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Friday, 14 January 2022

Green Tea, is it good for you?


Is green better for you than black? Does it contain caffeine? Can it help ward off disease?
Nutritionist Jo Lewin examines the dietary benefits of green tea.

All types of tea, even your regular cup of builder's, come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea gets its name from the emerald green colour created when brewing unprocessed, unfermented tea leaves. With origins going back as far as 5,000 years, green tea is commonly drunk and widely grown in the Far East where the health properties are well regarded.

Three health benefits of green tea
1. It is high in antioxidant polyphenols.
Green tea has more health benefits than black tea, which can be attributed to its lack of processing. Green tea is higher in protective polyphenols. The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids, the most active of which are catechins and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which function as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to protect the body against disease and are an important part of a healthy diet. Antioxidants can be found in a range of fruits, vegetables and other unprocessed foods. As part of a balanced diet, green tea can be a good source of antioxidants.
2. It may boost brain function
Green tea contains a key active ingredient, caffeine, which is a known mental stimulant. Green tea also includes the amino acid L-theanine, which creates a relaxing effect by increasing the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain which regulate mental alertness.
3. It may boost fat burning
According to some research, green tea can boost metabolic rate and increase fat burning due to its thermogenic properties (which extend beyond the effect of caffeine). However, not all studies have found an increase in metabolism and so the effect may vary with individuals and test conditions.

Other potential health benefits
There are many more health claims surrounding green tea from a reduced risk of cancer to weight loss. The evidence to support these claims is largely inconclusive. Some of the health claims are based on ancient Eastern traditions, where green tea has been used to treat symptoms of disease for years. Because of the proposed benefits, many ‘health’ products now include traces of green tea. However, there is limited evidence to suggest these products are effective. If you are hoping to use green tea for medicinal purposes, make sure to consult your doctor first.

How much caffeine does green tea contain?
Green tea does contain caffeine, although varieties and brands may differ. An equal quantity of green tea contains less caffeine than coffee (one cup of green tea contains approximately 35-80 mg compared to approximately 100-400 mg in the same size cup of coffee), but it can still act as a stimulant. As a result, some people find that drinking green tea increases energy levels, concentration and mood, but this effect may vary between individuals. If you are sensitive to caffeine, it is advisable to limit the total number of cups of green tea you drink in a day. Too much caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns. If this affects you, try cutting back on caffeinated drinks after lunchtime.

Looking for more information on how much caffeine is in tea?
This guide compares different types of tea and discusses which factors affect the caffeine content.

What are the different varieties of green tea?
  • The difference between green and black tea results from the manufacturing process.
  • Black tea undergoes fermentation which transforms its colour and flavour, whereas green tea remains unprocessed and retains its colour.
  • Green tea is grown in higher altitudes, more specifically the mountainous regions of East Asia.
  • Some green tea is still picked by hand, and it is thought that handpicked teas are less bitter and yield a sweeter, more robust taste. Other factors such as the climate and soil can also affect the flavour.
  • Sencha is the most popular of Japan’s green teas. There are numerous grades which can affect the price and quality. Sencha leaves are first steamed and then shaped. Sencha tea produces a clear yellow/green tea with a sweet, grassy but slightly astringent flavour.
  • Matcha is made from green tea leaves grown in the shade. The leaves have a higher chlorophyll content which makes them a vibrant green colour. To make Matcha, the entire leaf is ground down into a powder. The powder is mixed with boiling water and gently whisked before being served. The flavour is light and sweet and so is now added to desserts and sweet drinks.
What to look for when buying green tea
Green tea can be found as fresh leaves or in tea bags, frequently blended with other flavours such as lemon, lime or ginger. When buying tea leaves, avoid older leaves. This is the same principle as with coffee beans. Allegedly, whole leaves are the highest grade and leaves that are older than four months are past their level of peak freshness. Once purchased and opened, keep leaves in an airtight container that can be resealed and store in a cool place to help slow down the reactions that can reduce the tea's phytonutrient content and impact on flavour.

How to prepare green tea
The tea you use, temperature and steeping time all have a significant effect on the antioxidant levels of brewed green tea. Warm and ambient temperatures are the best to retain antioxidants. Let the boiling water cool slightly before pouring onto the tea leaves, and allow to steep for between 2 and 3 minutes.

Can green tea affect iron levels?
Like all types of tea, green tea contains tannins. Tannins can interfere with the absorption of iron so try not to drink tea with an iron-rich meal and leave at least one hour before drinking tea after an iron-rich meal.
You can see Jo Lewins original article with all relevant research links here


~ from green tea to a green flower arrangement ~

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

33 comments:

Tom said...

