Green tea is known as one of the healthiest drinks in the world and contains one of the highest amounts of antioxidants when compared with other teas. The phytochemicals, polyphenols, enzymes and amino acids in it keep you calm, clears up your skin and improves your metabolism. Green tea isn’t only meant for the mind and soul; it’s meant for the well-being and upkeep of your body as well.
The tea, which has its origins in China and India, has been consumed globally and hailed for its health benefits for centuries.
Green tea is made from unoxidized leaves and contains 20-45 percent polyphenols by weight, of which 60-80 percent are catechins such as Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. Catechins are antioxidants that are said to help prevent cell damage. It also contains the most antioxidants among all other teas and has beneficial polyphenols to boot.
There is a variety of green teas to choose from and they all differ based on the conditions in which the leaves are grown, the process of production and the time of harvest.
For starters, it is darn healthy, clears your skin and helps tone your body. But apart from all this, the tea contains bioactive compounds that improve numerous aspects of your health. These compounds in the leaves are not removed and make it to the final drink – which is good news for those of us who are health conscious.
EGCG is a powerful compound because it treats several diseases and prevents numerous more.
As we go on with the story, we will discuss in detail about the benefits of green tea, which will totally convince you to grab a cup of warm water and that tea bag right away!
Green tea originated from China, during the reign of Emperor Shennong. A book called ‘Tea Classic’, written way back in 600-900 AD by writer Lu Yu, is considered to be the most important in the drink’s illustrious history. Another book called ‘Kissa Yojoki’, or ‘The Book of Tea’, written in 1191 by Zen priest Eisai, speaks about how drinking green tea enhances the health of the five vital organs in our bodies.
There are over 450 organic substances in green tea. Some of the main nutrients are vitamins C, A, B1, B12, K and P along with fluoride, iron, magnesium, calcium, strontium, copper, nickel, zinc. It also contains traces of elements such as molybdenum, phosphorus, polyphenols (catechins), caffeine (known as theine), tannin (flavonoids), theophylline, theobromine, fat, wax, saponins, essential oils and carotene.
Let’s take a deeper look into some of the nutrients that are available in green tea leaves and how it helps you fight against certain bacterias as well as aid in losing weight.
1. Tannin in Green Tea
These compounds are a group of simple and complex phenol, polyphenols and flavonoid compounds. They tend to be relatively more resistant to digestion or fermentation. But, flavonoids, which are plant pigments, may aid in protecting against infection.
2. Caffeine in Green Tea
There are about 30 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces (or 230 milliliters) of green tea. The percentage of the caffeine content in green tea varies according to the area of cultivation and the growth stage of the leaf. For example, the younger leaves and buds have the greatest caffeine content, while the older leaves have correspondingly lower amounts of caffeine. If you are worried about the negative effects of caffeine, green tea has that covered. EGCG and L-Theanine (theanine) eliminate those adverse effects and render them harmless, making green tea a much safer drink.
3. Vitamins, Minerals and Other
With no traces of fats or calories coming from fat, green tea is a rich source of various vitamins and minerals. The amount of vitamin C that is present in green tea is comparable to a lemon. It also contains several B vitamins which are water soluble and quickly released into a cup of tea. This makes it easier for the body to absorb these vitamins.
1. Regulates blood pressure: Blood pressure is usually caused by the angiotensin-converting enzyme (or ACE) secreted by the kidneys. Most drugs for blood pressure act as ACE inhibitors. Green tea extracts are thought to possess antioxidant and ACE-inhibitor properties. It helps in the relaxation of blood vessels and thus lowers blood pressure overall.
2. Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions today. The disease causes blood sugar levels to spike or stops your body from being able to produce insulin. A Korean study had shown that drinking six or more cups of green tea can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 33 per cent. However, it is important to consult a doctor regarding its dosage.
3. Your daily boost of antioxidants: Green tea is loaded with antioxidants that have various benefits and improves the health of your heart. It dramatically increases the oxygen carrying capacity of blood which helps protect cells and molecules from damage. Green tea drinkers were also found to have a 31 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular ailments than non-drinkers.
4. Cuts the risk of cancer: Cancer is caused when cells in our bodies grow in an uncontrolled manner. Green tea is packed with natural antioxidants like catechins which can reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Catechins prevent cells from DNA damage caused by the reactive oxygen species. Additionally, green tea also contains polyphenols which help modulate immune system functions.
5. Promotes weight loss: This is something everyone is quite well aware of. Green tea helps boosts metabolism and increases the burning of fats. According to certain studies, green tea when combined with moderate exercise is known to help weight loss. It may particularly be beneficial in reducing weight around the abdominal region.
6. Helps relieve arthritis: Green tea has proven to be over 100 times more effective than vitamins C and E when it comes to offering antioxidant benefits to counter arthritis.
7. Promotes longevity: With green tea’s suggested benefits in reducing cardiovascular diseases and cancer, it’s easy to see why it helps you live longer. A Stanford study stated that green tea drinkers usually showed less disability with age. People who drank green tea are less likely to develop a functional disability, which can shorten life expectancy as one age.
