Green tea, arguably the healthiest variety of the tea industry, is made from unfermented leaves which are pale in color and bitter in taste, produced mainly in Japan and China. Green tea was originated in China, but it has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. It can be prepared as a beverage. Green tea health benefits are many.
Black Tea or Green Tea
- Green tea will continue to be among the world’s healthiest beverages because of its extremely high health benefits. Other popular teas such as black and oolong varieties are made from the leaves of the same tea plant as green tea. However, those varieties of tea don’t have the same health properties as green tea. The difference is in way the tea leaves are processed.
- Green tea leaves aren’t fermented and hence, don’t go through the oxidation process that black tea undergoes, making it extremely rich in antioxidants ( mainly EGCG) known for fighting many terminal diseases like cancer. A 2013 review of many studies showed that, it reduces cholesterol, improves skin and teeth, and helps to reduce fat.
- Green tea contains 1/4th of the caffeine that coffee has, making it healthier whereas black tea contains 1/3rd the amount.
- Green Tea is less acidic, as compared to black tea and coffee, which helps it to wash away the acidic waste. It is observed that black tea can be stored for much longer, whereas green tea loses its flavor much sooner.
- Apart from all this, green tea helps reduce weight, which makes it altogether a star product.
To top it all off, green tea also helps prevent signs of ageing and wrinkles.
Green Tea Weight Loss
Green tea contains many beneficial substances, with potent biological effects that help in weight loss. It is loaded with potent antioxidants called catechins.
It contains bioactive substances like caffeine and EGCG, which can have powerful effects on metabolism.
Caffeine is a pretty famous stimulant that helps in burning fat. EGCG is a wonderful metabolism booster. Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. One study found that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and its maintenance in people who were overweight and moderately obese. Some researchers think that the active goodies in green tea known as catechins are responsible for its fat-burning effect.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green Tea for Diabetes
Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
Green Tea for Heart Disease
Scientists think that green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
Green Tea for Esophageal Cancer
It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
Green Tea for Cholesterol
Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
Green Tea for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.
Green Tea for Tooth Decay
Studies suggests that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions
Green Tea for Blood Pressure
Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Green Tea for Depression
Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
Green Tea is Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial
Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.
Green Tea for Skincare
Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.
Green Tea Boosts Metabolism Rate
If metabolic rate is increased energy is burnt more efficiently and the weight of a person reduces. Studies show that drinking five cups of Green Tea daily can accelerate your weight loss process. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea-extract increases the metabolism by 4% over a 24 hour period.
The substances in green tea increase levels of hormones that tell fat cells to break down fat. This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy.
These effects are probably due to the high concentrations of catechin polyphenols found in green tea. These work to help intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body burns calories.
Green tea acts as a glucose regulator and helps to slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal. This prevents high insulin spikes and the subsequent fat storage.
A number of studies show that green tea extract can boost the burning of fat. The effect is even stronger when exercising. The belly fat that builds around the organs is the visceral fat, which is very harmful.
Although the weight loss effects are modest, a significant percentage of the fat lost is the harmful visceral fat.
Amount of Green Tea to be consumed daily
Doses of green tea vary significantly, but usually range between 1-10 cups daily. The commonly used dose of green tea is based on the amount typically consumed in Asian countries, which is about 3 cups per day. To make tea, people typically use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves in 8 ounces boiling water.
Simple Ways to Make Green Tea
- Using tea leaves
To make tea, people typically use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves in 8 ounces boiling water.
Add green tea powder to the water.
Boil the water in a saucepan. Boil till the powder settles to the bottom.
Strain the green tea water into a cup or mug.
Add honey and lemon piece. Serve immediately.
- Using tea bags
Place green tea bag in a cup.
Pour hot water into the cup.
Dip the green teabag a few times and allow to infuse for 1-2 minutes.
Dip the teabag a few more times and remove.
Commercial Green Tea Brands Available in Indian Market
- Lipton Green Tea
- Brooke Bond – Darjeeling Green Tea
- Wagh Bakri Green Tea (available in mint and tulsi flavour)
- Tulsi- Green Tea
- Tetley Green Tea
Side Effects of Green Tea
- Be cautious of the caffeine if you have health problems.
People that have heart problems, high blood pressure or other serious health issues, consuming caffeine in green tea is not a very nice idea. Try taking green tea extract.
- If you are taking any sort of medications, limit the intake of green tea or avoid it altogether.
- Drinking green tea can make anemia worse.
- Caffeine in green tea might affect blood sugar control. If you drink green tea and have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.
- Drinking green tea can increase the amount of calcium that is flushed out in the urine.
- Green tea also contains tannins (which decreases the absorption of iron and folic acid), so if you are pregnant or trying to conceive then green tea may not be ideal for you. You can try mixing green tea with other healthy ingredients such as ginger.
While some people will tell you that green tea is the be-all-end-all for weight loss success, I think the keyword here is balance. You’re not going to eat 5000 calories a day, drink a cup of green tea and make it all go away – it just isn’t going to happen. A healthy diet and increased exercise will go a long way in helping you lose weight and keep it off.
While green tea is not the magic bullet, it can definitely give you a boost in weight loss and in your overall health!