Green Tea Benefits

Green Tea
Latin Name

Camellia sinensis

Origin

China

Parts Used

Leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Green tea is derived from Camellia sinensis leaves that have either been steamed or pan fired to prevent oxidation, thus retaining their freshly picked flavour. Black tea leaves are allowed to fully oxidise before they are dried and heat processed which significantly alters their flavour.

Green tea is consumed the world over for its health benefits, derived from the high levels of antioxidants it contains.

Green Tea Benefits

Brain Boosting

A cup of Green tea can be both relaxing and promote focus and alertness studies have found. As well as containing caffeine, Green tea is rich in the amino acid L-theanine which has the ability to cross the blood/brain barrier. Both of these compounds work synergistically to produce a more stable and prolonged energy than if caffeine was consumed alone.

Caffeine has long been shown to improve various aspects of brain function including memory, mood and clarity. It works by blocking the neurotransmitter “adenosine” which increases the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. L-theanine exerts an inhibitory effect on GABA which helps to bring down stress and anxiety. It also boosts dopamine and increases the production of alpha waves in the brain.

The combination of these two compounds working together has a powerful effect on the brain, improving brain function, mood and focus.

Green tea also contains the flavonoid epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been found to modulate brain activity and “nurture a relaxed and attentive state of mind”.

Finally, with regards to neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the powerful catechin compounds found in Green tea have been found to exert a protective effect on neurons, possibly lowering the risk of dementia and other neuro-degenerative diseases.

Heart Health

The rich flavonoid content of Green tea has been shown to protect the heart and boost heart health in countless studies.

In a 2008 study published in the “European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation”, researchers found that drinking Green tea rapidly improves the health of the cells lining the blood vessels (endothelial cells). They reported that subjects who drink Green tea have better blood vessel function just 30 minutes later. Endothelial dysfunction plays a large part in development of atherosclerosis – a pre-cursor to cardiovascular disease.

Another study – one of the largest population studies ever conducted – was the "Ohsaki National Health Insurance Cohort Study". Researchers monitored 40,530 Japanese adults aged between 40 to 79 years from 1995 to 2005. The participants were healthy adults without history of stroke, coronary heart disease or cancer. They found that participants who drank more than five cups of Green tea a day had a 26 percent lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke, and a 16 percent lower risk of death from all causes than people who drank less than one cup of Green tea a day.

Rich in Antioxidants

A diet rich in antioxidants is believed to be one of the keys to a healthy long life. With continuous exposure to many environmental stressors which produce “free radicals” in the body, these can cause damage to parts of cells such as proteins, DNA, and cell membranes by stealing their electrons through a process called oxidation. Antioxidants (also known as “free radical scavengers”), are compounds that either reduce the formation of free radicals or react with and neutralise them.

Containing the highest amounts of antioxidants of any tea, Green tea is considered to be “the world’s healthiest tea”. These natural polyphenols include catechins, including the powerful epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), gallic acid and many other health benefiting compounds.

Healthy Weight Loss

Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of Green tea on weight loss.

Firstly, its high caffeine content has been found to boost fat burning and improve exercise performance.

Secondly, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – the star antioxidant in Green tea – has a powerful effect on metabolism.

Typical Use

Sencha Green Tea

1 teaspoon of loose green tea leaves to 1 cup of hot water, steeped for a couple of minutes. Drink up to 5 cups per day.

Green Tea Sencha Powder

Sencha Powder can be made into tea by placing the powder into a cup or mug and then filling with hot water. The tea can be lightly stirred so all the powder is dispersed into the water. It can also be added to smoothies.

Use 1-2 teaspoons per one cup of hot water or smoothie per person. 

Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder

Organic Matcha Powder is traditionally made into a green tea by adding hot water and using a small traditional Japanese whisk to mix the Matcha with the water. When all the Matcha powder is fully dissolved, sit back, sip and enjoy. Alternatively, you can add Matcha to Smoothies or as an ingredient in baking or simply sprinkled on food.

Use ½ - 2 teaspoons per 1 cup of hot water, per person.

Folklore and History
With a history stretching back over 5,000 years, Green tea was originally consumed only by royalty and the extremely wealthy in China. It wasn’t until around the 14th century that Green tea became available to all walks of life to enjoy for its delicious flavour and health benefits! The Chinese enthusiastically embraced Green tea and over the next centuries it slowly spread to the west. Green tea went on to be cemented in our collective consciousness at the “Boston Tea Party”, when 45 tons were dumped into the harbour as a protest by early colonists against the hated “Tea Tax”. Green Tea
Constituents

Green tea contains polyphenols, catechins (the most abundant being epigallocatechin) carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid, minerals- chronium, manganese, selenium, & zinc.

Precautions

None known