When it comes to health and fitness, benefits of green tea cannot be overlooked. Consuming Green Tea for weight loss is becoming a common practice in households. Let's read further for more such amazing green tea benefits.
Loaded with numerous health benefits; Green tea has become a popular beverage world over. It is loaded with health-benefiting compounds that not only offer relief from common health-related issues; but also keep chronic diseases at bay.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is a beverage that finds its roots in ancient China. It originates from Camellia sinensis, which is also the plant species from which black tea is harvested. However, it is the variety of the plant and the way its leaves are processed post-plucking that ascertain whether a tea is ‘Green’ or ‘Black’.
Image Source: shineherbs.com
The Camellia sinensis plant has two main varieties that are used popularly in the tea business, world-over. These are –
- Camellia sinensis sinensis: It is a variety that grows commonly in cooler, mountainous regions and has smaller leaves. Perfect to make green and white teas, this shrub is a Chinese native.
- Camellia sinensis assamica: It is a variety that needs warm and humid climate to thrive and bears larger leaves. Used to make black teas, this shrub is native to India, particularly the Assam region.
How Is Green Tea Different From Black Tea?
When it comes to green tea vs. black tea the difference starts with the way the tea leaves are processed and goes right up to the way the tea is prepared for consumption.
1. The difference in processing:
In the case of green tea, the tea leaves harvested from the plant are quickly sent for processing without allowing them to oxidize. They are immediately heated either by steaming or pan-firing to dry them out to prevent any oxidation to take place. This step keeps the green leaves from turning brown and thereby, preserves their fresh flavor. Post this, the leaves are cooled and sent for first rolling. The whole process is then repeated all over again to ensure complete drying. The best green tea is one that has been successfully processed with minimal oxidation.
Contrarily, black tea leaves are left to oxidize completely after being harvested. Post-oxidation, the leaves, which are now a characteristic brown in color; are heat processed to further dry out. Oxidation significantly alters the flavor of these tea leaves giving them the taste they are famous for.
2. The difference in brewing:
When brewed correctly, the best green tea will typically give you a yellowish green to greenish brown color. Whereas, a well-brewed cup of black tea is often reddish amber to dark brown in color.
Image Source: healthyfoodhouse.com
3. The difference in taste:
Green tea has a grass-like flavor that may range from being slightly sweet to seaweed-like if steamed during processing and slightly toasty if pan fired. It is a mild-tasting beverage that is very slightly astringent.
Black tea, on the other hand, can be fruity, to malty, or roasted as per the technique of processing used. It has a strong a stringy and bitter flavor, which some may like to balance by adding milk and others may love it the way it is.
How Does Green Tea Work On Our Body?
In our everyday life we encounter a lot of issues such as poor diet, stress, fatigue, attack by infections, smoking, drinking, pollutants, chemicals and a lot more. All these factors lead to the production of free radicals in our body. These free radicals then, attack the body’s healthy cells causing several ailments and also lead to pre-mature ageing.
The effects of free radicals can however, be fought by the protective action of antioxidants. If we carefully select the foods we eat to replenish our stock of antioxidants in the body, we can overcome the damage caused by free radicals and also protect our body from further harm.
One of the biggest advantages of green tea is its being a rich source of antioxidants known as Catechin Polyphenols. These antioxidants help to detoxify the body and strengthen its immune system. Being a rich source of antioxidants, green tea helps the body build its immunity to fight these free radicals. It positively affects liver function to flush out toxins from our body and increases metabolism to aid bodily functions.
10 Benefits Of Green Tea
The processing of green tea allows it to retain its abundant reserve of antioxidants and prevents it from oxidizing. As a result, it emerges as one of the healthiest substitutes to regular tea and coffee and even better than fruits and vegetables when it comes to antioxidants. Therefore, the benefits of green tea are many and worth discussing at length. Take a look –
Image Source: shopify.com
1. Green Tea for weight loss
Researchers have found that green tea contains six different types of catechins or antioxidants. Out of this, the EGCG catechin found in green tea is highly effective in increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Therefore, when consumed on a daily basis green tea may help burn fat, especially in the waist and abdominal region. Its di-uretic properties help flush out excess water and thus, reduce water retention and bloating. It also helps the body to flush out toxins and leaves one feeling satiated for long. As a result there is reduced binge eating and your efforts at fat loss generate faster results. It is therefore, advisable to have green tea for weight loss.
2. Green tea to lower blood sugar levels
Great for diabetics, green tea helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. It contains polyphenols as well as polysaccharides that stimulate the production of insulin and also absorb excessive glucose in people suffering from Type 1 Diabetes. For those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, it aids in reducing frequent spikes in blood sugar thus, preventing complications such as those of the eye, kidneys and the heart.
3. Green tea to reduce cholesterol
Researchers have found that regular green tea consumption helps reduce Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; also known as the bad cholesterol. Simultaneously, it also aids to raise the Good cholesterol -High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL); thereby, balancing the ratio of the two in the body. Green tea has compounds that help to prevent the digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol, while also facilitating its excretion simultaneously. When green tea is consumed on a daily basis the arteries remain clean, as LDL oxidation does not take place. As a result, there is little or no plaque buildup and the heart remains healthy.
Image Source: carebaba.com
4. Benefits of green tea for hair
Full of antioxidants, Green tea not only prevents hair loss it also promotes re-growth of hair. Hair loss is primarily caused by DHT. However, when we consume green tea on a regular basis its polyphenol catechins block the action of DHT; thereby, reducing hair fall. Also, EGCG component in green tea stimulates the hair follicles to promote hair growth.
