What Is a Green Tea Detox?
You’ve heard that green tea boasts plenty of health benefits and there are some folks out there who swear by a green tea detox to cleanse their body.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea comes from a shrub called Camellia sinensis, using the leaf bud, leaf and stem. These parts are steamed, fried in a pan and then dried. The tea drink is prepared by steaming the tea leaves at high temperatures. Making tea this way enables green tea to hold on to its polyphenols, which is the magic ingredient that seems to give green tea all of its health benefits.
Green Tea vs Black Tea
Green tea is not that much different than black tea. They’re both made from Camellia sinensis; the dried leaves and leaf buds from this plant produce a few varieties of tea. To produce green tea, tea makers halt the oxidation process, so the leaves keep their green colour.
What Are Polyphenols?
A lot of the goodness in green tea comes from polyphenols. They’re a chemical component in plants that are linked to the antioxidant properties in green tea. Polyphenols are versatile and depending on the type, polyphenols may be able to prevent inflammation and swelling, decrease bad cholesterol, protect cartilage and lessen joint degeneration. There are also indications that polyphenols may be able to fight HPV infections and reduce the growth of mutated cells in the cervix, although research has not figured out how or why this happens.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Many people use green tea to cleanse their body. Your body already has a natural ability to detox, but the ingredients in green tea give it a bit of help. Others will turn to a green tea detox to boost energy and promote better overall health. Some more folks start a green tea detox to clear up blemishes and help immunity. A green tea detox is likely safe for most adults when consumed in moderate amounts and research into the effectiveness of green tea detox is ongoing.
What to Know About Green Tea Detox
Detox refers to the way the body’s systems are designed to eliminate toxins from the body; it’s anything that needs to be cleared out and includes environmental, chemical, excess medication, or other harmful substances. A green tea detox is as simple as adding between 1 liter to 1 and a half liters of brewed green tea to your diet throughout the day. You can continue the detox for several weeks but be sure to do your research and be well informed before starting any cleanse. The antioxidant properties of polyphenols in the green tea will impact your liver, an organ that is majorly responsible for natural detox in the body.
Why Is Green Tea Detox Used?
Green tea detoxes are used for short term weight loss. Certain products added to the green tea help flush out the body. These can be diuretic ingredients, such as nettle or dandelion leaves, or laxatives, such as Senna leaf. While green tea assists the liver and the detox process, it does not increase fat burning. Rather, weight temporarily decreases because of loss of body waste and water weight.
Some people use green tea to prevent various cancers, to fight human papilloma virus (HPV), Parkinson’s disease, heart diseases, diabetes, low blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), dental cavities, kidney stones and skin damage.
Pros of a Green Tea Detox
There are many reasons that people start a green tea detox, which include:
- Antioxidants to help your body continue to function normally
- A healthy addition to your diet
- A lower caffeine count and higher antioxidant count than black tea. Green tea contains only 2% to 4% of caffeine.
- Helping your liver properly detoxify your body. Your liver needs antioxidants to stay in balance and keep doing its job properly.
- Increasing enzyme activity of the liver
- Lowering the risk of liver disease
- Improving mental alertness and thinking
- Stimulating the nervous system, heart and muscles by increasing the release of neurotransmitters
- Increasing urine to help flush out the body
Cons of Green Tea Detox
As with any changes to the diet, there are some cons to keep in mind with green tea detox as it:
- Is possibly unsafe when taken in high doses
- May cause side effects because of the caffeine which can range from mild to serious. These side effects can include headaches, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, tinnitus and confusion.
- Seems to reduce iron absorption and may make anemia worse
- May make anxiety worse
- May affect blood sugar control for those with diabetes
- Increases pressure inside the eye
- May interfere with some medications
Is a Green Tea Detox Effective?
There is some scientific evidence that drinking green tea has benefits. It helps to improve thinking skills, lower cholesterol and other fats, and it may help delay Parkinson’s disease. It may also help prevent cancer of the bladder, esophagus and pancreas. There is not enough information to say if green tea is effective for other conditions.
A green tea detox is not for everyone. Adding green tea to your diet to cleanse out the body may be just what you need to flush out your system, but make sure that you start this cleanse aware of any risks.