If you start your day with a cup of coffee, you might consider switching to green tea. Green tea contains EGCG, a plant compound that has gotten a lot of attention recently for its health benefits. It can support your health in many ways, from soothing inflammation to protecting your brain. Keep reading to learn more about EGCG benefits and how it can help you feel your best.
What Is EGCG?
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, is a plant compound found naturally in green tea and many foods, like berries and nuts. It exists naturally in some plants, but you can also include it in your diet through herbal supplementation.
Foods with EGCG include:
- Teas, including green, white, oolong, and black tea
- Fruits, including cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, cherries, pears, peaches, apples, and avocados
- Nuts, including pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts
Teas are an especially good source of ECGC. For centuries, the Chinese have sipped green tea for its healing properties. Today, scientists have started to prove what the ancients already knew. Teas, like green tea, white tea, and oolong, contain healthy plant compounds called catechins. EGCG represents the major catechin in teas. It accounts for 50% to 80% of the catechins in a 200 to 300 mg/brewed cup of green tea—call it wellness in a cup!
Want a tasty way to get your daily dose of EGCG? Try this stress-reducing matcha tea latte from our free ebook Food for Thought: Recipes for a Healthier Brain. The creamy beverage makes a healthier substitute for coffee. It contains EGCG. Plus, it reduces the effects of brain fog-inducing mold.
7 Health Benefits of EGCG
EGCG has become one of the most researched healing plant compounds. Since studies have started, scientists have recognized the full range of health benefits of EGCG for your brain and body. Find out what science has to say about this natural healing compound and why you should include it in your daily diet.
1. It soothes inflammation
Inflammation happens when your body sends white blood cells to fight infection from outside invaders, like viruses or bacteria. But, sometimes the body’s defense system triggers inflammation without any outside invaders present. This can continue over time, a condition known as chronic inflammation, which causes symptoms like pain, swelling, fatigue, and stiffness.
Chronic inflammation over time damages the organs, particularly when it comes to your brain. Long-term neuroinflammation can affect brain cells and increase the risk of age-related cognitive diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Research has shown EGCG effective in reducing inflammation in the brain, which helps protect neurons against damage that can lead to disease.
2. It protects long-term brain health
Studies observed EGCG and its effects on the brain with promising results. Scientists found that EGCG, specifically from green tea, protects the nervous system, including the cells in the brain and spinal cord. Taking up the habit of drinking green tea can help keep your brain and nervous system healthy throughout your life. This helps maintain clear memory, concentration, and thinking as you age.
3. It helps heal wounds
Each year, millions of people suffer from non-healing wounds, costing the healthcare industry $25 billion annually. Bacteria can cause infection and inflammation, preventing the wound from healing. Researchers found EGCG effective in healing wounds thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. EGCG also shows promise in rejuvenating wounds by promoting the epithelial neoformation, or the growth of new skin cells.
4. It’s an antioxidant
Free radicals are unstable molecules that quickly react with cells. Over time, this damages the cells, a process known as oxidative stress that can lead to disease.
Oxidative stress can especially impact brain health by accelerating aging and increasing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Free radicals, such as nitric oxide, can increase brain toxicity as well. EGCG helps neutralize these unstable free radicals and protect against disease caused by oxidative stress.
5. It supports heart health
Studies show that regularly drinking green tea can be good for your heart. Green tea and its most abundant catechin plant compound, EGCG. EGCG promise in preventing cardiovascular disease by lowering blood lipids, relieving inflammation, and enhancing the function of the endothelium—a thin membrane that lines the inside of the heart and blood vessels.
6. It promotes a healthy metabolism
Your metabolism controls the process of converting food into energy to fuel your body. A balanced metabolism helps you feel energized and maintain a healthy weight. It turns out you can support a healthy metabolism with EGCG. Studies found that the compound can increase metabolism, so you burn energy more efficiently. This can help you feel energized for longer periods throughout the day while also burning off excess body fat.
7. It supports healthy blood sugar levels
Keeping blood sugar at normal levels helps improve your energy and mood. It also prevents serious health conditions from developing, like diabetes, kidney disease, vision loss, and heart disease. In studies of animals, EGCG shows promise in helping to regulate blood sugar levels. EGCG supplements could potentially contribute to the prevention and treatment of diabetes, although more research is needed.
How to Include EGCG into Your Diet
Wellness means sticking to consistent healthy habits each day. Including things like EGCG is an easy way to support your health. Get your EGCG by drinking a cup of green tea each morning. A diet rich in berries and nuts can also provide a source of the plant compound. Or, you can take EGCG supplements to get your daily dose. Just these simple habits can go a long way to help you look and feel your best.
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