Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits. Green tea is more than just green liquid. Many of the bio-active compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients. It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants.
These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.
12 Proven Benefits of Green Tea
There has been actual proven studies as to the benefits of Green Tea I have listed just a few:
- Gives protection against cancer
- Speeds up weight loss
- Reduces breathing problems
- Lowers the severity of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Helps for stimulating smooth digestion
- Reduces the effects of obstructive sleep apnea
- Reduces stress and depression
- Helps fight infection
- Boost the immune system
- Prevents Alzheimer’s
Anti-aging Benefits of Green Tea
Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects of green tea may delay signs of skin aging, such as sun damage, expression lines and wrinkles, according to a study published in the September 2010 issue of the journal “Collegium Anthropologicum.” Catechins in green tea may also help prevent skin cancer due to sun exposure, notes Pearl E. Grimes, author of the book “Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery for Darker Skin Types.” A study published in the October 2011 issue of the journal “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications” found that EGCG inhibited a type of skin cancer called melanoma in laboratory animals by inhibiting genes that activate inflammation.
Black, green and oolong teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea consists of leaves that haven’t been fermented and so contain the highest level of antioxidants. These teas contain polyphenols. Catechins are the type of polyphenols that seem to have the most potent antioxidant effects, according to Natural Standard, the leading and most-respected reviewer of herbal compounds.
Weight Loss Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is more than just hot, flavored water.The bio-active substances in the tea leaves dissolve in the water and make it into the final drink. When you drink a cup of quality tea, you’re actually getting a large amount of beneficial substances with potent biological effects .
The best known of these is caffeine. A cup of green tea contains much less caffeine (24-40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100-200 mg), but still enough to have a mild effect. Caffeine is a well known stimulant that has been shown to aid fat burning and improve exercise performance in numerous studies.
But where green tea really shines is in its massive range of antioxidants… being loaded with potent antioxidants called catechins. The most important of these is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a substance that can boost metabolism.
Keep in mind that these benefits can be derived both from drinking green tea as a beverage, as well as taking green tea extract as a supplement. Most of the studies used extracts.
Japanese Green Tea
Tea seeds were first brought to Japan in the early 9th century by the Buddhist monks Saicho and Kukai. During the Heian period (794–1185), Emperor Saga introduced the practice of drinking tea to the imperial family. The Zen Buddhist priest Eisai (1141–1215), founder of the Rinzai school of Buddhism, brought tea seeds from China to plant in various places in Japan. Eisai advocated that all people, not just Buddhist monks and the elite, drink tea for its health benefits.
The oldest tea producing region in Japan is Uji, located near the former capital of Kyoto.It is thought that seeds sent by Eisai were planted in Uji, becoming the basis of the tea industry there.
Today, Japan’s most expensive premium teas are still grown in Uji. The largest tea producing area today is Shizuoka Prefecture, which accounts for 40% of total Japanese sencha production. Other major tea producing regions include the island of Kyushu and the prefectures of Shiga, Gifu, and Saitama in central Honshu.
All commercial tea produced in Japan today is green tea, though for a brief period black tea was also produced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Japanese tea production is heavily mechanized, and is characterized by the use of modern technology and processes to improve yields and reduce labor. Because of the high cost of labor in Japan, only the highest quality teas are plucked and processed by hand in the traditional fashion.
Japanese green teas have a thin, needle-like shape and a rich, dark green color. Unlike Chinese teas, most Japanese teas are produced by steaming rather than pan firing. This produces their characteristic color, and creates a sweeter, more grassy flavor.
A mechanical rolling/drying process then dries the tea leaves into their final shape. The liquor of steamed Japanese tea tends to be cloudy due to the higher quantity of dissolved solids.
Most Japanese teas are blended from leaves grown in different regions, with less emphasis on terroir than in the Chinese market. Because of the limited quantity of tea that can be produced in Japan, the majority of production is dedicated to the premium tea market. Bottled tea and tea-flavored food products usually use lower-grade Japanese-style tea produced in China.
Although a variety of commercial tea cultivars exist in Japan, the vast majority of Japanese tea is produced using the Yabukita cultivar developed in the 1950s.
Popular Japanese green teas include:
A lower-grade tea plucked from the same bushes used to produce sencha. It has a somewhat bolder flavor, and is plucked each season after sencha production is finished.
Made by combining sencha tea leaves with toasted puffs of rice.
Grown under shade for three weeks prior to plucking, gyokuro is one of the most exclusive varieties of tea produced in Japan.The shading technique imparts a sweeter flavor, and produces a particularly rich color thanks to the higher amounts of chlorophyll in the shaded leaf. Gyokuro tea is associated with the Uji region, the first tea-growing region in Japan. It is often made using smaller-leaf cultivars of the tea plant.
This type of tea is made by roasting sencha or bancha leaves with kukicha twigs.
Similar to gyokuro, kabusecha is shaded for only a week prior to plucking. Its flavor is somewhat between that of gyokuro and normal sencha.
A blended tea made of sencha leaves and stems.
Like gyokuro, matcha is shaded before plucking. The plucked and processed leaf is called tencha. This product is then ground into a fine powder, which is matcha. Because the tea powder is very perishable, matcha is usually sold in small quantities. It is typically rather expensive. Matcha is the type of tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony. It is prepared by whisking the tea with hot water in a bowl, until the surface is frothy. If the water is too hot, the tea may become overly bitter.
This type of tea is produced throughout the tea season, and is the standard style today, representing 80% of all tea produced in Japan. 90% of sencha is grown from the Yabukita cultivar.
The first early harvest of tea, plucked before the first flush, is called shincha. Shincha is made from the youngest new growth leaves, and is plucked from early April to early May. Shincha typically refers to the early harvest of sencha, but can refer to any type of tea plucked early in the season, before the main harvest. Because of the limited quantities in which it is produced, shincha is highly prized and expensive to obtain.
Green Tea Extract Health Benefits
The leaves are initially processed by soaking in an alcohol solution, which may be further concentrated to various levels; byproducts of the process are also packaged and used. Extracts may be sold in liquid, powder, capsule, or tablet form. Decaffeinated versions are also available.
Green tea extract supplements are accessible over the counter in various forms. Standardized green tea extract is 90 percent total polyphenols, and 1 capsule equals 5 cups of tea.
The benefits of Green Tea in all forms are endless. But you will never know unless you try some!
If you have any questions or additional info you would like to add please leave comments below 🙂