It’s Easy Going Green: Hormone Balance and Green Tea

By Andrea Nakayama
Andrea Nakayama
Andrea Nakayama
March 21, 2014 Updated: March 21, 2014

You’ve likely heard that green tea is good for your health. Let’s look at the whys and the hows of some of green tea’s goodness.

Here are three great benefits of green tea:

• Green tea stimulates your metabolism.
• It contains antioxidants, making it a good cancer-fighting and immune-boosting beverage.
• It simultaneously relaxes you and boosts your brainpower.

Let’s look at each of these points. Meanwhile, go ahead and put the kettle on.


Green tea has thermogenic properties, meaning it helps to produce some heat in your body to burn fat and keep you warm.

The antioxidants in green tea (noted below), have been found to extend the release of the neurochemical norepinephrine in the bloodstream and keep it circulating for longer than any other caffeine-containing source. More norepinephrine circulation (try saying that three times) means more fat-burning potential.

Do you have cold hands and feet or Reynaud’s syndrome? Try the Green Chai Latte below. Add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to the mix to take your thermogenesis to the max.

Antioxidant Power

Green tea’s powers come from polyphenols that provide antioxidants to neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals.

The body is constantly manufacturing free radicals, which lead to internal inflammation and cancer growth and cause harm to other cells in the body.

Antioxidants, like those in green tea, cruise through the body looking for free radicals. The antioxidants not only can annul free radicals, but may also lend some repair to the damage they’ve already caused.

Benefits to the Brain

One of my favorite forms of green tea is matcha, which comes in a fine powder made from baby tea leaves. The young green tea leaves, which include those used for making matcha powder as well as those in Dragon’s Well tea, contain the amino acid L-theanine.

L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation and calm about 30 minutes after ingestion. It stimulates the same alpha waves you activate during meditation. These effects can help counter the jitters that many experience when consuming caffeine.

At the same time, those great antioxidants (called EGCG), help protect brain cells, keeping them alive and alert and in less danger of cell death. So drink up when you’re feeling stressed.

With a career born of a personal family health crisis, functional nutritionist Andrea Nakayama takes the idea of food as personalized medicine beyond a clinical practice. Through her online programs at and, she guides her clients in taking ownership over their health.


Matcha Chai Latte

This recipe incorporates the beauty of green tea with a host of other cancer-fighting, immune-boosting, hormone-balancing spices—an elixir for gods and goddesses.

2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk (unsweetened)
6 whole cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
8 whole black peppercorns
1 two-inch cinnamon stick
2 cups just-boiling water
2 dashes ground cinnamon
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch sea salt
8–10 drops liquid stevia (plain or vanilla) or 1 teaspoon raw honey

Place the whole herbs (cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick) in a jar or glass measuring cup. Pour just-boiling water over the herbs and steep for a minimum of five minutes and up to overnight. (I like the latter steeping time, as it allows the flavor of the herbs to come through.)

Pour the milk of your choice into a mini blender or into another glass jar or measuring cup where you can whisk the ingredients together. Add the matcha green tea powder, ground cinnamon, allspice, and sea salt and blend or whisk until well-combined.

Pour the steeped water through a strainer and into the matcha-milk slurry. Add stevia or raw honey. Blend or whisk again. Taste for desired sweetness.

If you’d like your latte hotter, pour ingredients into a small pot and gently heat before drinking to your health.

Andrea Nakayama
Andrea Nakayama