Green tea has many health benefits, and more when compared to black tea. Green tea is higher in protective polyphenols. Green Tea is full of powerful antioxidants. These 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.
A boost to brain function
Green tea also contains a key active ingredient: caffeine. 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.
Can boost fat burning
Green tea has also been known to boost your 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.
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 color and flavor, whereas green tea remains unprocessed and retains its color.
- 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 flavor.
- 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.
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