Why Is Green Tea Good For Your Immune System?

April 05, 2021

Why Is Green Tea Good For Your Immune System?

While the green tea craze is starting to catch on worldwide, it has been in existence in Japan, China, and India for centuries. As more people begin to realize why green tea is good for your immune system, it’s only becoming more popular!

Traditionally, the Japanese, Chinese, and Indians utilized green tea in their medicine to boost the immune system and prevent various ailments. It wasn't until recently that the western world discovered green tea and started reaping health benefits. Aside from just warding off illnesses, green tea has also been proven to help with weight loss, skincare, increasing life expectancy, and even boosting brain function.

(For more on the health benefits of green tea, read this next: 10 Top Health Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea)

Why Is Green Tea Good For Your Immune System?

So, how exactly does green tea help improve your immune system? Let's dig in!

Antioxidant Properties

The secret to green tea’s ability to ward off diseases lies in its antioxidant properties.

While the body produces its own antioxidants (endogenous), on their own, they are not very effective when dealing with free radicals (waste substances resulting from oxidative stress). Oxidative stress has been linked to various ailments—think cancer, arthritis, stroke, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory diseases. When the body is unable to deal with free radicals, it is more susceptible to these conditions. That's why we need external sources of antioxidants (exogenous), which green tea is a good source of!

(For more about cancer and green tea, read this post next)

Compared to other types of tea, green tea has the highest concentration of Polyphenols (antioxidants). This can be attributed to the fact that it is the less processed type of tea. Fresh leaves of the Camellia Sinensis are rapidly steamed to inactivate enzymes and prevent fermentation and oxidation of essential compounds.

As a result, green tea is rich in polyphenol compounds, known as flavanols or catechins. They include:

  • epicatechin
  • epigallocatechin
  • epicatechin-3-gallate
  • epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

These flavanols facilitate the immune-boosting properties of green tea.

Cancer Prevention

Another reason green tea is good for your immune system has to do with inflammation.

Many cancer studies have shown a strong link between oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and cancer. Oxidative stress facilitates the transformation of normal cells to inflammatory or tumor cells. When tumor cells grow uncontrollably, they can lead to cancer. Ultimately, many medical professionals deem inflammation as a ‘secret killer’ because (in most cases) it is a precursor to various forms of cancer.

Polyphenols antioxidants in green tea reduce cancer risks by inhibiting or slowing down the oxidative damage process in our bodies. EGCG, in particular, stops cancer cells from growing and even directly kills them.

There are many studies to support the anticancer effects of green tea.

Here are two interesting examples to look at:

  • A meta-analysis of studies carried from 1998 to 2009 showed women who drank green tea have a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Another study carried out by the Japan Public Health Center involving more than 49,000 male subjects also showed that green tea reduced the risk of men developing prostate cancer by 48%.

matcha green tea can help the immune system

Prevention Of Coronary Heart Diseases

Causes of coronary heart disease include low physical activity and a diet high in saturated fats leading to clogging of arteries (atherosclerosis). Green tea helps prevent coronary heart disease in two ways.

First, it facilitates the proper function of endothelial cells, which prevents atherosclerosis. Inflammation of endothelial cells leads to atherosclerosis.

Secondly, it promotes fat oxidation and prevents obesity.

Also, consumption of green tea reduces the risks of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Viral diseases
  • Bacterial infections

Some studies even find drinking green tea helps accelerate fitness recovery faster than usual.

UV Protection

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is linked to various health complications. These include DNA damage, immunosuppression, and skin cancers like melanoma and non-melanoma.

While green tea doesn't block the UV rays, it reduces the effects of free radicals and prevents inflammation caused by extensive exposure to sun rays. When green tea metabolizes, the metabolites find their way to the skin tissue fluids. Then, they form a kind of protective guard against the effects of UV rays.

A study showed that people who took small oral doses of green tea (two cups for 12 weeks) experienced less reddening of the skin (erythema) when exposed to sun rays than those who did not.

In another study, mice that were administered green tea through water showed fewer tumor incidences in terms of size and multiplicity compared to mice that were not. Since tumors are directly linked to cancer, reducing tumor incidences also reduces the cancer risk in many cases. And finally, the anti-inflammatory effects of green tea also slow down the process of aging.

Antimicrobial Properties

Several studies have also shown that green tea has antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses. Two particular polyphenol catechins, -epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and –epicatechingallate (ECG) can suppress the activities of bacterial and viral factors. They can even reverse the resistance of formidable pathogens, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). ECG and EGCG have the ability to penetrate through phospholipid layers.

