Green Tea: What is and Benefits

Green tea has been used medicinally in China and Japan for thousands of years. This popular tea is known for its bittersweet and nutty taste and is widely regarded for its energetic qualities and health benefits.

What is green tea?

Like black or oolong tea, green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and is offered in several varieties, varying in different flavors and colors based on growing, harvesting, and processing methods.

But green tea differs from black or oolong tea in that green tea leaves are harvested, steamed, and roasted raw. This stops the oxidation of the leaves and preserves many of the essential nutrients and antioxidants.

The discovery of green tea dates back to 2737 BC. C. and is attributed to the mythological Chinese Emperor Shennong, a herbalist who, according to legend, established an early agricultural society in China.

And although green tea is said to have originated in China, Si also did, has its roots in Japan and parts of Southeast Asia.

China is the largest manufacturer of green tea, but it is also grown and produced in many countries around the world. These are some of the most common varieties.

Sencha: The best known and most consumed variety of Japanese green tea is Sencha. Tea leaves are said to be of the best quality because they come from the first harvest. The leaves are steamed, dried and rolled, releasing the juices from the leaves for an intense flavor.

Gyokuro: The Gyokuro green tea harvesting process differs from Sencha in that the green leaves are removed from sunlight about three weeks before harvest.

Without direct sunlight, less photosynthesis occurs, retaining strong-tasting amino acids. The tea leaves are steamed, dried and rolled similar to Sencha; Gyokuro green tea has a richer taste and is more expensive due to the additional stages of cultivation.

Tencha: As the main ingredient in matcha green tea, similar to Gyokuro, the green leaves are removed from sunlight three weeks before harvest. The leaves are steamed but dried without rolling. This gives the tea a pale green color and a mild flavor.

Matcha - When Tencha is rocky soil, it turns into matcha green tea. After the green tea leaves are steamed and air dried, the stems and veins are removed and turned into a powder ready to ferment. Matcha green tea is light green in color with an intensely rich flavor and lingering sweetness.

Funmatsucha: Ground tea leaves are generally not of high quality and are cheaper in price. The harvest is different from Matcha in that it does not receive protection from sunlight.

The final product is a green tea with a bitter taste.

Fukamushicha - A combination of Sencha, Gyokuro and Kabusecha green tea leaves, Fukamushicha green tea leaves undergo a deep steaming process, creating deep color and rich tasting green tea.

Konacha - This green tea is made from tiny leaves that remain after being processed by Sencha and Gyokuro. It is cheaper because it is a natural by-product of other tea productions and does not need to be grown on its own. This green tea has a deep green color and a strong bitter taste.

Shincha: This translates to "new tea" because it comes from the first Japanese harvest of green tea. Only the tender and tender leaves are hand-picked, steamed, dried and rolled. This means that green tea leaves are of the highest quality and most expensive. The flavor is light and refreshing.

Bancha: Grown and processed in the same way as Sencha, but it comes from later harvests. This means that green tea is considered to be of lower quality and therefore more budget-friendly. It has a golden color and a sweet nutty flavor.

Kukicha - Also known as twig tea, Kukicha is made from the stems and veins of tea leaves initially harvested for Sencha and Matcha green teas. It contains minimal caffeine, is yellow in color, and has a smooth, creamy sweet taste.

Health benefits

Green tea is a popular nutritious beverage associated with a healthy lifestyle. Because green tea contains valuable phytochemicals, it has been shown to play a valuable role in disease prevention.

In addition to containing less caffeine than a cup of coffee, green tea also provides minimal calories. Research has indicated that green tea is associated with a wide range of medicinal properties.

Many of the health benefits of green tea come from the antioxidants, polyphenols (micronutrients), and caffeine found in green leaves. In fact, green tea is considered higher in antioxidants compared to other forms of tea.

The antioxidant-rich plant compounds that make this drink so healthy are called flavonoids. The most common flavonoid in green tea is a catechin known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Green tea also contains theanine (L-theanine), an amino acid that reduces anxiety.7 Other antioxidants found in green tea leaves are called proanthocyanidins and they can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Green tea contains trace amounts of vitamins, but it is a rich source of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Other minerals found in green tea include chromium, calcium, zinc, and others, the concentration of which can vary depending on the fermentation process, the age, and the size of the green tea leaves. Here's a detailed review of some of the research on the health benefits of green tea.

Reduces the risk of diabetes

Green tea contains epigallocatechin catechin gallate (EGCG) and polyphenols. Research indicates that the EGCG in green tea can help regulate blood glucose (sugar) in the body, helping to prevent or control diabetes.

Other studies claim that green tea improves metabolic function directly related to reducing the risk of diabetes. Although there is conflicting evidence to support these claims, most research depicts green tea as an attractive alternative for promoting human health.

Supports heart health

Several studies indicate that green tea may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. The catechins in green tea, especially EGCG, decrease the absorption of triglycerides (fats) and cholesterol. Reducing fat in the blood helps prevent plaque formation (atherosclerosis), reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Improves digestive health

Research shows that drinking green tea can help prevent gastrointestinal disorders. The catechins (antioxidants) found in green tea are well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, where intracellular antioxidants are activated to improve digestive health.

Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer

The catechins and polyphenols in green tea can reduce the risk of many types of cancer. These powerful antioxidants have been shown to activate detoxifying enzymes that can help reduce tumor development.

Although green tea research is still ongoing, several studies indicate a reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the prostate, lung, breast, colon, and liver.

Stimulates weight and fat loss

Studies indicate that green tea can help reduce body weight, especially body fat. According to a small human study, EGCG-rich green tea has the potential to increase fat oxidation (burning) and contribute to the anti-obesity effects of green tea.

The caffeine in green tea also increases fat oxidation and improves metabolic function, another factor that contributes to weight loss.

Reduces the risk of neurological diseases

Several studies have found that green tea has beneficial effects in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and impairment, including cognitive dysfunction and memory loss.

Brain disorders like Parkinson's disease have also shown positive results with green tea consumption. It appears that the EGCG catechin in green tea helps prevent the accumulation of fibrous proteins associated with neurological diseases in the brain.

Reduces stress and anxiety

Green tea contains theanine (L-theanine), an amino acid that reduces anxiety and stress. According to a pilot study, anti-stress effects work best when low-caffeine green tea is consumed.

Some studies indicate that green tea with the combination of theanine and caffeine at normal levels still produces a reduction in anxiety. Either way, it appears that green tea has a positive effect on reducing stress and anxiety in general.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about green tea

Source: Doctor Mike


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