tea, in addition to the vitamins and minerals it contains, makes it a very good health ally for the immune system.
With a high concentration of vitamin C, green tea strengthens the immune system against colds, flu, and other infections.
3. Can help to lose weight
If you want to lose weight while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible, it is important to lose body fat first.
Not only does green tea taste good, but it also contains almost no calories. If you drink it without sugar or similar, it can help you maintain a low-calorie count and provide energy at the same time.
4. Promotes sports performance
After strenuous exercise, the body often has inflammatory reactions. Green tea flavonoids like catechin EGCG fight this inflammation. It also fights toxins and oxidation in the muscles.
And drinking green tea before training gives a stimulating effect, dilates the vessels, and thus promotes blood circulation.
5. Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and strengthens brain health
The caffeine in green tea makes us alert because caffeine blocks the brain’s receptors for a neurotransmitter called adenosine – with a noticeable effect. We feel fit and our fatigue is sometimes suppressed.
At the same time, the concentration of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine increases, which produces a mood-enhancing effect.
Green tea has a similar effect to coffee, but without triggering the feeling of nervousness and overexcitement that often sets in after a cup of the hot black drink.
This is partly because green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and partly because green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine.
L-theanine acts directly in the brain on the neurotransmitter GABA, which has an anxiolytic effect. In addition, it increases the production of dopamine and helps the brain to enter a state of concentration.
6. Reduces the risk of cancer
Studies suggest that green tea can help prevent various cancers, especially esophageal cancer.
7. Is a mild pick-me-up
Green tea is an energy drink thanks to the small amount of caffeine it contains and other basic elements.
The main active ingredients in green tea are xanthan bases and polyphenols (flavonoids, catechins, catechic tannins, and phenolic acids).
In the xanthan bases, it contains mainly caffeine (or theine), as well as theophylline, theobromine, adenine, and xanthine.
The most representative flavonoids are kempferol, quercetin and myricetin. In addition, fresh tea leaf is generally rich in catechins, which are polyphenols of the flavanol group, such as epigallocatechin, gallate, and epicatechin.
Catechins are compounds that are oxidized and polymerized in black tea.
8. May help with oral health
Scientific studies on green tea have focused on the antibacterial properties of green tea that could be used to prevent oral infections, in addition to its use to help control bad breath problems.
So, if you suffer from halitosis, it may be a good idea to start drinking green tea to alleviate the effects of this unpleasant problem.
9. Ensures a youthful appearance
Green tea, thanks to its high catechin content, can help prevent aging and improve the appearance of skin and hair.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants which are important for health as they prevent oxidative stress and delay aging.
10. Can help diabetics
If you suffer from diabetes, you should use unsweetened beverages. However, a cup of green tea with honey can be beneficial.
Studies have shown that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood sugar and HgA1C levels, important blood markers of diabetes.
11. May help increase blood flow
Scientists believe that green tea can increase blood flow and thus prevent various heart diseases.
The positive effect on heart disease and its prevention is one of the main reasons why green tea is so popular.
12. Can promote the burning of belly fat
The compounds in green tea stimulate metabolism and promote the conversion of fat into calories. This is why green tea is usually found in commercial fat-burning and weight-loss products.
II. Benefits of honey
Honey is the result of a process carried out by bees that use as raw material the nectar they obtain from flowers, the secretions of living parts of plants, or the excretions of plant-sucking insects (aphids) that mix it with other minor elements and transform it.
1. Can help reduce triglycerides in the body
Triglycerides are the internal enemy that comes from sugar and fat consumed. They are the cause of many health problems ranging from heart risks to the possible development of type 2 diabetes.
However, sugar in honey is a happy exception to the triglyceride rule.
Some studies have shown that eating honey instead of sugar can reduce triglyceride levels. Optimistic studies estimate this difference to be as much as 19% less risk of triglycerides in those who consume honey as a substitute.
2. Honey can reduce coughing
Coughing is a common respiratory problem, especially in children. In the long run, it can affect sleep and overall health.
Many medical cough remedies claim to contain honey to promote themselves for a reason: honey is effective in curing this disease and mitigating its effects.
