Being a college student, I know a thing or two about the importance of a cup (or five) of coffee. Until recently, coffee has been my go-to drink of choice. It kept me awake during all my classes and was like a warm hug for mornings where it seemed impossible to get out of bed. The only downside? Sometimes when I drank coffee, it would feel like I was on the brink of having a panic attack. My heart would race and my hands would shake. On top of that, if I tried to have a good ole’ cup of joe to get me through the afternoon, I would not be able to sleep that night. It was time I found a new solution to my lack of energy. After some research, I found a drink that so many celebrities swear by and credit as the secret to their slim figures and youthful glow. The miracle drink is green tea. Whereas coffee is prominently credited to increased energy levels, green tea’s impressive qualities include the power to lower sebum levels and reduce acne, combat sun damage, flatten puffy eyes, and even reverse signs of aging. It is not only the answer to sleepiness and fatigue, but also to healthier skin and bodies!
Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis leaves that originate from China. Green tea leaves contain high levels of polyphenols, essentially macronutrients that come from plants, which are packed with copious amounts of antioxidants that protect against free-radicals, infections, toxins, and even some cancers. Green tea is both inexpensive and can be used in numerous ways to maximize the health benefits.
Green tea comes in your standard tea bag that is filled with dry leaves, and it needs to be brewed in hot water to release all of the health benefits it holds. After you’ve brewed the tea, you can drink it or turn it into a DIY mask. Another form of green tea is widely known as matcha. Matcha is green tea leaves that have been dried and finely ground. This allows you to completely ingest the tea leaves, making matcha much more intense form of green tea with more of the goodness. In comparison, matcha contains 137 times more EGCGs (antioxidants that are up to 50 times stronger than vitamin C and E) than green tea. In order to get the same benefits from green tea that you would from matcha, you would need to drink about 10 cups of green tea to one cup of matcha.
Either way, you enjoy your green tea, they both have immense benefits for your health and skin in general. If you find that you’re under a lot of stress, a cup of green tea can help. The tea lowers cortisol level, which is the stress hormone. Additionally, an amino acid called L-Theanine give you a calming effect, helping you to find your zen and be focused. I find that when I drink coffee and I am stressed out, the negative effects that coffee sometimes has on my body are magnetized so having a caffeinated alternative such as tea is amazing. Green tea is also known to help boost energy levels and shed pounds. It has been clinically proven to boost metabolism and increase the body’s ability to burn fat. The caffeine levels of tea are about a quarter of the amount of coffee. This increases energy and concentration levels without the inevitable crash coffee brings.
Tea also is a superhero for any skin related issues you might have. Free-radicals in the air attack our skin and break down skin cells. This depletes your skin’s elasticity causing sagging and wrinkles. Due to the high levels of antioxidants in green tea, specifically catechins and polyphenols, this magical drink helps our skin cells to fight against the damage of free radicals. Signs of aging are slowed down and skin damage is even reversed. Speaking of damage and aging, pollution in the air is not the only source of free-radical damage. UV rays from the sun can be especially harsh on the skin. No, green tea cannot be a replacement for yourEveryday SPF sunscreen, but it does help to fight off the free radicals and reduce inflammation the sun causes. It can even destroy cancerous skin cells.
In addition to the numerous skincare benefits of green tea, it also helps to combat acne. By drinking green tea or making a DIY mask out of it, your skin produces less sebum, your inflammation levels are reduced, and your immune system gets a nice boost. EGCGs are a potent regulator of hormones, especially male hormones, which cause glands to produce excess sebum. Combine that power with the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of tea, your skin receives love from the inside out.
Finally, green tea bags make for the optimal under eye treatment. If you wake up with puffy under eyes, don’t fret. The caffeine in the tea shrinks the blood vessels, while the tannins restrict capillaries. To do this, place two cold tea bags under your eyes and let them hang out for about 30 minutes. The result? You will look like you just woke up from the best beauty sleep you’ve ever had!
The health benefits of green are too good to pass up! Especially because it can be enjoyed in so many delicious ways -- a traditional brew, with milk or honey, matcha, or even kombucha. Here at White and Elm, we have even installed our own kombucha tap so you can enjoy the benefits of tea while you are looking around our showroom! Do you love green tea? Tell us some of the ways you like the enjoy it in the comments section below!