As a result, these two catechins alter bacteria and viruses’ functions by disrupting their cytoplasmic membrane, making them vulnerable to antibiotics. Evidence suggests that the two catechin molecules can help effectively control various oral infections, such as dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.

The benefits of green tea are numerous. Some studies even indicate that green tea improves brain function. It may even lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in old age.

Another quality that makes this beverage stand out? It can be consumed or ingested in various ways—not just through sipping! You can use it to dress salads, dunk rice (Ochazuke), include it in your smoothie, or even use it to prepare a marinade. The choices are innumerable, and you can use it in virtually any type of food.

And don't forget: there are so many types of green tea brands, each with different flavors and health benefits you can take advantage of. So, don't limit yourself to just a single brand and deny yourself the benefits of others! Enjoy as many brands as possible to boost your immune system and keep your body in good shape.

This post was first published in 2019. It was updated in 2021 just for you!


Related Articles You May Be Interested In

 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN WAYS GREEN TEA MAKES YOUR BONES STRONGER

ALLERGIES? HAY FEVER? CHECK OUT BENIFUUKI TEA


Get Free Bonus Content

Green Tea and Matcha Books for Bonus

If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an “acquired taste” or that it is “too bitter” to enjoy, we’re here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.

Don’t miss out on the health benefits of tea!

  • Improve health
  • Increase brain function
  • Regulate weight
  • Lower your risk of cancers
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Lowers risk of diabetes

We know that you will love this tips to brewing tea and getting the most flavor and elegance out of every cup.  Sign up for Free Japanese Green Tea Club and get this great informative manual on brewing green tea. You will learn what it is that makes it one of the most popular beverages in the world.

Sign up for Free Green Tea Club for to Get The Two Books for Free.


Unsubscribe anytime. It's Free!

What is GREEN TEA CLUB?

Sign up free to Green Tea Club to get tips and exclusive articles about how to use your matcha and green tea for a healthy lifestyle. Green Tea Club is hosted by Kei Nishida, Author of Cook with Matcha and Green Tea and CEO of Japanese Green Tea Company.

Get free E-book "Green Tea Science – 12 Scientific Tips for Brewing Green Tea To Taste Better" By Kei Nishida - Value $9.99

Get free E-book "Matcha Lover's 21st Century Recipe Collection" By Kei Nishida (42 pages recipe book)  - Value $9.99

Get immediate access to 10% Off coupon for your first order and access to Exclusive Coupons and Specials - Value $50+

Monthly Giveaways - Value $50+

Access to New Green Tea Recipe and Health Articles - Value $50+

Unsubscribe anytime. It’s free!

What do you think about the article? Please comment below or reply me privately here!





1 Response

Halmari Tea

June 24, 2019

This is a really very informative article! Soothing green tea must be a definite choice for any tea lover. In addition to its amazing taste, it helps to improve immune system. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Also in Japanese Green Tea and Health

Virtual Japanese Green Tea Tour - What is it?
Virtual Japanese Green Tea Tour - What is it?

May 07, 2021

I was so excited to be one of the first people to join the Virtual Green Tea Tour, a new and magical tour offered by Arigato Japan that has been the pioneer for English-speaking Japanese tours for many years, featured by the New York Times Travel Shows, CNN Travel and more.
In this article (and a bit of video), I want to share with you a small segment of the virtual tour.  Read on and watch the video of the piece of the actual tour here.

View full article →

6 Tea Shops In Tokyo You Don’t Want To Miss
6 Tea Shops In Tokyo You Don’t Want To Miss

May 05, 2021

I’ve compiled a list of the 6 best places to buy and drink green tea in the nation's capital, some of which you absolutely shouldn't miss! And don’t even think of drinking green tea from your hotel’s room and calling it quits.

View full article →

Japanese Green Tea vs Chinese Green Tea - 10 battles you don't want to miss
Japanese Green Tea vs Chinese Green Tea - 10 battles you don't want to miss

May 03, 2021 3 Comments

Chinese green tea and Japanese green tea both come from the same plant: Camellia Sinensis. However in many ways the similarities stop there. From when and how they're processed to the benefits they serve, Chinese green tea and Japanese green tea differ. Which one is "better" is the subject of this battle, comparing each on 10 ranging criteria.

View full article →

Steeping Guide
Steeping Guide