3. Can help delay aging
Incorporating honey into the daily diet promotes the absorption of calcium and magnesium, and because it contains antioxidants, it delays tissue deterioration due to aging and certain degenerative diseases.
4. Can improve sleep and digestion
Honey also promotes sleep recovery because it helps secrete melatonin.
It is a source of fructooligosaccharides, compounds in honey that behave similarly to vegetable fibers, promoting peristalsis and intestinal motility, thus fighting constipation and promoting the beneficial bacteria of the intestinal microbiota.
All of this promotes good sleep and an efficient digestive system.
5. Can help reduce metabolic stress
Any stress, whether emotional, psychological, or physiological, translates into metabolic stress in the body. One of the functions of the adrenal gland is to produce adrenaline and cortisol, which stimulate the breakdown of muscle proteins into amino acids to make new sugars.
This occurs when the brain thinks it may be running out of fuel, such as during exercise or during nighttime sleep.
Honey can help eliminate many of the toxins created by stress.
6. Honey can help lower blood sugar levels
Although many people think otherwise, the truth is that honey regulates blood sugar. This is because of the balance between glucose and fructose levels.
The fructose drink facilitates the absorption of existing glucose by the liver, creating what is called glycogen. This is a substance that is abundant in the liver and muscles of the body, and when the body needs it, it can be converted into glucose.
In this way, the glycogen passes to the heart, brain, kidneys, and red blood cells. Thus, various studies state that honey does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels.
7. Honey is hydrating
The high moisture concentration of honey not only influences its viscosity, weight, flavor, and color but can also be essential for moisturizing various parts of the body.
For this reason, it is often used as a moisturizer for the hair and scalp.
In this, it is important that honey is not exposed to high temperatures, as its properties can be lost.
III. How to prepare green tea with honey
Proper preparation is just as important to the health benefits of green tea with honey as the quality of the tea itself.
The two most important factors for the health effects are the brewing time and the temperature of the water. This results in significantly different effects.
The ideal water temperature is between 70 and 80 °C. The brewing time varies between 60 seconds and 2 minutes depending on the type of tea.
For the second infusion, use hot water at 80 °C and pour the green tea in immediately.
Green tea should always be fresh and preferably purchased in a sealed, airtight package. It is best to store it in glass containers and prepare it in a porcelain jar.
As far as honey is concerned, it is advisable to delay adding it to green tea as long as possible. It is necessary to wait until the water of the tea returns to the temperature of consumption to add the sweet honey, which must be natural and without food additives.
It is said that heated honey loses most of its properties. A temperature below 40 degrees is ideal. If the tea is hotter, the important enzymes in the honey are destroyed.
IV. Varieties of green tea
Matcha: is green tea ground into a fine powder. It is the type of green tea most used by athletes. It is a fully shaded type of green tea, which produces a particularly large amount of L-theanine and other amino acids, special vitamins (A, E, K), and many other essential nutrients for metabolism.
Gyokuro: The Gyokuro variety of green tea is particularly suitable for nutrient intake and relaxation and regeneration. It is generally one of the three main basic green tea varieties and is considered particularly noble and beneficial.
Sencha: This type of green tea comes from Japan, and its preparation is done without crushing its leaves.
Genmaicha: This is a high-quality bancha green tea mixed with puffed rice. Mild flavor. Long and flat leaves. Excellent ally for weight loss.
Bancha: This other Japanese variety is the variety with the most intense flavor, its aroma is very characteristic and very similar to the typical fresh grass.
Kukicha: The main characteristic of this Japanese variety is that it keeps its antioxidant properties and has a low level of theine.
V. Potential side effects of green tea with Honey
Consuming large amounts of green tea can cause headaches, nervousness, sourness, sleep disturbances, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, dizziness, and sometimes convulsions, which can be dangerous.
Be careful not to mix green tea with medications, drugs, or alcohol in excess. Tea contains caffeine which, when combined with the components of these items, can cause damage to your body, such as accelerating the nervous system.
Green tea and honey are a powerhouse combination that offers a wealth of benefits, both physical and mental. Whether you’re looking to improve your digestion, boost your energy levels, or simply enjoy the many health benefits that this powerful duo has to offer, you won’t be disappointed. So why not give green tea with honey a try today, and start reaping the benefits for yourself?