8. Boosts immunity: The catechins and the EGCG in green tea have the ability to increase the number of regulatory T-cells. This help improves immune function and suppresses autoimmune diseases.
9. Improves brain function: The caffeine in green tea helps you more than just keeping you awake. Caffeine is a known stimulant that helps improve brain function, including improved memory, attentiveness and mood. The caffeine also blocks the activity of adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and as a result, improves the firing of neurons and enhances brain health.
10. Promotes digestive health: Green tea is a known digestive stimulant. The catechins in it slow down the activity of digestive enzymes which helps in the proper absorption of food in the stomach and intestinal tract.
11. Prevents tooth decay: Drinking green tea also limits the development of bacterial plaque in the mouth. The polyphenols present in the drink fight plaque by suppressing glucosyltransferase, a compound oral bacteria that feeds on sugar.
12. Aids in the treatment of depression: According to a study, people who consumed about four cups of green tea daily were far less likely to feel depressed. This is due to the amino acid L-theanine present in green tea which stimulates the release of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to fight depression symptoms.
13. Treats Down Syndrome: Down Syndrome is a disease where a person is born with three 21-chromosomes rather than the typical two. People with Down Syndrome suffer from cognitive disabilities and physical symptoms. As per studies, The ECGG in green tea improves protects the body from cell damage that primarily causes the disease and also improves cognitive function.
14. Helps cure your hangovers: Yes, you heard that right! Since it’s an antioxidant, green tea detoxifies the liver and relieves hangover symptoms. However, it is recommended to consult your doctor before you take this step because in some earlier cases it has proven to cause liver toxicity.
15. Improves energy and endurance: The catechins present in green tea have been found to increase endurance capacity and energy levels. People have reported having more energy and being more productive when drinking green tea, instead of coffee.
If you can’t stand the taste of green tea, no worries, you can enjoy the same benefits by making a crushed paste out of the leaves and applying it to your skin. To motivate you to get the ball rolling, here are seven beauty benefits of green tea.
1. Bid Adieu To Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles
Did you know that the antioxidants and tannins present in green tea shrink blood vessels underneath the skin around your eyes? It’s because of this factor, puffiness and swelling are reduced from your skin. The vitamin K in green tea also helps to lighten the dark rings around your eyes. To make the most of those green tea bags, put two in the fridge and leave them in for 30-45 mins. Place them on your eyes for half an hour and make this a habit for a week.
2. It Gives You A Youthful, Radiant Appearance
The next time someone asks me why I look like a 16-year-old when I’m actually 25, I’ll blame it on green tea. All thanks to its anti-aging and antioxidant properties, sagging skin, wrinkles, spots, fine lines and marks, my skin looks youthful and fresh. Since I love my matcha tea, I make a paste of the powder by adding water and a few drops of coconut oil. I mix all the ingredients well and apply the mask to my face. I leave it to dry for about 20 mins and wash it off with lukewarm water.
3. Well, Hello There, Clear Skin!
Green tea is your superpower against acne and pimples. Each tea leaf is packed with catechins that help to regulate hormonal imbalances. Once that’s taken care of, the problem of acne too is solved. Treat acne by making a mix of warm green tea and cold water. Dip a ball of cotton and apply it over your pimples. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and once it dries up, wash it off with cold water again. Do this two to three times a month.
4. You Can Use It As A Natural Skin Toner
Come to think of it, which girl wouldn’t want clear and even skin, right? There’s no need to splurge at a parlour to get a clean-up done, simply wash your face with cold green tea and your skin will change for the better. It helps to draw out impurities and cleans pores from dust and pollution.
5. It Improves Your Skin’s Complexion
Green tea makes your skin soft, smooth and radiant. While it treats inflamed patches of skin, it also prevents blemishes and marks from appearing on your skin. You can either drink a cup of green tea or make a DIY paste at home using green tea leaves, honey and lemon juice. Spread the paste all over your face and leave the mask to harden for 10-15 minutes. Wash the gooey paste off with a warm, damp towel.
6. No More Chip-Chip On The Skin
If you have oily skin, you’re in luck. Green tea has tannins which help to reduce sebum production. Drinking too much of green tea will balance out your complexion and give skin a smooth, radiant appearance. You’ve got to try it to believe it!
7. It’s Acts As A Natural Sun Protector
Beauty products that contain great tea are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to protect skin from sun exposure and heal skin from rashes and burns. Green tea products, in particular, are designed to soothe your skin and supply it with moisture and nourishment it deserves.
8. Good Hair Days Ahead
A few of you may know this that the catechins in green tea have alpha-reductase properties that block the production of dihydrotestosterone which is responsible for hair loss. You can either rinse your hair with chilled green tea twice a month or drink 2-3 cups of green tea every day for healthy hair - which of these options will you choose?
How Green Tea Benefits Your Hair
Green tea stimulates hair growth and gives a soft texture to your hair. It inhibits the growth of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), which stops hair growth and causes hair fall. The components of green tea react with testosterone and keep the amount of testosterone in the blood at a balanced level. This ensures that the hormones do not react with 5-alpha reductase and convert to DHT. The antiseptic properties in green tea also help in preventing and curing common hair problems such as dandruff and psoriasis.
