Benefits of green tea

Benefits of Green Tea: Your Pathway To A Healthy Lifestyle


How many of you have heard about the benefits of Green Tea? Whenever we raise a delicate cup of green tea in our hands and take a sip, we feel relaxed. Isn’t it? But there’s more to green tea than just its calming embrace!

Green tea comes from Camellia Sinensis, an evergreen shrub from the plant family Theaceae. It originated in China but has slowly spread to Asia due to production and manufacturing in China. The unoxidised leaves are perfect for brewing a cup of green tea. It is the least processed tea and has antioxidants, it is considered the best option for weight loss. 

There are two categories of growing conditions for green tea – Sun-grown and Shade-grown. Sun-grown means the tea plant is grown under an open sky, whereas shade-grown tea leaves are grown in the sun for the first few weeks. Then, the entire row of plants is covered with something that blocks sunlight. They are then processed after picking using either artisanal (sun drying, basket or charcoal frying, and pan-firing) or modern methods (oven-drying, tumbling, or steaming).

Green Tea And Its Variants

  • Chinese Green Teas

Among the diverse array of Chinese green teas, the first variant, known as Dragonwell, features pan-fried, sword-shaped leaves with a striking vibrant green hue and mellow flavour and aroma. Gunpowder is the second variant, and as the name suggests, presents leaves like small spheres that resemble gunpowder. It has a smoky flavour. The third variant is Yun Wu or Cloud Mist since the leaves grow at a higher altitude. The Cloud Mist variant has a sweet taste.

  • Japanese Green Teas

Gyokuro or Jade Dew tea is the first variant of Japanese green tea. The second variant is Sencha leaves, offering a bright green hue and a sweet, grassy finish. The third variant is the twig tea, which is slightly more oxidised than the other green teas and has a bit of nutty flavour. The fourth variant is the Matcha, which comes from the Tencha leaves. One can prepare the Matcha tea by whisking the tea powder in hot water in a ceramic bowl. This tea has a sweet flavour because of the amino acids present in the leaves. The higher the concentration of Amino acids, the more sweetness will come from the tea. Other variants include Genmaicha, or ‘Popcorn Tea’ also known as “People’s Tea”. Hojicha is another variant of Japanese tea.

How The Green Tea Is Prepared?

Now that we have understood the different variants of green tea, let’s discuss how to prepare green tea. First, we put the leaves in mild or lukewarm water, and then allow the leaves to steep for 3 minutes. However, if the water is too hot, the tea becomes astringent. Every time the leaves are re-steeping, the caffeine content of the tea leaves will go higher.

Benefits Of Green Tea

Green Tea

Is Green tea good for your health? Or all of this is just a fad? Let’s explore. 

  • Contains Antioxidants

Green tea contains a type of polyphenol called Catechins. Catechins are antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. They exhibit the property of neutralising reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. A group of green tea catechin derivatives includes: epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin gallate. Epigallocatechin gallate is the most potent catechin because it has anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential.

  • Improves Cognitive Function

A research paper published in 2017 describes that drinking green tea benefits cognition, mood, and brain function. The paper talks about how green tea helps in reducing anxiety, bolstering memory capabilities, and activating working memory- responsible for the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form.

  • Helps With Weight Loss

Green tea can activate the metabolism. It contains bioactive substances like caffeine and EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate), which can help boost your metabolism and break down fat cells. We should also combine exercises and drink green tea to manage our weight.

  • Other Health Benefits

In laboratory studies, green tea has slowed or prevented the development of Cancer in Colon, Liver, Breast, and Prostate cells. Other studies show that green tea helps in fighting Alzehmeir. A molecule is found in green tea that breaks apart tangles of the protein Tau, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Another benefit of drinking green tea is managing blood sugar levels. Green tea consumption is associated with a decrease in fasting glucose levels and AC1 Levels, as well as reduced fasting insulin levels. Other studies have suggested that green tea might help prevent dental cavities, stress and chronic fatigue and improve Arthritis by reducing inflammation in the body.

Side Effects Of Green Tea

  • Stomach Problems 

Green tea can cause stomach irritation when consumed on an empty stomach. It contains tannins that can increase the level of stomach acid. Excess acid can lead to constipation, acid reflux, and nausea.

  • Headaches

Green tea can cause headaches in certain people as it contains caffeine. If you are caffeine sensitive, you should avoid having green tea as it can exacerbate the problem of headaches. If you have a migraine, you should take green tea occasionally.

  • Sleeping Problems

As it contains caffeine, it can cause problems while sleeping. It is because the chemical found in green tea prevents the release of hormones such as melatonin, which is essential for sleep. Green tea also has l-theanine, which is a chemical that helps to induce calmness but also increases alertness and focuses on something that may disrupt sleep for some individuals.

  • Iron Deficiency And Anemia 

Green tea contains antioxidants which hinder the absorption of iron in the body. To avoid this, one should drink green tea with lemon in it. The Vitamin C in the lemon promotes iron absorption, and you should always consume green tea one hour before or after the meal. If you are anaemic, you should avoid drinking green tea.

  • Vomiting

Excessive drinking of green tea can cause vomiting. It contains tannins, which are linked to nausea and constipation because of which the protein binds in the intestine. Avoid drinking more than 4 cups daily if you are a seasoned drinker. 

  • Bone Health Issues

Excessive drinking of green tea increases the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Compounds found in green tea inhibit the absorption of calcium and this results in the deterioration of bone health.

  • Other  Health Issues

Tannins, caffeine, and tea catechins are linked to the risks during Pregnancy. Green tea in small amounts preferably, two cups a day is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Caffeine is passed from the mother to the baby while feeding. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor its intake. Other health problems that can happen because of drinking too much green tea are dizziness, convulsions, bleeding disorders, irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.

Summing Up

Drinking green tea is slowly becoming a habit because it helps us calm down, and it is a much better option than regular tea or coffee. It also comes in different flavours, which means you won’t get bored drinking it every day. Give it a try now!

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