A healthy habit in your daily life makes you healthy and wise.
A food with a lot of health benefits is known as a superfood and green tea is definitely one of them. Green tea has captivated the hearts of people around the world for centuries. Most of us have tea or coffee during the day, be it morning or evening, green tea is a healthy alternative to everyday tea or coffee. This beverage is derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in China and Japan for many years. It stands apart not only for its unique flavor but an array of health benefits. Its remarkable qualities include its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, its significance in weight management, and aids in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.
WHY IS IT CALLED GREEN TEA AND HOW IT IS DIFFERENT FROM BLACK TEA?
Almost every tea is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis, but the process of making is different. For the production of black tea, the leaves are rolled and then exposed to air during which they go through oxidation acquiring the black colour whereas for green tea the leaves are steamed or pan-fried and then dried which retains their green colour while preventing too much oxidation from occurring.
Green tea is different from other tea as its liquid is directly acquired from the leaves and hence retains more antioxidants and polyphenols for the body to use.
GREEN TEA AND ITS BENEFITS
- Wonders of its antioxidant properties
Green tea being a rich source of antioxidants specifically catechin, helps prevent oxidative stress, preventing cellular damage. The bioactive catechin in green tea is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) neutralizes the free radicals that may cause oxidative stress, hence preventing inflammation, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.
- Anti-inflammatory effects
The antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea work hand in hand. The catechin reduces inflammation. Diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes certain types of cancer, etc. are linked to inflammation, hence the anti-inflammatory effect of green tea can help reduce inflammation, hence helping prevent or manage the disease.
- Significance in Weight Management
Green tea helps reduce visceral and abdominal fat and also suppresses the appetite, making a person feel less hungry and resulting in weight loss.
It works by
- Reduce adipocyte lipogenesis.
- Decrease fat absorption.
- suppressed appetite and nutrient absorption.
- Stimulates fat oxidation and thermogenesis i.e. increases burning of fat.
Green tea has also gained popularity as an aid to weight management. The combination of caffeine and catechins may increase metabolism by stimulating thermogenesis which helps burn calories. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing inflammation in the body which is a precursor of obesity in some cases though, only green tea cannot help in reducing weight. Along with exercise and a healthy balanced diet green tea proves to be able to help you complete your weight loss journey a little faster.
- Health Benefits and Prevention of Diseases
What are the conditions in which green tea can be beneficial?
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Consumption of green tea helps in reducing levels of cholesterol, also Some studies suggest that it may also prevent platelet aggregation hence lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, etc.
Green tea increases blood insulin sensitivity which helps to manage diabetes though asking your health consultant before is a good choice. There are studies that suggest green tea can slow the progression of diabetes type 1. It also helps with obesity and CVD lowering the risk of diabetes to occur.
- Gastrointestinal disorder (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
Green tea can be very beneficial for gastrointestinal disorders. In conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome which usually occurs due to high levels of cytokines for a long time and also oxidative stress. Green tea has the properties to manage inflammation and stress i.e. its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea has shown some anti-carcinogenic effects, Japan can be an example as there are lower rates of cancer where green is mostly regularly consumed. When gastrointestinal disorders are not treated there is inflammation in the body for an extended period of time hence leading to cancer one example can be colorectal cancer. The presence of EGCG and other catechin proteins inhibits the growth of tumours hence helping in cancer prevention.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is progressive. It causes inflammation in the body mainly joints. The condition is managed by reducing inflammation and as we know green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which help manage the condition. There are studies that suggest that green tea is beneficial for bone health.
Polyphenols found in green tea show an anti-inflammatory response when topically applied to certain skin conditions.
- Effects on Cognitive Health
How does green tea can have an impact on your daily life?
- Improved work focus
- Calming effects
- Improved memory
- Helps with anxiety and depression.
- It is beneficial for people having Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Green tea has been found to help with improved focus and attention as a small amount of caffeine is present in it. L- Theanine an amino acid found in green tea is known to have calming effects. Having a cup of green tea every day can help improve your work focus with a sense of relaxation. Some studies suggest that certain polyphenols found in green tea could improve memory, attention, and information processing speed. Since our whole body works as an entire system and everything is connected to one another, its benefits relating to cardiovascular diseases indirectly affect brain health.
It has been found by researchers that a molecule found in green tea that is EGCG can break apart tangles of protein tau which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Also, the presence of caffeine, adds to cognitive benefits such as a reduction in the likelihood of Parkinson’s disease and an increase in short-term memory.
- Improving Gut Health
Green tea has catechins which favour the growth of beneficial bacteria. The polyphenols present in green tea protect from infection in the gut and inhibit and hinder the growth of certain bacteria that may cause infection. The growth of a particular bacteria known as the Christensenellaceae family is associated with lowering BMI. It also shows pro-inflammatory effects. Green tea polyphenols also alter and affect some pathways that may help in conditions like obesity. It helps in reducing inflammation and correcting dysbiosis hence improving and protecting gut health.
HOW TO PERFECTLY MAKE GREEN TEA
To benefit from the unique effects and flavours of green tea the most important factor is to know the perfect amount and balance of ingredients and temperature.
• Using water that’s around 160–180°F (70–82°C) i.e. the water should be steaming vigorously but not simmering or boiling, it prevents the leaves from becoming bitter.
• Steep it for about 2-3 minutes. It’s essential to avoid over-brewing to prevent bitterness from overpowering the delicate flavors.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR GREEN TEA MORE REFRESHING?
Green tea can be enjoyed in many different ways, hot or cold.
4 WAYS TO ENJOY GREEN TEA
Adding mint to your green tea makes it instantly refreshing and delicious. Mint also helps in the treatment of nausea, common cold, digestion, and headaches. In summer you can enjoy it by, adding ice to the tea making it a cool soothing beverage.
Lemon can add a bonus to the health benefits of green tea as lemon is rich in vitamin C. It helps to boost immunity and also adds up to the antioxidant properties of green tea. It enhances the flavor and richness of green tea and can be served hot or cold.
The astonishing properties of ginger and its beneficial effects on health are still being researched. Adding a few slices of ginger to your tea helps in digestion and treatment of cough, cold, nausea, etc. Ginger is a very good ingredient to add to your cup of tea.
Honey provides a sweet taste and also helps in increasing metabolism which accelerates your weight loss. It also has a wide range of health benefits hence a combination of green tea and honey is an excellent way to start your day.
ARE THERE SUPPLEMENTS AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET AND HOW TO USE THEM?
Yes, there are supplements available in the market if you don’t wish to have green tea in its liquid form. These supplements are usually concentrated extracts of green tea. However, the usage and proper amount of dosage of the supplement should be always consulted and taken under the guidance of your health consultant. Also, consider getting advice from a nutritionist specifically as taking these extracts in large amounts can cause toxicity.
TOXICITY- Problems that may be encountered with unsupervised and large dosages of green tea extracts:
- Liver injury
- Liver failure
- Acute hepatitis
Consuming green tea mainly extracts as they are concentrated, in large amounts can cause hepatotoxicity is damage to the liver leading to such conditions as acute hepatitis, jaundice, etc. Prolonged exposure can lead to severe conditions such as liver failure. This is a note of caution. It is safe under advice and in the right dosage.
HOW MANY CUPS A DAY?
Green tea has many health benefits when consumed in an appropriate amount, which should not be more than 8 cups a day. Breastfeeding women and pregnant should limit it to 6 cups a day which is not more than 300 mg of caffeine. Having it in larger amounts during pregnancy and breastfeeding can be unsafe and may increase the risk of negative effects hence consult a health care professional during such conditions. Though it is beneficial for health, having it in larger amounts can cause health problems and toxicity.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS?
- Having green tea in larger amounts can cause insomnia due to the presence of caffeine in it.
- People sensitive to caffeine may experience irritability, anxiety, and sleep problems.
- Pregnant, breastfeeding women and people sensitive to caffeine, and with certain medications may need to limit their intake of green tea and also consult a health care professional.
- People with kidney problems, liver problems, and high blood pressure should avoid using green tea or ask a health consultant before consumption.
- Some studies show that excessive intake of green tea can cause interference with iron absorption.
- People having ongoing medical treatments for certain conditions should also consult a health consultant before consumption.
Green tea has been consumed throughout the world and has shown significant potential effects on health. It is used for the prevention and management of many diseases and health conditions and enhancing work efficiency making itself a superfood. Adding green tea to your everyday diet can enhance your quality of life.
Do contact nutritionwithvibha.com for consultations on the usage of green tea, health and diet, and nutrition solutions to preserve health and manage diseases.