...I'm not a tea drinker.

Elephant's Child said...

I like tea. Black, green and white. I have a sensitivity to caffeine though and drink all of them weak and in limited quantities.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Green tea is delicious, comforting and healthful. I love it with lemon and ginger. That is interesting that it affect the absorption of iron. Thank you for sharing!

Christine said...

Thanks for this information.

J.P. Alexander said...

El te verde es mas delicado aunque en si prefiero el te negro. Te mando un beso y gracias por la información.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Green tea contains far more tannins than black tea, so I'm glad you warned us about drinking with an iron rich meal. Thanks for this informative post. Green tea is the best when you want to rust something (for art) and you don't have any vinegar.

Anita said...

Thank you for the info Ilove tea and must have two cups every day-Not so found of green tea ,find it bitter and have to go to toilet( fat burner)in a blink ;)For me I think one has to choose the tea on find good,tasty and relaxing

But much Aha!knowledge here on green tea.Thanx for sharing info

All the best Anita

Jo said...

I've never tried green tea, I've only just started drinking good old builder's tea.

Valerie-Jael said...

It sounds good, but I'll stick to my coffee! Valerie

eileeninmd said...

Hello,
I like the green tea with mint. Great info, thanks for sharing.
Take care, enjoy your day! Have a happy weekend!

Ananka said...

I love tea and green tea is a favourite along with Jasmine tea. Interesting point about the tannins. I found this out a good few years ago. I do try not to drink tea or coffee with my dinner but always forget!

kathyinozarks said...

good morning good post. I have always loved green teas and white teas too I have to stay away from caffeine so I buy the decaf green teas
Happy Friday

Jenn Jilks said...

I guess if it might help, and can't hurt, what the heck. That's how we feel about hubby's naturopathic meds. Dr. Jenn is wonderful.

Jeanie said...

I do like green tea, although I don't drink it too much because of the caffeine -- After the afib, I cut caffeine use by 80 percent, just in the morning (though occasionally later if in a dessert or something I'm served). I think it helps.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Okay, I'll give green tea another try. :)

Fun60 said...

I always start my day with a cup of decaffeinated green tea.

CJ Kennedy said...

Interesting

Flowermouse Design ❀ Lone said...

Thank you Jan,
How interesting to read about green tea. I love it and enjoy a cup every day and have different variants. If I am not drinking white tea which have become my favorite. But still, green tea is really lovely.
Thank you for sharing.
All the best of day to you and Eddie❤️

pam nash said...

All true. The problem? Green tea is just not --- well tea tasting. Black tea here please.

Martha said...

I love green tea! I have a cup several times a week. Thank you for all the great information!

Inger said...

So informative, thank you.

DVArtist said...

I just have a hard time drinking any kind of tea. They all hurt my stomach.

linda said...

I really wish that I liked it, I have a couple of tea bags which my DIL left behind, I'm going to force myself to drink one tomorrow it may help this cold I feel coming on.

Breathtaking said...

Hello,:=) Great piece on green tea. I usually drink black,or lemon and ginger, but am aware of the benefits of green tea. I don't usually have sugar in my tea, but have to add it to green tea. My daughter drinks it, and keeps telling me to drink more of it for health reasons.

happyone said...

Don't drink green tea but I do enjoy herbal teas.

William Kendall said...

I've tried it, but don't like the flavour.

Maggie said...

Very interesting reading, thank you. I
I'm already a converted green tea drinker, although my favourites are green tea with mint, love the Tetley one with Selenium and mint and the Twinings mint green tea.
The key when making green tea if using tea bags (no idea if it's true when using leaves),is to not let it sit too long as it can make it bitter and not to squeeze the bag.
I'm very particular how I like my tea made, just ask my husband, lol, I've had to train him in the art :-)

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for this information on green tea, Jan, which I do not drink a lot of myself. Like some others, my preference is for herbal teas or flavored ones.

My name is Erika. said...

I didn't know green tea interfered with iron absorption. I love learning all these new things!

Teresa said...

Muy buena información sobre el té. Besos.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks for a very interesting post! I drink a lot of green tea, my favourite is China gunpowder green tea,

Carla from The River said...

Hi,
My son enjoys green tea, but I am not a fan. I enjoy black or herbal tea. Right now I am drinking Ginger/Turmeric tea.

Conniecrafter said...

black ice tea is still my favorite drink