A piping hot cup of tea can be incredibly soothing and rejuvenating. While all kinds of teas share common origins from the Camellia sinensis plant, the way they are processed results in different varieties of tea - black, white, oolong, and green tea. Out of these, green tea stands out for its high concentration of powerful antioxidants.
Now, adding a touch of honey to your cup before dipping in the green tea bag can make for an even more flavorful and comforting beverage, which is believed to have therapeutic properties as well.
Green tea boasts an impressive nutritional profile filled with antioxidants called polyphenols. Honey also contains antioxidants in addition to vitamins, enzymes, and antimicrobial effects. Mixing green tea with honey creates a drink brimming with nutritional value that can enhance your overall well-being. Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of this dynamic duo.
Nutritional Value of Green Tea
Green tea originates from the unprocessed leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is the reason behind its higher antioxidant levels compared to other true teas that undergo intensive processing. The polyphenols in green tea include flavonoids like catechins, the most abundant being EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a unique plant compound known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to polyphenols, green tea contains amino acids like L-theanine, vitamins, and minerals like chromium, selenium, magnesium, and more. These are useful for maintaining healthy hormone levels, reducing fatigue, enhancing athletic performance, and stimulating muscle recovery.
In addition to polyphenols, green tea contains amino acids like L-theanine, a unique component that significantly contributes to the tea's stress-reducing properties. Derived from tea leaves, L-theanine promotes relaxation without drowsiness, making green tea an excellent choice for those seeking to alleviate stress while maintaining alertness.
According to a research paper studying the antioxidant effects of green tea, the polyphenols and catechins in green tea have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, anti-obesity, and glucose-lowering properties. The antioxidants help destroy damaging free radicals and may protect against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and more.
Another study showed that patients who drank 3 cups of green tea for 6 months significantly decreased oxidative stress markers compared to those who didn’t. Green tea's antioxidants may also lower LDL cholesterol levels implicated in coronary artery disease, according to an in-depth review published by the National Library of Medicine.
Green tea could also protect brain cells from free-radical damage. A study published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience Journal showed that the antioxidant EGCG found in green tea decreased amyloid plaques and supported cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s.
By scavenging free radicals, green tea's nutritional profile, packed with antioxidants like EGCG and polyphenols, may lower the risk of chronic diseases and boost metabolism. Sipping green tea daily helps increase your antioxidant intake for whole-body benefits.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is a thick, golden-colored liquid produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. It contains about 80% sugar, 18% water, and traces of enzymes, amino acids, minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and antioxidant plant compounds like polyphenols.
Raw, unfiltered honey has the widest range of nutrients. It contains antioxidants like phenolic acids and flavonoids, which may provide anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antiviral, and antibacterial effects, according to a review published in the Central Asian Journal of Global Health.
Specific compounds like pinobanksin, chrysin, hesperetin, and galangin contribute to honey’s antioxidant content. Researchers have found that raspberry honey has the highest radical scavenging activity compared to other floral kinds of honey, according to a study published in Foods Journal.
Drizzling a bit of honey into your green tea adds sweetness and protective antioxidants like polyphenols. Though more research is still needed, many studies suggest honey supports wound healing, soothes coughs, and fights microbes that promote dental plaque.
- Honey’s antioxidant and antimicrobial effects complement the polyphenol content of green tea. Using them together may provide more benefits than either alone. But honey still counts as added sugar, so use it sparingly.
How Green Tea with Honey Can Be the Ultimate Antioxidant Boost
Mixing green tea with honey creates a powerhouse drink full of antioxidants. Here are some of the top ways this duo can boost your health:
1. Strengthens the immune system
Having a strong immune system is key to staying healthy. The antioxidants found in both green tea and honey can help to keep your immune system in top shape. They fight inflammation and free radicals. These are compounds that weaken your body's defenses against illness. The antioxidants also help your immune cells to stay alert and readily respond to invaders like bacteria or viruses.
2. Aids in digestion
Stomach problems often stem from irritation and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. The chemical compounds found in green tea and honey can help control this inflammation and soothe your digestive system. Catechins in green tea protect the gut lining and assist in repairing tissue damaged by oxidative stress. Honey is also proven to soothe and calm an upset stomach.
3. Helps control blood sugar
If you suffer from elevated blood sugar or diabetes, early research suggests green tea mixed with honey could help manage glucose levels when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Enjoying green tea with a bit of honey may assist in controlling blood sugar levels, thanks to their combined antidiabetic effects. However, human research is still limited, so it is advised to talk to a nutritionist before you start incorporating this beverage into your daily diet.
4. Boosts brain function
As we age, oxidative damage can impair our brain cells and lead to declines in memory, cognition, and focus. The antioxidants found in green tea and honey help counteract this destructive process. Green tea in particular, improves blood flow while providing antioxidant protection to brain cells, which helps preserve your mental sharpness.
5. Protects liver health
Our liver is very prone to inflammation and oxidative damage. Over time, this can lead to serious issues like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Thankfully, the powerful antioxidants in green tea and honey can help keep your liver in tiptop shape.
Catechins found in green tea have been shown in studies to reverse early signs of liver injury and toxicity. Honey also demonstrates significant effects on alleviating hepatic oxidative stress. Together, they provide strong antioxidant protection that prevents inflammation and damage to your liver cells, so this vital organ can operate at its best.
6. Promotes skin health
For youthful, glowing skin, you want to minimize factors that accelerate aging, like sun exposure, pollution, dryness, and oxidative damage. The good news is that drinking green tea with honey fuels your skin with antioxidants to counteract these effects from within.
Green tea polyphenols boost moisture, smoothness, and elasticity. Honey contains antioxidants that guard against UV radiation and support collagen production. With daily consumption of green tea with honey, your skin is defended against wrinkle-causing damage, so you maintain a radiant complexion as the years go by.
7. Provides cancer protection
Lastly, population studies consistently link regular green tea intake with lower risks for certain cancers, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Early lab research indicates honey may also have anti-tumor abilities. While human clinical trials are still needed, enjoying green tea with honey daily bathes your cells in protective antioxidants that may contribute to cancer prevention.
When combined with a healthy lifestyle, their antioxidant power could potentially help deter DNA mutations that lead to cancer development.
Green tea with honey offers unique health advantages thanks to its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Combining them creates a soothing, antioxidant-packed drink that provides free radical protection, aids digestion, boosts immunity, and more. Remember, moderation is key, and always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.