Green Tea - Overview, History Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

What is Green Tea?

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages nowadays. Well, it is not something new, just getting popular in the last few years. Since ancient times, many people have enjoyed its rich flavour and aroma. Indeed, it has. Green tea is widely recognised for its numerous health benefits, such as saying, "Drink your morning tea even if you go back seven miles." Research is now being conducted to determine the many health-maintaining properties of green tea. 

Green Tea is a dried leaf from the Camellia Sinensis plant which is used like regular tea. It is an unfermented tea made by steaming tea leaves to suppress the enzyme activity and then drying them. The catechins contained in green tea are normally lost during fermentation, but because green tea is unfermented, many healthy components remain. The scent of green tea also contains relaxing ingredients. When drinking green tea, the higher the quality of the tea leaves, the lower the temperature and the slower brewing time will allow you to enjoy the aroma. You can highlight their effectiveness. 

Green Tea History 

The history of tea began in China and spread all over the world. The Shennong Ben Cao Ching, a medicinal text written during the Han Dynasty in the first century BC, has references to tea. Tea was first drunk as alcohol during debates, but it eventually started to be utilised as a drink in social settings, including hosting guests. The book "Cha” which was written during the Tang Dynasty, is reputed to be the oldest tea book in the world. It includes details on tea's background, tools, brewing and drinking techniques, production locations, and advice. Hence, the origin of green tea is China. Well, there is evidence of green tea originating in India. The arrival of green tea is also a mystery. With time, the use of green tea spread all over the world. So, we can assume green tea will gradually enter India and now it is widely used.

Types of Green Tea

There are many kinds of green tea available. Sencha, Gyokuro, Genmaicha, Techa, Matcha, Dragonwell (Longjing), Hojicha, Gunpowder Green Tea, Moroccan Mint Green Tea, White Monkey Green Tea, Kukicha, and Chun Mee are examples of green teas. Every kind of green tea has a different profile and aroma. The most popular type of green tea is sencha. Gyokuro is a green tea with a distinct scent, a rich flavour, and minimal astringency. It is grown under cover, which blocks sunlight for 20 days, reduces bitterness and brings out the flavour. Tencha is a tea that is mainly used as the raw material for matcha. Unlike regular green tea, tea leaves are dried without being rolled and the veins are removed, which is called tencha, and matcha is made by grinding the leaves into a fine powder using a mill.

Components Of Green Tea

Green tea contains various ingredients that affect the functions of the body. Let's know about them-

Tannin: Tannin is a form of polyphenol that is obtained from food and is a member of the flavonoid family, like catechin and anthocyanin. It has a significant impact on the bitterness and astringency of tea's flavour. The following are the impacts of tannins:

  • Antioxidant effect: Prevents lipid oxidation, which helps to avoid diseases linked to a lifestyle that includes arteriosclerosis.
  • Hemostatic effect: Prevents bleeding by blocking the thrombolytic substance plasmin.
  • Antidiarrhea: Facilitates the restoration of normal intestinal movement by binding to the intestinal wall and contents.

Caffeine: Caffeine is a type of naturally occurring organic compound alkaloid. It is a component found in large quantities in coffee, but it is also found in green tea. 100g Sencha, a type of green tea contains 20mg caffeine content. Caffeine has the following effects:

  • Diuretic effect: Increases urine volume by dilating renal blood vessels and inhibiting renal tubular reabsorption
  • Increases alertness: Inhibits the action of adenosine, which causes sleepiness, and prevents sleepiness
  • Fat-burning effect: Caffeine intake 30 minutes before aerobic exercise increases fatty acid oxidation

Theanine: It is one kind of amino acid. It has a significant impact on flavours like sweetness. New tea contains significant quantities of it. The following are the effects of theanine:

  • Increase sleep quality: The autonomic nervous system's parasympathetic nerve functions, enabling recovery from exhaustion and prolonging sleep duration.
  • Relaxing Effect: It decreases stress and anxiety and raises alpha brain waves
  • Mental stability: Helps those with mental diseases like schizophrenia by reducing their sensations of anxiety and depression
  • Effect of preventing viruses: efficient in avoiding influenza
  • Memory Improvement: Enhances executive functions and verbal memory, among other cognitive processes.
  • Suppress blood pressure: Suppression of an increase in blood pressure inhibits stimulants like coffee and lowers blood pressure

Vitamin: Green tea contains all types of vitamins except vitamin B12 and vitamin D. The most abundant vitamin is vitamin C. The types and effects of vitamins contained in green tea are as follows.

