by ethicalDeal guest blogger Doug Stewart
(Photo by vordichtung, via Creative Commons)
Green tea has been consumed for centuries in Asia, and in the West it’s slowly supplanting black tea as a drink of choice. Green tea has been studied for its purported health benefits including:
- reduced risk for skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder cancer
- reduced risk of heart disease
- lowered risk of hypertension (high blood pressure)
- increased metabolic rate for weight loss
Although many of the claims are controversial, the Western medical community is slowly allowing green tea and its extracts into mainstream medicine. We’re starting to understand that there is no real downside, and a potentially huge upside.
Now we can add another benefit of green tea to the list – improved sleep.
All teas contains a substance called l-theanine, the concentration of which is especially high in most green teas. Theanine is an amino acid that plays an important role in relaxation and healthy sleep, and you’ll find it in many sleep supplements. Theanine’s documented effects include better focus and concentration, in addition to reduced mental and physical stress. It’s like nature’s antidepressant!
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, know that green tea averages about 25mg of caffeine per 8oz cup (more caffeine the longer you brew it), while coffee generally ranges from 50-150mg per cup. If you cut off caffeinated drinks by mid-afternoon, you should be fine.
So if you like the focus and mental clarity that coffee gives you, but want a calming, tranquilizing effect without the more intense caffeine hit, give green tea a try. You may be helping a whole lot more than your sleep…
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