The definition of Green tea says, “It is a tea which has undergone minimal oxidation during processing.” The tea leaves are heated immediately to prevent oxidation. This tea has wonderful properties which make it the world’s best beverage. The Chinese have known the green tea benefits from ancient times.
Its antioxidant property can improve brain function, lower heart disease, has distinct effect on digestion and absorption. Green tea inhibits cancerous growth of cells, improves skin and generally improves metabolic activities.
Caffeine in green tea
Green tea contains a small percentage of caffeine and L-theanine. Caffeine is a stimulant that improves the function of the brain. Green tea has the ability to check Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The bio-chemicals in the green tea can protect the neurons. The L-theanine reduces the formation of free radicals, thereby protecting the cells from damage, thus slowing down the aging process. L-theanine also increases the activities of the inhibitory neurotransmitters GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. In short green tea helps to improve mental function.
Green tea contains flavanoids, which are a group of polychemicals responsible for anti-oxidative and anti-carcinogenic properties. That is why green tea is effective against cancer. It kills cancer cells without damaging the tissue around them. It can also limit the ill effects of smoking. Studies have proved that green tea can reduce the possibility of esophageal cancer up to 60%.
Green tea can stop abnormal blood clotting tendency. It can also lower the level of bad cholesterol and at the same time can improve the ratio between the good and bad cholesterol. This maintains the health of the heart.
Green tea is said to have the capacity to reduce body weight. Even if it does not have a drastic effect on the weight loss, it definitely can act as a complement to a good diet and regular working out. As green tea can increase the metabolism, it burns out more calories when combined with the effect of caffeine.
Green tea destroys bacteria. So it can stop tooth decay. It also prevents food poisoning by killing the bacteria responsible for it. It kills the bacteria that form dental plaque and improves dental health.
Green tea is good for the skin. Apart from saving the skin from skin cancer, it can improve the skin tone by its smoothening effect on the skin. The anti-oxidants also inhibit skin inflammation. Green tea is very effective for ‘rosacea’, a skin condition which makes the cheeks appear red and flushed. It increases the elasticity of the skin, making it firm and smooth.
Green tea has a distinctive anti-aging effect on the skin. It reduces the wrinkles which are the first signs of aging. A face pack made of mayonnaise and green tea, in the ratio 3:1is very effective in softening skin. This face pack should be applied on the face avoiding eyes and kept for 20 minutes before rinsing it off. It reduces the skin toxins and smoothens the skin.
The polychemical called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in the green tea has a wonderful effect on human cells. It binds to the CD4 cells and stops the HIV virus from binding to it. So the researchers are in progress to develop an anti-HIV medication out of green tea.
Green tea is good for type II diabetes. This is a condition whereby the blood sugar increases dangerously. Green tea can increase insulin sensitivity, reducing blood sugar.
Caffeine in green tea vs Caffeine in coffee
Caffeine in green tea is less than that of coffee. But Matcha green tea has higher caffeine than coffee. Caffeine level is less in twig tea. This is the green tea is produced from twigs of the tea plant. The shade grown tea and powder tea also have greater caffeine level. Tippy tea or tea produced from buds also should be avoided, since it has a higher caffeine level. Decaf tea is available. Caffeine can be restricted by opting for decaf green tea and green tea blends. It can also be checked by brewing green tea correctly.
Side effects of green tea are minimal. All the same, some minor side effects have been reported. Since it has caffeine, insomnia can result from drinking green tea in excess. Apart from that, some very sensitive people may develop nausea and vomiting. In rare cases, green tea is said to have produced symptoms of high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and seizures. In some cases, it has produced allergic reactions like rashes and itching. Green tea may also block the absorption of certain vitamins, nutrients and protein,
But these are not so serious side effects for green tea. There are a few precautionary measures that can be adopted. Green tea should be consumed in small quantities. Care should be taken not to drink green tea on a full stomach of an empty stomach. One should not take tea before bedtime for, it may cause insomnia. Pregnant women and the women who are planning to get pregnant should not drink green tea because of the caffeine content in it. There is a possibility of the baby getting neural tube birth defects.
However, the benefits of green tea definitely is far more and crucial than its side effects.