  • Vitamin C: Has antioxidant and skin beautifying effects. Vitamin C in tea is heat resistant and hard to break down
  • B-carotene: Precursor of vitamin A. Helps prevent night blindness and beautify the skin
  • Vitamin E: Demonstrates strong antioxidant effects, prevents ageing, improves blood flow, and has skin-beautifying effects
  • Folic acid: Similar to vitamin B12, it has the effect of preventing anaemia.

Mineral: Green tea is rich in various minerals. Potassium is the most abundant element. The types and effects of minerals contained in green tea are as follows.

  • Potassium: Has the effect of excreting salt, stabilising blood pressure, and stabilising intracellular osmotic pressure.
  • Calcium: Helps build strong bones and contract muscles.
  • Magnesium: Effective in activating energy metabolism and improving bowel movement.

Benefits Of Green Tea

Green tea contains catechin, a type of polyphenol, as well as caffeine, theanine, and vitamins, and can be expected to have the following health effects.

Immunity-boosting impact: Green tea contains a high concentration of catechin, which has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties and effectively inhibits the growth of viruses that cause colds and influenza. Viruses such as influenza have protruding parts called spikes, that cause infection when they adhere to cells in the throat and nose. Catechin works against colds like influenza by binding to this spike portion of the virus and preventing it from connecting to cells. Green tea is said to be beneficial to gargle with, especially if you are prone to catching colds.

Prevent Lifestyle-related Diseases: It has been established that one of the catechins in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate, inhibits lipid oxidation in the liver. It has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels in other trials. It has also been demonstrated to be useful in reducing blood sugar and blood pressure. Diabetes, high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, and arteriosclerosis can result from these values staying high. Since catechin inhibits the absorption of dietary cholesterol and burns body fat to inhibit the absorption of fat, it is thought to be useful in the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related disorders, including obesity. 

Prevent Tooth Decay & Bad Breath: When bacteria stick to the tooth's surface and produce acid that destroys the bacteria's enamel and results in tooth decay. Tooth decay is prevented by the antibacterial properties of catechin, which also suppresses the action of plaque-forming enzymes in the mouth. Furthermore, it is anticipated that catechin will have deodorising properties, such as eliminating foul breath because it forms chemical connections with odour components. 

Relaxing Effect: Green tea's caffeine content has a calming and revitalising impact on the psyche. When the brain is fatigued from work or study, caffeine helps to activate it and aid in the recovery process. This enhances productivity at work, elevates mood, and eases headaches. In addition, when theanine is taken, alpha waves, which are brain waves produced when the brain is relaxed, increase in the brain. Therefore, green tea is expected to have a relaxing effect. Relaxing the brain is thought to be effective in alleviating stress and fatigue, maintaining concentration, and stabilising your mood.

Diet Effect: It is believed that green tea is good for dieting. Green tea is rich in ingredients that can help you lose weight. The catechins and caffeine go well together for dieting which is available in green tea. In one study that compared caffeine alone, energy consumption was reduced by 4%. In addition, it may affect obesity by promoting the excretion of lipids in the stool, improving the effectiveness of insulin to lower blood sugar levels, and reducing cholesterol.

Prevent Hangovers: A hangover occurs when the liver doesn't process a substance called acetaldehyde, which is produced when alcohol is broken down. As a result, it's critical to facilitate acetaldehyde's speedy and easy breakdown. Green tea is thought to work through the following mechanism to help avoid hangovers. Tea's catechins, which are antioxidants, can counteract reactive oxygen species (ROS) that alcohol use causes the body to manufacture. is advised. As a result, it should lessen the harm that alcohol does to the liver. Moreover, the components of tea stimulate the liver's alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), a component involved in alcohol metabolism that eliminates alcohol from the body. However, it cannot be said that it is okay to drink alcohol just because you drink green tea. The most important ways to prevent hangovers are to keep in mind the proper amount of alcohol intake and proper hydration.

Disadvantages/Side Effects of Green Tea

Green tea looks like the strongest drink. There are possibility to have some side effects from it that you pay attention

Possibility of liver toxicity: Green tea has been linked to extremely uncommon occurrences of liver damage. According to a study, when green tea was taken alone, liver toxicity recovered in an average of 64.6 days when consumed in a high dose. If taken in excess, any health food or supplement, including green tea, might harm the liver. This is not limited to healthy foods, but it is necessary to regularly check the liver and kidneys by taking blood samples to ensure that you are not overdosing.

