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Benefits of green tea

Date Posted:4 October 2022 

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It's consumed for its taste, health benefits and antioxidant properties. Green tea contains a number of beneficial compounds that have been shown to have a positive effect on health.


What is green tea?

Green tea is made from the same Camellia sinesis plant of black tea. The difference, and what gives green tea its unique colour, taste and benefit, is that green tea has not undergone the oxidation processes which causes the withering and darkening and black tea. It can be consumed hot or cold, used in cooking, and is thought to have high antioxidant content and many health benefits. Green tea contains a large number of nutrients, including potent antioxidants called catechins, which may help protect you against cancer.


Types of green tea

1. Sencha Green Tea

Sencha green tea has a sweet and mild flavour, and is one of the most common kinds of green tea. It also contains very high polyphenol content, making it one of the highest antioxidant teas.

2. Matcha Green Tea

Matcha green tea comes in the form of a dried powder, and can be mixed with hot water to make a tea, used in recipes for baking or even added into ice cream.

3. Bancha Green Tea

Bancha green tea has a stronger flavour, being more bitter and astringent than other varieties, and with a lower caffeine content. It is one of the cheaper varieties, and most commonly what you might find in the supermarket.

4. Jasmine Green Tea

Jasmine green tea is what you have likely been served in a Chinese restaurant. Green tea with jasmine has been infused with jasmine blossoms, giving the tea a naturally sweet taste and aroma.



Benefits of green tea

Being that green tea has not undergone the oxidation process of black tea, it naturally retains its high polyphenol content. Polyphenols have been shown in numerous clinical studies to benefit cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries prone to oxidation), along with general antioxidant effect and disease prevention. Catechins are a type of polyphenol which can help to increase thermogenesis, promoting a weight loss effect by increasing metabolism. It is this component of green tea which is isolated and concentrated in weight loss formulations. Theanine is an amino acid (found in both green and black tea), which has the ability to increase alpha brain waves, resulting in a calm yet alert state of mind. Green tea is so good for you that some studies show drinking it regularly may help prevent several chronic diseases. The antioxidants in green tea can protect against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.


Green tea and weight loss

Green tea may help you lose fat, especially harmful abdominal fat. In one study, researchers looked at the effects of green tea consumption on total and regional body composition in overweight men and women. They found that consuming green tea catechins resulted in significant reductions in waist circumference, abdominal fat mass and visceral fat area within 12 weeks. Green tea has also been shown to improve weight loss when combined with exercise.


Green tea may protect your brain

Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which help protect the brain. Studies have shown that drinking green tea may:

  • Reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia by preventing build up of plaque on the brain.
  • Prevent stroke by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart. This can also help with heart failure and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), since it improves the efficiency at which your heart pumps out blood.
  • Slow down Parkinson's disease progression by reducing inflammation that occurs when you have this condition.


Green tea can kill bacteria

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help to fight off bacteria in the mouth, throat, and stomach. The antioxidants in green tea have been shown to kill bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans - both of which can cause tooth decay and other oral problems. The benefits of green tea may even extend beyond your mouth! Antioxidants have been shown to prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes (type 2) and more.



Green tea may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes

Green tea may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that green tea may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In a 2010 study from the University of Toronto and Harvard University, researchers found that drinking at least two cups of green tea each day was associated with a 24 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 17 percent reduced risk of stroke compared to non tea drinkers.


Green tea may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease

A number of studies suggest that green tea may help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. It's thought that the antioxidant properties of green tea may explain its ability to benefit heart health. Antioxidants are chemicals that neutralize free radicals - unstable molecules produced by normal cell functions that can damage cells and contribute to aging and disease.


Uses of green tea

If you think that green tea can only be used as a drink, think again. In addition to making a tea, matcha green tea has become a popular ingredient amongst desserts, including cakes, ice creams, crackers, cookies, puddings, pastries, protein balls and health snacks, including matcha tiramisu. Matcha ice cream is particularly popular in Japan and around the world. Health benefits of matcha green tea have been recognised widely and people are taking advantage of it globally. If you have not tried green tea before, you may wish to start with a tea first.

Organic Merchant Moroccan Mint Green Tea is made with sencha green tea, peppermint, spearmint and is made with 100% organic ingredients and it's delicious. Alternatively, matcha powder can be used in skin care, particularly in face masks due to its powerful antioxidants and anti ageing compound catechin.


How to make green tea

If you have a fancy kettle, set you temperature to 80 degrees. Pouring hot water which is not boiling ensures antioxidants are retained in the tea. If you are using a regular kettle, simply pull it off before it starts to become boiling, yet still hot enough to infuse the tea. Depending on how strong you like your green tea, let it infuse for 2 minutes or longer. Loose leaf green tea or tea bags? Whatever you like as both contain health benefits especially if it is organic green tea. On the other hand, matcha green tea powder can be added to warm water to make a cup of matcha tea. You can also add matcha tea powder to your favourite smoothies for a nutritional boost.


Green tea vs coffee

You might have heard about the health benefits of green tea, but you may be concerned about the caffeine content. After all, some people like to limit their caffeine intake for various reasons.

The good news is that green tea contains less caffeine than coffee. The typical amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee is between 80 -100 mg . A cup of brewed green tea has roughly 25 mg per cup on average . This amount changes depending on which type of green tea you’re drinking, how it was brewed etc.

Coffee is much higher in caffeine, giving you a greater kick than tea. However, as coffee lacks that all important amino acid theanine, coffee can result in the jitters and ‘scatty’ mind.



Green tea versus matcha

Matcha is a fine powder made from ground green tea leaves. It's the same leaf that goes into preparing your typical cup of hot green tea, but instead of making a beverage, matcha is whisked into water and consumed in its concentrated form. The result is an incredibly healthy drink that has more antioxidants than regular green tea and also contains more caffeine (but not so much that it'll keep you up at night).

Matcha can be mixed with other ingredients - matcha latte is popular in Japan - but if you want to enjoy the full benefits without any additives or sweeteners, just add some cold water and mix the powder into it until it reaches your desired consistency.


Is green tea safe during pregnancy?

As green tea contains caffeine, it is advised not to drink during pregnancy. In any case, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your health care practitioner and seek their guidance on safety of green tea for pregnant women or breastfeeding mums.


Green tea skin benefits

Green tea benefits skin in a variety of ways. It has anti inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness, swelling and irritation. Green tea also helps to hydrate the skin while retaining moisture, which helps prevent dryness and flaking. Green tea is a natural source of antioxidants which are important for keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking. Antioxidants can help reduce acne breakouts by preventing damage caused by free radicals in the body. On top of all this green tea will leave you feeling refreshed with its minty aroma!


Final thoughts

Green tea is a great way to improve your health, but there are many different types of green tea. Matcha is one type of green tea that has special benefits. It comes from Japan and has been used for more than 1,000 years as part of traditional Japanese culture. You can find matcha at most restaurants or buy it online at places like Sassy Organics.




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