Tea, as we all know, is considered more than just a beverage in some parts of the world, especially in South-East Asia. For example, in China, ceremonies and teahouses are now an integral part of the lifestyle.
It is more like an event to come together and discuss life. Have you heard about the Sichuan region in China? Yes, the exact place where you get delicious hot and spicy foods. Similar to their love for spicy food, tea is a celebrated drink here.
Would you believe that the famous Chengdu Temple House in the Sichuan Province hosts elaborate tea ceremonies till now? It is surprising, but it seems that they are proud of their traditions and culture, and tea is a major part of the same. In this article, we will specifically focus on green tea. It is the most popular as well as the oldest tea type from China.
Green tea is extracted from the new shoots of the tea plant that are almost drying down. On the other hand, oolong tea is another variety that is available in different flavors. It ranges from fruity and light to woody and rich.
Standing in the second position in terms of variety and popularity is the black tea. This variety also comes from the new shoots. However, the difference, in this case, is that they are fermented, wilted, and dried.
East Asian culture and Tea
As mentioned earlier, tea is beyond just a beverage for East Asian people. It is like a language they use to express themselves. So, mentioning such a beautiful interpretation of tea is important in this discussion.
You will be surprised to know that the Chinese character representing tea does not always mean the beverage.
Well, let’s get you out of the confusion. What we mean here is that tea in Chinese does not always mean a drink containing tea leaves. For example, if you are in China and order for “tea water,” you will surely not get a cup of tea.
Instead, what they will give you is plain boiled water. On the other hand, Koreans refer to liquor when they say “green tea.” The same confusion is common in other places such as Japan and Indonesia. Since we are talking about green tea, the same discovery and history are fascinating, especially for the tea lovers out there! There is an epic relationship between East Asian culture and tea.
There are several theses that experts have written based on this relationship, and no amount of reading is enough. In the following sections, we will get on with the benefits of green tea and other relevant information.
Another good part for the ones who are not much of tea drinkers is that green tea, or as East Asians call it, Matcha, is very popularly used in delicious recipes. Especially, people worldwide make desserts using green tea, and they mostly look and taste fantastic.
Nutritional value of green tea
Before starting on with the health benefits of green tea matcha, let us learn a little more about the ingredient’s nutritional value. Well, the primary nutrients present in green tea are caffeine (theine), polyphenols (catechins), tannin (flavonols), theobromine, theophylline, saponins, fats, essential oils, vitamin C, carotene, vitamin A, B12, B1, P, and K.
Besides, green tea is also rich in fluoride, zinc, iron, nickel, magnesium, copper, strontium, and calcium. Last but not least, experts suggest the presence of phosphorus and molybdenum as well.
Catechins and antioxidants in Green tea
It is already clear that green tea is high on nutrition. Out of all the elements present in green tea, the most important is a polyphenol, which is also an antioxidant. Green Tea contains high amounts of catechin polyphenols.
The same is a massive group with quite a few active elements in there. For example, EGCG or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, GC or gallocatechin, ECG or epicatechin gallate, and more are some of the most active ones.
As per experts who have spent years studying green tea extract benefits, the EGCG element is green tea works magically in fighting cancer. Polyphenols can indeed restrict the multiplication of cancer cells.
Moreover, the elements also help to destroy these cells without harming a person’s body at all. Factually, antioxidants are capable of neutralizing free radicals much before they can cause harm to the body.
Regular consumption of green tea enhances metabolism and digestion. Besides, green tea has antioxidants that help clean the blood, and therefore improve cardiovascular health.
There are several other benefits of green tea, and we will certainly get to them soon. However, for now, you must also know that green tea helps to regulate blood pressure levels and LDL cholesterol. Moreover, it can fight plaque-causing oral bacteria. Therefore, you can drink green tea to eliminate or at least reduce tooth decay.
Green tea is rich in Tannin
Tannins are plant-based elements and are made up of many complex and simple phenol, flavonoid, and polyphenol compounds. These elements are comparatively resistant to fermentation or digestion.
Experts suggest that the plant pigments or flavonoids, or plant pigments in green tea help protect the body against various infections. There is another ingredient present in green tea that also occurs naturally. It is the amino acid L-theanine.
The element tastes slightly sweet and helps to promote the growth of neurotransmitter dopamine. Moreover, tannin enhances the growth of alpha waves in the brain and controls your body’s serotonin levels. As a result, the amino acid L-theanine plays an instrumental part in helping people relax and sleep.
High caffeine content
The caffeine content in green tea is around 30-50mg in every 8 oz. cup. However, the amount of caffeine in green tea varies along with the leaves’ growth stages and cultivation areas. For example, if you compare the younger buds and leaves with the older ones, the former contains more caffeine.
While too much caffeine is harmful to the body, elements such as L-theanine and EGCG eradicate the negative effects to a large extent. Therefore, green tea becomes a much healthier drink for the body.
Often, green tea is believed to play a pivotal part in weight loss. The presence of caffeine in this type of tea, along with all the antioxidants, is the reason for weight loss. They are capable of enhancing metabolism and therefore help in fat-oxidation.
Minerals, Vitamins, and more.
Green tea contains zero fat and therefore has no calorific value too. However, it is surely very high on several minerals and vitamins. Experts suggest that the amount of ascorbic acid or vitamin C in green tea equals a whole lemon.
Looking at the several health benefits of green tea, it is evident that there is indeed a lot of goodness in it. For example, green tea is a rich source of several types of B vitamins.
Some reports state that consuming around five cups of green tea daily amounts to 4%-10% of the daily nutritional requirement. For example, these five cups will add to the riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, and folic acid content in the body. Moreover, the same amount also adds to 5% of the daily magnesium requirement. Besides, it will add up 25% of potassium and 45% of the manganese requirement.
Green tea is a great fluoride source, and a cup of it contains at least 0.1mg of the element. Well, it is surely more than that in fluoridated water. Over the years of research, experts and scientists have discovered over 450 natural components in green tea.
The caffeine content in green tea
There are several health benefits of green tea, which is already clear from its high nutritional value, as discussed in the previous section. Before moving on to more details, let us focus a bit on green tea’s caffeine content.
So, how safe is it to consume green tea every day? Especially for those trying to limit caffeine intake, it may seem to be a problem.
In this section, let us talk about how much caffeine is there in green tea and is a comparison with other caffeinated beverages. While a cup of normal green tea contains around 35mg of caffeine, the amount is more when consuming an active variety such as matcha.
Also, the caffeine content in tea bags is larger than when you purchase it loose. Besides, the procedure that you choose to prepare green tea counts too. For example, the amount of caffeine keeps increasing, along with brewing time and water temperature.
You will be happy to know that green tea is still below several types of other beverages despite moderate caffeine content. Therefore, to prove that consuming green tea is healthy, you must check out the list below.
- Green tea- 30-50 mg
- Energy drinks- 72-80 mg
- Instant coffee- 27-173 mg
- Soft drinks- 23-37 mg
- Brewed, plain coffee- 102-200 mg
- Yerba Mate- 65-130 mg
- Black tea- 25-110 mg
- Espresso- 240-720 mg
Therefore, it is clear that caffeine per serving green tea is lesser than other caffeinated drinks and beverages.
Does caffeine in the green tree cause harm to the body?
Caffeine is one of the most popular stimulants, and is completely safe if you consume it in moderate amounts. For any adult above 19 years of age, the safe amount for per day consumption is 400 mg.
However, it is always better to be on the safer side, and so limiting consumption to only 200mg at a time is alright. If you consider the safe limit, then one serving of 8-ounce green tea is good to go at a time.
Health benefits of green tea
Green tea is a camellia Sinensis plant product that is like a small shrub from India and East Asia. People have enjoyed green tea for centuries now, but scientists still manage to come out with newer benefits of the beverage.
Consuming a moderate quantity of green tea daily can benefit you in several ways. We have come with a list of the primary benefits of green tea consumption. These may convince you to start having it if you have not yet.
As you already know that green contains natural caffeine, which makes it a great stimulant. It means that drinking a cup of green tea will help you a lot if you are tired. Moreover, discussing green tea vs. coffee, the caffeine content in tea is lesser than a cup of coffee.
So, you can continue sipping on green tea if you are feeling sleepy. Besides, you don’t have to worry about losing sleep or all those jitters that happen due to caffeine overdose.
The fact that green tea is not processed for an extremely long time ensures that its nutrients are still intact. After the leaves are picked, the workers roll out to extract the juice and then apply heat to dry it. They are now ready to use. The minimal processing also means that the phytonutrients available in green tea do not vanish.
Good for the heart
As mentioned earlier, green tea helps to regulate blood pressure. Moreover, the high sources of antioxidants in green tea clears your blood. As a result, it reduces the risk of heart attacks and other issues. Therefore, green tea is a magical ingredient when it comes to ensuring your cardiovascular health.
Increases metabolism and helps in weight loss
There are two elements present in green tea that are capable of improving the rate of metabolism. One is the caffeine content, and the other is the catechin rate in green tea. Both of these act as antioxidants and stimulators, further helping in fat oxidation. High metabolism also means that the food you eat does not deposit inside the digestive system’s layers to form fat.
Helps you to relax
The amino acid L-theanine in green tea is like a neurotransmitter. It means that this element helps in the transmission of signals to neurons, especially in the brain.
Several experts suggest the growth of alpha-wave generation that, in turn, signals the body to relax or chill. So, if you are having a hectic day at work and want to step back a little, sit and sip on a green tea. There is no better refreshment than a steaming hot cup of green tea.
Improves brain functioning
The antioxidants present in green tea helps to improve the quality of brain functioning. This is also why experts believe that green tea is capable of reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in people.
The disease is a neurodegenerative one and is caused due to a result of changes in thinking abilities and memories. Moreover, the disease to date seems to have no cure. Although green tea cannot cure someone who is already suffering from Alzheimer’s, it can technically lower its risk.
Protects against Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s is another neurodegenerative disease that has no cure. It affects the controlling power and movement of a person. Similar to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease is progressive too. The polyphenols present in green tea work wonders in these cases.
They restrict neurotoxins from hitting against the cells and causing any injury. Instead, the polyphenols encourage the growth and survival of healthier cells.
Do you know that a massive number of bacteria breed inside your mouth? Well, not most of them are harmful. Besides, that is also the reason why oral care is so necessary. In this context, using green tea can help a lot.
The antifungal and antibiotic properties of green tea protect the mouth against bad breath and increase cavities; besides cleaning bad breaths and a bacterium, the minerals in green tea help improve teeth strength.
Stabilizing blood sugar levels
You already know that green tea is a rich source of flavonoids, including the epigallocatechin gallate. Well, this element is proven to decrease glucose production in the liver.
Therefore, green tea helps to regulate the sugar levels, keeping glucose growth within a moderated range. Moreover, drinking green tea reduces the risk of Type II diabetes, which is a common problem in several countries.
Although a few experts suggest people drink over six cups of green tea daily, it may not be very safe considering the caffeine content. On the other hand, green tea is the perfect drink for people trying to cut down their sugar intake. It is better to drink a cup of green tea instead of any other soft drinks or juices to avoid sugar completely.
Stronger bones and immunity
Problems in association with bone health are become more common these days, especially in women. Problems like arthritis are posing major movement issues, and postmenopausal women are at a greater risk.
They are the most prone to osteoporosis. Polyphenols present in green tea work magically in improving bone mass and density, therefore restricting damage in bine tissues. Similar to bone health, the antioxidants present in green tea strengthen the immune system as well.
Youthful look and active body
You must be aware that green tea is not just good for physical health but also for skincare. Beauty experts recommend the inclusion of green tea extract in most of the good anti-inflammatory products. According to them, the benefits of green tea help improve the elasticity and glow of your skin. Also, as a mild stimulant, green tea can keep you active throughout the day.
Altogether, the benefits of green tea are capable of making you live longer. A cup of green tea works for almost all your physical and skincare problems. The versatility of the product makes it so popular worldwide.
Green tea and your diet
How to add green tee to your diet?
Green tea easily available in the market, and so consuming it daily should not be a problem. Also, the best way of consuming green tea is by brewing it in hot water. Some people do not like to boil green tea. In that case, you can pour boiling water into green tea and let it sit for a while before drinking it.
Ideally, you should start your day with a cup of green tea. To make it taste better, you can add other ingredients to it as well. There are several health benefits of green tea and honey. You can also enjoy the health benefits of green tea with lemon.
These are common ways of making the body alkaline as soon as you wake up in the morning. If you aim to lose some weight, try to drink a cup of green tea before every meal. It is a vital part of the green tea diet and works very well for weight loss.
Green Tea recipes
Besides brewing it in hot water, green tea, or different types of it are widely used in various tasty dishes, especially desserts and beverages. You can use green tea to make the following dishes using very easy recipes.
- Green tea popsicle
- Matcha cheesecake
- Green tea croissants
- Matcha/green tea tiramisu
- Matcha pancakes
- Green tea cookies
- Matcha souffle
- Matcha ice-cream
Types of green tea
The happy news for all green tea lovers is that the several health benefits of green tea, especially those that help in weight loss, make it the favorite beverage of the millennium.
Moreover, green tea is a great immunity booster protecting you against symptoms of flu and cough.
Apart from that, green tea protects the body against problems of blood sugar and cholesterol too. Other than health benefits, green tea consumption is good for skin and hair health too. The following are a few types and flavors of green tea that are easily available in the market.
- Mint green tea
- Tulsi green tea
- Chamomile tea
- Jasmine tea
- Matcha tea
- Himalayan tea
- Green tea with lemon honey flavor
Now, there are so many types of green tea, and more brands selling it too. In this situation, deciding whether or not to buy it from a specific brand becomes an issue. While you have to check out ingredients and flavors to decide which brand you want to choose, our work here is to make it a bit easier for you.
You can take a look at Art of Tea if you are more of a classic tea person. They sell top-quality products with a guaranty of 100% natural ingredients and no preservatives. Besides, they are like a tea boutique where you may also find some eye-catching fancy packaging in case you want to gift tea to someone.
Other than that, the undeniable choice is TWININGS that has been selling excellent quality tea for years now. Twinings is a UK based brand, and presently they sell more than just tea. You can check out their recipes and gift sections for some interesting content as well. Moreover, if tea is love for you, check out their teaware collection because you are bound to love it.
Side effects of green tea
Here is a shortlist of side-effects of green tea side-effects that you must be aware of. However, you can avoid all of these if you are consuming it in moderate amounts, then you can avoid all of these.
- Caffeine overdose
- Stomach upset
- Causes iron deficiency
- Causes dehydration
- May cause issues with those who are on regular medicines
So, here is all that you would want to know about green tea, its benefits, side effects, types, and more.
1. How much green tea should I drink?
The optimal amount of green tea to enjoy maximum health benefits is 3-5 cups daily. In very few cases, green tea causes problems because the benefits of it always outnumber the side-effects.
2. Does green tea help you sleep?
The benefits of green tea include relaxing the body and better sleep. However, you should avoid drinking it within the two hours preceding bedtime. It is because the caffeine content may cause difficulty for you to fall asleep. Another problem with drinking green tea right at bedtime is that it increases nighttime peeing.
3. Is it okay to drink green tea every day?
Yes, it is ok to drink 3-5 cups of green tea every day. Apart from specific health issues, drinking a moderate amount of green tea daily is healthy.
4. Does green tea reduce belly fat?
According to several study reports, green tea is capable of melting away unnecessary belly fat. The antioxidants and nutrients present in green tea help in fat-oxidation and are a great health booster.
5. Does green tea darken skin?
No, green tea does not darken the skin or cause any similar issues.
6. Does green tea make skin glow?
Green tea is high on antioxidants that help fight against loose radicals. Therefore, green tea’s steam transfers direct shots of antioxidants to the skin, making it glow. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe any type of skin irritation and prevents wrinkles too.
7. What does green tea do to a woman?
Green tea is good for both men and women. However, it is extra beneficial for postmenopausal women who are suffering from bone density issues. Plus, green tea reduces the risk of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.
8. When should I drink green tea for a flat stomach?
There are no specific rules regarding when you should drink green tea. However, ideally, you can start your day with a cup and drink it again before every meal.
9. Does green tea reduce breast size?
Green tea naturally increases metabolism and therefore enhances weight loss. As a part of the fat-burning process, your breast size will decrease too.
10. Which tea is best for belly fat?
Green tea and white tea are especially good for belly fat.
11. Is green tea good for skin?
The antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory elements in green tea help in treating oily skin and acne. Besides, the polyphenols in green tea reduce the secretion of sebum that leads to acne.
12. Why green tea is bad for you?
Green tea may cause harm to the body if the consumption is high and long-term. According to a group of experts, it can cause liver and kidney problems too.