Too much caffeine: Whether it's black tea or green tea, it's hard to say that it's just catechin, and it's often combined with caffeine. If you drink a lot of tea instead of water or combine it with coffee, you may end up exceeding the upper limit for caffeine. Hence, it is not good to consume green tea in excess, especially after 2 pm. Because caffeine tends to linger at bedtime and is likely to affect your sleep. Please be careful about caffeine and drink tea wisely.

Interfere Iron Absorption: Tea and coffee contain ingredients called tannins, which are said to interfere with iron absorption. Therefore, if you are naturally anaemic, it is best to refrain from drinking very strong tea during meals. Especially when taking iron supplements, it is a good idea to wait 1 to 2 hours before taking them with tea just to be safe. Make sure to take iron supplements with water instead of tea.

Green Tea Dosage

According to FSSAI, the RDA value of green tea is 0.3-1g. It is recommended that you overdose it. Well, the right dose varies from person to person. This moderate consumption provides a balance, offering a refreshing boost without excessive caffeine. You can consume 2-3 cups of green tea with water dilution easily. Green tea offers versatility in incorporating it into your daily routine, since it may be enjoyed in a variety of ways such as regular hot tea or iced varieties. Selecting premium green tea bags or leaves guarantees optimal health benefits and improves the whole experience. Moderation is key when it comes to eating any kind of food. Although most people can tolerate green tea, those who are sensitive to caffeine should watch how much they drink. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) On Green Tea

Why is green tea beneficial?

Green tea's abundance of antioxidants, especially its catechins, has been associated with several health benefits. It helps with metabolism, promotes heart health, and might have anti-inflammatory effects. There's a slight energy boost from the moderate caffeine content. Frequent consumption may help prevent sickness and promote general well-being.

Is it okay to have green tea every day?

Yes, it's generally okay to have green tea every day. Its moderate caffeine content and rich antioxidants offer health benefits. However, individuals sensitive to caffeine should monitor their intake.

Which type of green tea aids in weight loss?

Several kinds of green tea help with weight loss, especially those that are high in catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Examples include matcha, sencha, and gyokuro. These teas, when paired with a nutritious diet and regular exercise, may increase metabolism, improve fat burning, and help with weight management.

Is it okay to consume green tea without food?

Yes, it's okay to consume green tea without food. It is often enjoyed between meals. However, for some individuals, especially those with sensitive stomachs, having green tea with or after meals may help mitigate any potential digestive discomfort.

When is the ideal time to have green tea?

The ideal times are morning and early afternoon. Morning consumption provides a gentle energy boost, and afternoon intake aids digestion without interfering with sleep due to its moderate caffeine content.

When shouldn't one drink green tea?

Avoid excessive consumption in the evening or close to bedtime to prevent potential sleep disturbances. Individuals sensitive to caffeine may want to limit intake, especially on an empty stomach.

How to make green tea?

Steep green tea leaves or bags in hot (not boiling) water for 2-3 minutes to preserve their delicate flavour. Adjust steeping time based on personal preference.

Which green tea is best for weight loss?

Teas high in catechins like matcha, Sencha, or Gyokuro are often associated with weight loss benefits due to their metabolism-boosting properties.

When to drink green tea?

Enjoy it between meals for optimal absorption of antioxidants. Morning and early afternoon are preferable to harness its energy-boosting effects.

Does green tea help with weight loss?

Yes, green tea, particularly varieties rich in catechins, may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism and fat oxidation when combined with a healthy lifestyle.

Does green tea reduce belly fat?

Green tea's potential to reduce belly fat is linked to its ability to enhance metabolism and target abdominal fat, although individual results vary.

Is green tea good for health?

Yes, green tea is rich in antioxidants that support overall health. It may help reduce the risk of certain diseases and promote well-being.

Is green tea good for weight loss?

Green tea, with its metabolism-boosting properties, can complement weight loss efforts when incorporated into a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Can we drink green tea empty stomach?

Yes, but some individuals might experience stomach discomfort due to its caffeine content. It's advisable to have it with or after a meal for those with sensitivity.

Does green tea have caffeine?

Yes, green tea contains caffeine, but in lower amounts compared to coffee. It provides a mild energy boost without the jitteriness associated with higher-caffeine beverages.

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