Green Tea is made from leaves of Camellia Sinensis. It is called green tea because the leaves of the plants go through minimum oxidation during processing. Due to its beneficial properties this tea is becoming as popular as black tea. It has become so popular that it is now being added to many beverages, dietary supplements and even in cosmetic products. Generally one teaspoon of tea is added to one cup of water. The steeping time (also called brewing time) varies for different varieties of tea. Hottest steeping temperature (water temperature) is around 80 to 85 degree Centigrade which is equivalent to 175 to 190 degree Fahrenheit. Lower quality tea is steeped hotter and longer. Higher quality teas are steeped cooler and shorter but more tea leaves may be used.
Varieties of Green Tea
Varieties of Chinese Green Tea are most popular. They are grown from 600 different cultivars of the plant. Due to this there are a large number of varieties. In China green tea is pan fired or oven dried or sun dried. In Japan a steaming process is followed. Due to this, the taste of tea varies. Following are varieties of green tea: –
- Longjing – This is the most well known tea in China.
- Kaihua Longding – This is also known as Dragon Mountain Tea
- Hua Ding
- Quing Ding
- Que She
- White Cloud
- Jasmine Tea
- Mao Feng Tea
Green Tea Weight Loss
The tea contains substances which may help you in losing some weight. Read on to have idea as to how this is achieved: –
- In order to burn fat it must be broken into fat cells. These fat cells then move into blood stream where they are burnt to provide energy to your body. The tea contains EGCG which boosts the effect of fat burning compounds in your body. The antioxidant EGCG increases a hormone named Norepinephrine. This works on the nervous system which then signals the fat to breakdown into fat cells.
- This fat burning effect is much better if green tea is taken along with physical exercise.
- Green tea also boosts your body’s metabolic rate. If metabolic rate increase, the body automatically burns more fat and gives energy to muscles. So green tea can burn more calories even if you are at rest. This extra fat burning can increase by about 4%.
- This tea reduces your appetite. Therefore your calorie intake reduces which helps in weight loss. But this fact is not yet fully established by research.
Benefits of Green Tea
Some of the most important benefits of green tea are given below: –
- Green Tea increases metabolic rate of the body. Therefore fat oxidation in your body speeds up. It also improves insulin sensitivity.
- The tea contains 15 to 50 mb of caffeine. The caffeine boosts short term memory and also provides protection against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- The tea improves and strengthens body’s immune system. It contains theanine which boosts production of T Cell and reinforces your body’s capability to fight infections which may cause various deceases.
- A hormone named Cortisol is responsible for causing stress. Green tea lowers the level of cortisol in the body, thereby reducing stress.
- Green tea is very effective in treating bacterial infection like Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and pneumonia. It also inhibits growth of mouth bacteria and eliminates bad breath. Tannin in the tea helps in production of antibodies which helps your body against infection.
- Drinking three to four cups of this tea improves heart health, reduces blood pressure and prevents hardening of arteries. It also reduces the risk of stroke. It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood.
- Consumption of this tea suppresses appetite. So it is helpful in reducing weight. It also fights obesity by increasing fat oxidation in the body.
- Catechin in the tea destroys many types of harmful bacteria. So the tea helps in proper digestion of food and helps in many types of bowel ailments.
- It has loads of fluorides which strengthens the teeth and bone structure.
- Green tea has anti cancer properties due to presence of antioxidants. It helps against breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer.
Nutrition in Green Tea
Nutritional benefits of green tea are incredible. More than 450 organic compounds are found in green tea. Read on about following facts about the tea: –
- It is a calorie free beverage which is also very hydrating. Four cups of green tea can be taken per day.
- Nutritional benefit of green tea is very significant as it is rich in catechin polyphenols. It neutralizes free radicals and slows down aging process.
- It is loaded with antioxidants and alkaloids.
- It contains EGCG which is a much more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin C.
- The tea contains many vitamins like Vitamin A, E, D, C, B1,, B12, B5, H and Vitamin K.
- Green tea is also a rich source of Manganese, Chromium, Selenium and Zinc.
- The tea also contains caffeine but in quantity which is quite low.
- The tea contains beneficial compounds like polyphenols, tannin, theophylline, caffeine, vitamin C and many other organic substances.
Side Effects of Green Tea
There are some side effects which if not spotted at right time may cause health issues.
- Green tea must be brewed properly otherwise it will cause heart burn and upset stomach. It should be brewed well below the boiling temperature of the water, at around 80 to 85 degrees centigrade.
- Some people are allergic to Chinese green tea which may cause difficulty in breathing, swelling of lips etc.
- The tea may reduce your body’s capability to absorb iron. This can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. To avoid this, add lemon to the green tea before drinking.
- For pregnant women green tea is not advisable in large quantity. Caffeine, tannic acid and catechins present in the tea may cause birth defects. So it carries pregnancy risk.
- Caffeine is not present in large quantity in this tea. But if you take more than four cups per day the total caffeine intake may cause problems. Too much of caffeine may cause restlessness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping