Let’s face it, these days we put green tea powder and flavor in almost everything. We also can easily find green tea in a must-have flavor choice. Ice cream, yogurt, cakes in all cooking style, biscuits, all have got its hands on green tea.
Probably one of the fortes that people notice most from green tea is the antioxidant element of epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG it brings. Antioxidant gives two-layers of benefits, which are physical health benefits in the first layer, like eye and skin betterment to the second layer of emotional health like a mood lifting ability. Not only it is good for the eye and skin, antioxidant that prevents the body oxidation also will help us tackling the possibilities of cancer, heart diseases, bad cholesterols, arthritis, infection, tooth decay, and many more other health adversaries.
The origin of green tea is actually from the exact same plant that produces normal tea. Camellia sinensis is the scientific name of tea. What makes green tea is strikingly different is the way it is processed. In a normal black tea, the leaves are fermented until the color and the level of tannin changes and intensified with the raise in caffeine level. In green tea, the leaves are dried or steamed without any treatment of fermentation so it stays green.
There are a group of chemicals that flocks in the green tea that makes it especially healthy and distinctive in its taste. It is called Catechin Polyphenols or better known as Tannins. Inside this group, there are Catechins, Epicathecin, Epicatechin Gallate or ECG, Epigallocatechin Gallate or EGCG, and Pro-Anthocyanidins. These types of Flavonoids will interact with Thianine in creating green tea flavor. And that’s not it; green tea also contains other amino acids like Theanine, Butyric Acid & Liganin; Xanthine Alkaloids such as Adenine, Dimethylxanthine, Theobromine, Theophylline and Xanthine; Pectin; saccharides (sugar), Chlorophyll and Triterpene Saponins. Together, they all make a mean and full of force antioxidant our body needs.
Having your afternoon tea with something green will also guarantee the presence of important vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C, and vitamin E. With that being said, some of the health benefits we can get by drinking enough amount of green tea would be:
- Saying we’ll be seeing you in another decades to aging thanks to the neutralization of free radicals coming from green tea’s antioxidant.
- The stimulation effect coming from the caffeine and tannins combo that will stimulate blood to reenergizing and counter-attacking sleepiness and fatigue. It will also help providing strength just right before a vigorous exercise.
- Effective resistance to bacteria, microbes, and virus that carry diseases and toxin, even to the simplest matter like bad breath, because of the heroic Catechins.
- Green tea can revive the muscles and tissues contraction due to its active astringent component. Not only muscles that are toned thoroughly, gum can also be firmer to maintain the dental health and hair grows stronger. Astringency in green tea will alaso help pancreas to function better in absorbing sugar and secreting insulin.
- The anticancer element from the Catechins that tackle down the free radicals, the main cause of cancer. If you are in a high risk for having digestion tract type of cancers, green tea is the easiest solution to hinder yourselves.
- The high alkaline level in the green tea will help reducing cholesterol level as well as reducing blood glucose level.
- Any kinds of cardiac and arterial problem can be prevented by a cup of green tea a day.
- Fast-tracking your metabolism rate that will help fat loss within a week.
Pick Your Favorite!
After having a steady grip on what green tea will give you, it is time to have a little fun in choosing some of your favorite flavors. There are mainly four types of green tea derived from its hometown, Japan.
- Gyokurocha, has the best taste, color, and smell with a small amount of tannin and caffeine because the leaves are younger. It has the most expensive price among other types.
- Sencha, taken from the middle branch with bigger and older type of leaves. It gives a lighter green color and has a more bitter taste with more caffeine and tannin. It is, however, cheaper than Gyokurocha.
- Bancha, cultivated from the tender twig with strong bitterness and golden color. Bancha has a way cheaper price among all green tea variants.
- Matcha, in a form of powder with beautiful green color. The aroma is not as strong as the others so it doesn’t have so much bitterness, but it produces more foam.
From these four, there are already so much improvements to green tea that we can even have the decaffeinated version now.
With green tea still being a normal tea compacted with all caffeine and tannin, there are of course a red flag to it that we need to watch out for. Among them are:
- The spike of blood pressure and the common addiction coming from caffeine that in the long run may harm body organs.
- Body may find it hard to break down proteins because of the level of tannins it gets from green tea, thus the absorption of the simple proteins is not thorough.
- Insomnia, spasm, constipation, to irregular heartbeat are among the side effects of too much caffeine consumption.
Some Green Tea Recipes
Mix green tea with a squeeze of lemon for extra energy and detoxification process. Or make these amazing Matcha Cranberry Cookies.