Green tea can also be used as an external application for hair. Simply brew some green tea, cool it down a little to lukewarm temperature. Now pour the green tea extract into a mug of water to prepare an after-wash hair rinse. Leave it on for 10 minutes then wash off with water. Repeat the process twice a week to get dandruff free scalp.
5. Benefits of green tea for oral health
Drinking green tea helps improve dental health, prevents cavities and also helps reduce bad breath. It is a natural source of fluoride that strengthens teeth; while the polyphenols and catechins effectively destroy decay-causing bacteria to keep the teeth and gums healthy.
However, it is noteworthy here, that when we add sugar, artificial sweeteners or honey to our green tea, it looses its oral benefits.
6. Green tea benefits for brain health
The antioxidants present in green tea boost blood flow to the brain and enhance the activity that takes place in brain’s working memory region. Research has shown that regular green tea intake reduces plaque formation in the brain; thereby limiting the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Green Tea also boosts memory function of the brain.
Image Source: carebaba.com
7. Benefits of green tea for skin
To enhance your skin texture and get a lasting glow from within; green tea can be consumed, as well as, applied externally. It also offers protection from damage caused by sun rays by reducing inflammation and limiting the aging effect of free radicals.
In addition to drinking green tea twice a day, you can also make green tea toner and face application. Simply brew 100 grams of green tea in half a liter of water. Let it cool. Now refrigerate half of it and freeze the other half in an ice tray. Dip a muslin cloth in the cold green tea and cover your face with it. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes and wash away. This facemask works well to offer relief from allergies, acne, dry skin, sunburns and more. As for the frozen green tea ice cubes; use them as an end-of-day toner to rub all over your face before going to bed. You will notice a remarkable change in fine lines and open pores.
8. Green tea benefits against allergies
When you consume green tea the EGCG compound helps the body against allergic attacks by stopping its reaction against allergens. Green tea works wonders for those suffering from asthma. It is rich in theophylline which helps relax bronchial muscles during an attack; thereby reducing its severity.
9. Uses of green tea in enhancing Liver health
The antioxidants present in green tea help to flush out the harmful free radicals from the liver and keep it healthy. Regular green tea intake prevents fat from accumulating in the liver by increasing your metabolism and keeping the liver from getting pressurized.
10. Green tea benefits to prevent osteoporosis
Both men and women experience low bone density as they age. Men post 40 and women post menopause can possibly develop osteoporosis. This causes brittle bones that fracture easily. Having green tea on a daily basis replenishes the body with high doses of fluoride that strengthens the bones and slows down their degeneration. Thus, the threat of osteoporosis can be mitigated.
What are the side effects of green tea?
There are not many known side effects of green tea. However, it may rarely intervene with some drugs or cause some reactions under certain health conditions. Therefore, the following can be kept in mind
- Avoid green tea when on blood thinners because the vitamin K content in green tea may further reduce the coagulating effect of blood; thus leading to complications.
- Green tea may also negatively interact with aspirin; therefore the combination is best avoided.
- People with over-sensitivity to caffeine can avoid green tea just like they avoid any other similar beverage.
- Green tea is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure in people on stimulant drugs.
How To Drink Green Tea?
Image Source: abeautyhub.com
In order to reap maximum health benefits of green tea, it is best that the beverage be consumed without any sugar, artificial sweeteners, or honey.
- Green tea can be had by itself or you can also add some ground cardamom, almonds and saffron to it to enhance the flavor.
- Make sure that the water you use for making your cup of green tea is not boiling hot. Rather, let it cool down a notch or two before using. This prevents the tea from getting a bitter a stringy flavor.
- Use a few grams of tea leaves only; don’t overdo it for the color, lest you want a bitter beverage to deal with.
- Green tea is best had in a ceramic or bone china cup.
- You can reuse most green tea leaves at least once.
- Green tea is available in the form of tea leaves, bottled beverages, tea leaf powder, and even as green tea capsules. If you do not like to have it as a beverage you can even consume the capsules to enjoy the many health benefits of green tea.
When To Drink Green Tea?
It is advisable to have at least two to three cups of green tea every day. You can have one early in the morning, before breakfast to lend an invigorating start to your day.
Pour yourself another ‘cuppa’ around mid noon to beat the stress at work or at home. And one cup of green tea in the evening is best to unwind and relax as you mull over the day that went by.
What’s better than helping your body recover and rejuvenate with a cup full of good health.
Green Tea Recipe – For those who want to get it right
Image Source: healthyfuturesva.com
Green tea recipe is clearly simple, yet complicated at the same time. It incorporates minimalistic ingredients that require a fine balance of timing and quantity to give you that perfect cup. Every variety of green tea has different brewing and steeping instructions that need to be followed. Therefore, either ask your vendor to guide you or read the instructions carefully.
However, here are some general tips to remember:
- Boil a cup of water and let rest for a minute or two before using. We do not want the tea leaves to scorch, as that would make your tea bitter.
- Use about two to three grams of tealeaves.
- Once rested the water is ready to be poured over the tea leaves.
- Pour the water over the leaves and cover the pot to allow the tea to steep with ample heat there. This should take about 40 to 60 seconds in most cases. However, some tea varieties might take over two minutes also.
- Now simply strain the leaves and sip on!