Green tea is also proven to prevent male pattern baldness because it contains polyphenols and vitamins E and C, which are known to promote lustrous hair. You can easily make a green tea rinse at home by steeping three to four bags of green tea in half a litre of water and using this as the last rinse after you have shampooed and conditioned your hair.
That’s with the long list of benefits, but wait there’s more. Do you know there are different types of green tea and their properties?
1. Sencha green tea - Sencha is a form of Japanese green tea and is among the most famous of teas known around the world. It is prepared using a common processing method. The leaves are steamed and then rolled out to produce crude tea.
2. Genmaicha green tea - The word ‘Genmaicha’ is from the Japanese word for brown rice. This tea is actually a rice that still retains the bran covering of the grain. The brown rice is soaked, steamed and then roasted and popped. It is later mixed with Sencha (Japanese green tea) or other teas in a 50:50 ratio to form Genmaicha. Genmaicha is low in caffeine which makes it a suitable tea for children and elderly people.
3. Hojicha green tea - This green tea is made specially by roasting Sencha which gives it a distinct roasted aroma. The leaves are baked in a roasting pan at a temperature of approximately 200 degrees Celcius and then immediately cooled. Through roasting, the caffeine in the leaves is sublimated (changed directly from a solid to a gaseous state) and the tea becomes less bitter. For this reason, Hojicha is said to be a tea that is easy to drink for all age groups, particularly children and elderly people. Hojicha has a savoury aroma complimented with a clear, light taste.
4. Gyokuro green tea - To make Gyokuro tea, you’ve to cover the plants with a cloth or reed screen (covered culture) for about 20 days. The covering limits the amount of light that reaches the new shoots while they are growing, and the catechins from amino acids (theanine) are also suppressed in that process. This results in lower astringency and gives the tea a rich and robust flavour.
5. Matcha green tea - Matcha is a finely stoneground powder from specially grown and processed green tea leaves. In Japan’s traditional tea ceremonies, Dark Matcha (Koicha) is used. It was previously prepared from the leaves of bushes that were over 100 years old. Matcha is also used extensively in the making of traditional Japanese savoury and sweet dishes, like the now world-famous Matcha Tea Cake. You can also find matcha being served in a lot of coffee shops like Starbucks as well.
You can find green tea at any convenience store or online on sites like Amazon, Flipkart or Nature’s Basket.
Here are some of the best green teas you can choose from:
1. Lipton Green Tea Bags - Honey Lemon (Rs 138)
2. Typhoo Green Tea - Lime & Lemon Flavoured (Rs 130)
3. Goodwyn Assorted Box, 20 pcs (Rs 540)
4. KimiNo Japanese Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder With Free Recipe Ebook (Rs 499)
5. Eden Foods, Organic Hojicha, Roasted Green Tea (Rs 336)
While green tea is a great drink with many added benefits, it also makes for a great addition to a skin product or as a body mist. Here is a list of products from face masks to wet wipes and body mists that have green tea as a core ingredient:
2. NYX Professional Makeup Green Tea Blotting Paper (Rs 500)
3. Innisfree Green Tea Mint Fresh Shampoo (Rs 650)
4. Plum Green Tea Clear Face Mask (Rs 417)
If you’re making green tea with the tea leaves: This method is similar to how you would normally make tea without adding milk at the end. Boil a cup or two of water according to your requirement. Once it’s heated, add the tea leaves right into the pan. Let it simmer for a while and then pour the tea out with a strainer.
You could also just boil the water and put the tea leaves on the strainer. Pour the hot water through the strainer holding the leaves and enjoy yourself a nice hot cup of green tea.
If you’re using the tea bags, you could just put one in your cup and seep with some hot water. That’s it, you’re done!
Even though it originated from ancient China, its consumption and production have reached many Asian countries and most parts of the modern world.
The first green tea was brewed in 2737 BC during the reign of Emperor Shennong.
Green tea is basically 99.9% water and offers 1 calorie for every 100 ml serving.
Everything has a side effect if it is consumed in a large quantity or not taken properly. Likewise, here are some of the ill effects of drinking too much green tea:
1. Overdose Symptoms
Taking high doses of green tea, which is basically taking more than 4 to 6 cups a day, can lead to a headache, nervousness, sleep issues, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, dizziness and convulsions. The caffeine in the tea is the prime cause of these side effects. These results can be more pronounced in children if used in excessive doses.
2. Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Drinking more than two cups of green tea a day during pregnancy or breastfeeding can be unsafe. It is best to consult a doctor on the matter.
3. Bleeding Disorders
The caffeine in green tea can also lead to an increase in bleeding. Hence, it is not recommended if you have a bleeding disorder.
4. Eye Issues
Drinking green tea can cause excessive pressure in the eyes. You should refrain from taking green tea if you have any kind of eye ailments.
6. Liver Disease
Green tea extracts have been linked to numerous cases of liver damage. If you have liver issues, you should avoid its consumption.
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