Green Tea Health Benefits

Green Tea Leaves

Chinese and Indian people have known the benefits that tea can bring to the human body for centuries. Tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush. Green tea comes from un-oxidized leaves of the plant. These leaves are steamed, whereas leaves that produce black tea go into a process of fermentation. There are many green tea health benefits: weight loss, help to prevent cardiovascular diseases… Recent studies even show the role of green tea in fighting cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Green Tea And Weight Loss

Green tea boosts the metabolic rate and increases fat burning. The antioxidants (catechins) and the caffeine contained in it can help lose weight. The antioxidants speed up the metabolism and together with the caffeine, they stimulate the central nervous system and release fat into the blood stream, so that the body can use this fat as fuel. This process is called thermogenesis. But don’t expect fast results: the metabolism is only accelerated by 4%. On this page you will find green tea and weight loss recipes: The best green tea recipes for weight loss.

Decaffeinated Green Tea

Antioxidants are slightly reduced when caffeine is removed from the tea, but the antioxidant activity is still present. Concerning weight loss, a 2011 study showed a slightly weight loss on obese men. As decaffeinated green tea contains only the third of catechins found in regular tea, it also reduces the tea’s flavors.

Japanese Green Tea

Japan produces almost exclusively green tea. The first harvest, that takes place between the end of March and mid-May, produces a green tea of a very high quality.

The most common variety of Japanese green tea is Sencha. The taste of Sencha depends on the way it is steamed: the traditional method (about 30 seconds of steaming) produces a tea with a very subtle taste and a yellow-green color, whereas a Sencha that was steamed longer has a stronger taste but less flavor.

Other types of Japanese green tea include Gyokuro, a luxury tea produced in Kyoto and Fukuoka, Kabuse-cha, a tea similar to Sencha, Tamaryoku-cha, a light tea with a refreshing taste, Matcha, the tea used in the famous tea ceremony, Hôji-cha, a tea with a brown colour, Genmai-cha, De-mono…

Matcha green tea is high on antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), an antioxidant known for its cancer fighting properties. It is also good for relaxation and meditation, because of the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves, which improves memory and concentration too. Matcha green tea is also known to fortify the immune system and help to fight bad cholesterol.

Green Tea Side Effects

When consumed in moderation, green tea is considered safe for most adults. Due to the caffeine contained in it, green tea can have several side effects though, like headaches, irritability, sleep problems, heartburn, diarrhoea, constipation, convulsions… Green tea side effects occur if one drinks more than 5 cups a day. A pregnant woman should not drink more than 2 cups a day. If you’re susceptible with caffeine, avoid drinking green tea with antibiotics: they make the effects of caffeine last longer.

Is Green Tea Good For You?

Drinking green tea brings a lot of benefits to your body. Aside weight loss, green tea can help slow breast cancer, prevents cholesterol in arteries, boosts memory, helps control blood pressure, kills certain bacteria in food. So yes, certainly, green tea IS good for you!

Do you drink green tea regularly? Have you noticed green tea health benefits on your body? Tell us what you think in the comments!

Photos:  Green Tea Cup : wildbindi – Creative Commons / Green Tea Leaves: Wilerson S Andrade – Creative Commons

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