The benefits of drinking green tea

If you do one thing for your health this year, swapping out your favorite sweet drink for a cup of warm green tea may be one of your smartest options. This antioxidant-rich beverage may be the healthiest drink on the planet, according to Authority Nutrition. If lowering your risk of cancer isn't enough to persuade you to add this warm drink to your rotation, here are a few other health benefits green tea offers:
Green tea is low cal 
Frequent soda drinkers can shave over 50,000 calories per year by swapping out their favorite soft drink for a cup of warm tea, according to WebMD. To put that in perspective, 3,500 calories equal 1 pound, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you did nothing but swap in green tea for soda, you could save yourself 14 pounds worth of calories in one year.
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Green tea is packed with antioxidants
Green tea contains several antioxidants, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which researchers have tied to medicinal healing properties, according to Authority Nutrition. In addition, green tea contains both flavonoids and catechins which can help prevent cell damage (including damage related to Alzheimer's and other degenerative brain diseases) and plaque buildup in the arteries, according to WebMD. 
Green tea offers brain power
Feel like snagging a diet soda for an afternoon punch of caffeine? Skip the sugar-loaded drink and grab green tea instead. Green tea contains enough caffeine to give your brain a boost but not enough to leave you with shaky aftereffects. In addition to caffeine, green tea also contains the L-theanine, an amino acid which aids in the production of dopamine, according to Authority Nutrition.
Green tea promotes dental health
Catechin, the same antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage, also protects your teeth. Scientists studied a group of men with symptoms of periodontal disease. The scientists discovered that for each cup of green tea the participants consumed per day, there were fewer symptoms (bleeding, attachment loss of gum tissue and pocket depth) of periodontal disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Researchers say this is likely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea. 
Green tea is heart healthy
What's good for your thinker is good for your ticker, too. The same properties in green tea that help keep your brain healthy, also provide health boosts for your heart. The antioxidants in green tea protect the cells from damage and help prevent buildup in the blood vessels, according to WebMD. Less buildup in your arteries equals a lower risk of heart disease. 
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A warm glass of green tea offers the perks of coffee and sweet drinks (including energy boosts) without the unhealthy additives. Try adding a glass of tea to your breakfast routine or later in the afternoon for a natural energy boost. 
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