Ever since the days of old, tea has been a staple drink in many households, regardless of nationality or culture. Green tea has become a common household item in recent years due to the various benefits it carries, particularly in improving your physical and mental health. The health benefits of drinking green tea vary from reducing anxiety to helping in weight loss.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea can be traced back to 8th century AD China, as it was documented by ancient tea connoisseur Lu Yu in his book ‘The Classic of Tea’. His book is considered the genesis of preparing green tea, which has now taken different forms as a result of the neighbouring countries, such as Japan and Korea.
The fresh leaves are delicately plucked from a Camellia Sinensis plant, before being reheated and dried to prevent oxidation. Brewed green tea is light green or yellow in colour which is achieved as the process of oxidation is skipped.
Green Tea Flavours
Green tea and Cholesterol
When we look at heart diseases, one of the main reasons for the cause of myocardium infarction or even myocardium ischemia is due to cholesterol build up in the circulatory system. Due to the presence of flavonoids and antioxidants, the health benefits of Green Tea include the breaking down of bad cholesterol, which in turn results in a cleaner circulatory system and a healthier heart[i].
Green tea and Weight loss
Although speculated by many avid tea drinkers, there is inconclusive evidence to show that green tea for weight loss is an actual fact. However, there is research to claim that drinking the beverage merely aids in weight loss as it increases metabolism. This is due to the antioxidants present in the tea, namely the catechins and the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It is important to note that a balanced diet and exercise should be followed in order for green tea to have an effect on your overall weight.
Green tea and Cancer
There is no definitive research to say that green tea results in the curing of cancer patients, however, there are studies to claim that drinking green tea does aid in the prevention of certain types of cancer like oral cancer[ii]. This can be in part due to the polyphenolic compounds present in green tea[iii]. Many patients are often encouraged to drink green tea due to its antioxidant compounds.
Green tea and Anxiety
One of the lesser-known benefits of drinking green tea are the psychological effects it has on the individual’s mind. The amino acid known as L-theanine is believed to be the source for producing chemicals in the mind that are responsible for inducing calmness. In other words, drinking the beverage will put your mind at ease, thus making you more focused on your daily work.
Frequently Asked Questions on Green Tea
While there are many benefits of drinking green tea, there are many questions that have risen over the years about its health limitations. Here are some of the frequently asked questions on green tea.
- When is Green Tea too much?
If you are a regular tea drinker, there is a good chance that you might have been asked this question. This is because of the caffeine present in the leaves could potentially lead to a sleeping disorder, especially when consumed excessively. In general, avoid drinking more than 5 cups of green tea a day.
- Is it okay for pregnant mothers to drink green tea?
Drinking excessive amounts of green tea can have a negative effect for expecting mothers, as it might be harder to absorb iron and folic acids.
- Does green tea prevent ageing?
There have been many claims to state that green tea does indeed make you look younger, however, that is not entirely true. The antioxidants and amino acids present in green teas are known to help in maintaining a healthy body and mind, thus indirectly helping in maintaining a younger appearance.