Why Green Tea?
Chiltea tokyo | Dec 07, 2018 | Contents |
Daily exercise, vitamins, fiber diets, and maintaining a positive mindset are just a few ways to stay healthy. It is important to maintain good health in all aspects of our lives, and we should always look out for our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Luckily, there is one thing that can help us achieve all of those.
After water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. Tea offers a lot of health benefits, from helping with weight loss and preventing heart illnesses to relaxing the mind. It can be easily concluded that tea helps us with almost everything, health-wise.
There are numerous types of tea in most corners of the globe. Each type of tea is determined by the level of oxidation of the tea leaves. The top three classic types of tea are black tea, oolong tea, and green tea. They are all made from Camellia sinensis leaves; the difference between each is in the preparation process. Black tea is the most common type of tea. Its leaves are rolled and fermented, which is also slightly similar to how oolong tea is prepared.
Green tea, on the other hand, does not go through the fermentation process, making it the healthiest among the three. Skipping this process allows green tea to provide the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols.
Green tea originated from China and India. It was traditionally used for medicinal purposes until back in 1191 when a Zen priest by the name of Eisai wrote a book called Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea). Eisai was a Buddhist monk who studied in China and India. He talked about tea refinement, green tea preparation, and how beneficial it was for people’s health. He brought this knowledge back to Japan through his book, which became a huge success and led to the emergence of tea culture in Japan.
Types of Japanese Green Tea
There are several types of Japanese green tea depending on the cultivation method, growing conditions, and the steaming and drying process. Each type has its own characteristics and flavor.
Sencha is the most common type of green tea in Japan. Made from only the youngest tea leaves, Sencha has a balanced acidity and sweetness.
Gyokuro is also known as Jade Den and is often referred to as the type of green tea that has the best quality. Gyokuro has a concentrated flavor due to its shade-grown tea leaves. It has a distinguishable color of deep green, an unparalleled aroma, and a combination of sweet and seaweed-like taste.
Hojicha is known to be mild-tasting and has less caffeine, which makes it a perfect drink after heavy meals. It has a reddish-brown color and a roasted aroma.
Matcha is the most recognized type of green tea due to its bright green color. It is prepared from high-quality tea leaves that are grown in the shade, just like Gyokuro, which strengthens the tea’s flavor and caffeine level. Matcha has a unique earthy flavor and is the most sought-after ingredient in modern cuisines.
Genmaicha is a mix of Sencha tea and toasted puffed brown rice. It has a mild flavor with a popcorn-like taste. It is perfect for those who prefer low-caffeine tea.
Benefits of Green Tea
Why should we drink green tea? The simplest answer would be: because of its long list of health benefits.
Here are some of them:
Green tea is known to be a weight loss tool. It boosts the metabolic rate and contains polyphenols. Polyphenols increase the levels of fat oxidation, which turns food into calories. The caffeine content of green tea mobilizes fatty acids from fat tissues, turning them into energy. This helps improve the physical performance of the body.
Promotes Heart Health
There have been several studies asserting that long-term intake of green tea can improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular and coronary diseases and stroke. Research suggests that at least three cups a day can help regulate blood pressure.
Green tea contains flavan-3-ols and anthocyanidin antioxidants, which are beneficial for metabolic and cardiovascular health. Green tea also helps in increasing the amount of blood that your heart pumps because of its ACE-inhibiting properties.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Green tea reduces LDL, also known as bad cholesterol. It also raises the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body.
Promotes Dental and Oral Health
Studies show that the antioxidant catechin helps kill bacteria and viruses found inside the mouth that can cause bad breath, throat infections, plaque, and other dental and oral problems. Because it eliminates viral and bacterial infections, green tea can help improve dental health and prevent tooth decay. It’s no wonder that some toothpaste brands add green tea extract to their products.
Aside from preventing dental and oral issues, the anti-viral and anti-bacterial characteristic of catechin can also help inhibit the spread of numerous diseases throughout the body.
Promotes Brain Health
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease cause deterioration and damage to the brain cells. According to studies, green tea protects brain cells from dying and regenerates damaged brain cells. The caffeine content of green tea also helps improve brain health and helps reduce stress and anxiety. Another component of green tea is the amino acid, L-theanine. This crosses the blood-brain barrier and also aids in promoting brain health.
L-theanine helps prevent mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. This amino acid stimulates serotonin and dopamine, two key components that fight off depression. Research shows that if a person drinks green tea regularly, they are less likely to feel depressed, anxious, and stressed.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most well-known diseases, affecting around half a billion people all around the world. Green tea helps improve insulin sensitivity and prevents the rise of blood sugar levels. It can also sensitize cells so as to metabolize sugar better.
Cancer involves a malignant tumor caused by an uncontrolled growth of cells that expands internally by invasion and systematically by metastasis. It is one of the most common causes of death. Until today, there is still no definite cure for cancer, but there are ways to prevent it.
One of them is by consuming antioxidants. Green tea, luckily, is an amazing source of antioxidants. A few types of cancer that can be prevented by green tea are breast cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.
Keeps Skin Youthful
Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help prolong youthful skin and prevent early signs of lines and wrinkles. These can be achieved through consistent and proper intake of green tea, as well as through face masks. Some researchers suggest using face masks composed of honey and green tea leaves from the tea bag. This can help with anti-aging and can leave the skin cleansed and refreshed.
Aside from this, green tea can also be used to treat dark eye bags and puffy eyes. The antioxidants affect the blood vessels surrounding the eye area to remove dark circles and puffiness.
Disadvantages of Green Tea
By now, we all surely believe that green tea is the superhero of all beverages. It has so many health benefits, each one significant to our well-being. But as they say, too much of anything is bad.
Here are a few notes on how often we should consume green tea.
Remember that green tea is a caffeinated drink. Although caffeine has a long list of benefits, too much of it can cause harm to the body. Too much caffeine consumption can cause stomach ulcers, palpitation, anxiety, and sleep interference, to name just a few.
If a person has specific health conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), anemia, or even pregnancy, it is preferable to first consult a doctor regarding the amount of caffeine they can safely consume.
Too much green tea is bad, no arguments there—but its benefits will always overshadow the risks.
If consumed in moderation and with discipline, green tea is a special and perfect all-around healthy drink. It helps prevent simple to life-threatening ailments. It improves mental, emotional, and physical health. It helps you look youthful. All that, and it tastes amazing.
What more can we ask for?