Health Benefits of Green Tea
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last decade or so, you’ll have heard just how awesome green tea is for your health! Not only does the tea offer benefits for your overall health, but it’s even one of the best weight loss foods around.
It’s one of the top superfoods on the planet, making it a drink you NEED in your day!
On this page, you’ll find out about the health benefits of green tea, what it can do for you, how much caffeine each cup contains, which brands are the best, how you can make green tea the right way, and so much more. By time you reach the end, you’ll be an expert on the topic of green tea!
What Does Green Tea Do?
Is green tea good for you? Heck yeah! You’ll find that it’s one of the healthiest drinks on the planet, and it offers a wide range of health benefits.
Promote Weight Loss – If you’re struggling with a few extra pounds of body fat, it’s time to add green tea to your morning routine. Green tea contains EGCG, an antioxidant that helps to boost your metabolism. Drinking just one or two cups of green tea not only causes you to burn more calories on a daily basis, but the compounds in the tea help to specifically target fat stored around your body. The polyphenols speed up fat oxidation and help your body burn calories from the food you consume.
Cut down on carbs. If you drink lots of water (green tea included) throughout the day, you'll be less likely to indulge in carb heavy foods. If you like bread (like me :)) and are looking for some further advice, look at this website has great information. Just be cautious how much you eat if you are trying to lose weight.
- Improve Heart Health – Green tea is one of those heart-smart foods you should add to your diet. Not only will the antioxidants in the tea help to reduce free radical damage throughout your cardiovascular system, but they relax your blood vessels. Blood vessels that are relaxed allow more blood to flow through, and there is a lower risk of damage to the walls of your arteries and veins. It can even stop clots from forming, thereby preventing heart attacks and strokes.
- Aid in Diabetes – While there is no cure for diabetes, green tea is one of those foods that can help to keep your diabetes in check. Green tea helps to keep glucose levels steady, preventing your blood sugar from spiking. By preventing insulin spikes, you reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance. You can even stop your body from storing glucose as fat, dealing with weight gain problems along with diabetes.
- Fight Cancer – Green tea may be one of the best natural remedies to deal with esophageal cancer, but it’s actually a great cancer-fighting remedies overall. The polyphenols and catechins in green tea help to fight cancer cells, killing them off and stopping them from spreading to new cells. It can even protect healthy tissue even in the presence of cancerous cells.
Stimulate Brain Function – Green tea contains some caffeine, though not as much as coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that can help to reduce pain and increase brain function. Caffeine blocks adenosine, the neurotransmitter that tells you that you are tired. When your brain is tired, its function is reduced. Caffeine stops your brain from feeling the fatigue, increasing the firing of your brain neurons and spreading adrenaline and dopamine throughout your brain.
Green tea also contains L-theanine, which increases the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that stops anxiety from wearing out your brain. Together with caffeine, the L-theanine boosts your brain function effectively
Protect Your Brain – The combination of caffeine and L-theanine not only stimulates brain function for a short amount of time, but it enhances the connection between the cells of your brain. The antioxidants in green tea will help to protect your brain’s cells against degeneration, common among older people.
Green tea can reduce your risk of developing degenerative brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as it stops the brain cells from dying or being degraded with age.
- Deal with Pathogens – Catechins are more than just antioxidants; they’re also potent pathogen-killers as well! Green tea is believed to be an excellent remedy to help you deal with oral and throat infections. It has been used in the Orient for hundreds of years as a means of preventing tooth decay, sore throats, gum infections, and dental caries.
Regulate Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is caused by a number of factors. Stress is one of the main causes of high blood pressure, but constricted arteries is another. The arteries are only constricted when the walls are covered with cholesterol that has been hardened and turned into plaque.
The antioxidants in green tea stop the cholesterol from hardening, and they ensure that your blood vessels are relaxed. With nothing to clog or tighten your veins and arteries, you have a much lower risk of high blood pressure–regardless of stress!
Improve Skin Health – Who doesn’t want to have clear, healthy, young skin? Green tea is one of the best things to drink if you want to improve the appearance of your skin. It contains a lot of antioxidants that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age lines, as well as sun and age spots.
The antioxidants in green tea reduce inflammation beneath the skin, stop fat from being stored (preventing cellulite), and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to keep your skin healthy and glowing.
- Boost Mood and Fight Depression – Depression is believed to be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, but green tea can help to fight depression and stabilize your mood. The L-theanine in green tea will relax your mind and body, preventing stress and anxiety from flooding your body with cortisol. Too much cortisol leads to hormonal and neurochemical imbalances, which can ultimately cause depression. Caffeine is also a mood-booster, and the small doses of caffeine in green tea makes it effective for helping you feel relaxed and happy.
Now you know why green tea is just so darn awesome for your health!
Is There Caffeine in Green Tea?
We all know that too much caffeine can be bad for our health! Caffeine doesn’t really wipe away our fatigue, but it just masks the feeling of tiredness. Drinking a lot of caffeine can lead to fatigue, stress, anxiety, nervous jitters, high blood pressure, and a lot of other negative symptoms.
Does green tea have caffeine? Yes, there is, but you’ll find that the green tea caffeine content is MUCH lower than the caffeine you’d get from a cup of coffee.
In a single 8-ounce mug of green tea, you get about 25 milligrams of caffeine. Compare that to:
- 154 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce cup of Americano coffee or cappuccino
- 77 milligrams of caffeine in a 1.5-ounce cup of espresso
- 250 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce can of Rockstar 2x Energy Drink
- 660 milligrams of caffeine in a 12-ounce mug of Death Wish Coffee
Comparatively speaking, green tea is very low in caffeine.
Studies have proven that anywhere between two and five cups of green tea is a healthy amount per day–the right amount of antioxidants. Just remember that each cup of coffee does contain some caffeine, and drink responsibly!
Best Green Tea Brands
If you’re looking for the best green tea for weight loss, heart-boosting effects, cancer-fighting, or just to enjoy on a cold morning, here are some of the best brands around:
- Lipton – This is considered the best green tea brand for tea bags, as it’s made with top-quality tea leaves. It is made without any flavorings or additives, so it’s completely natural and loaded with antioxidants. Best of all, there are A LOT of flavors to choose from!
- Gyokuro – If you’re trying to get your hands on loose tea leaves, you should definitely consider Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea. As one of Japan’s finest green tea, it’s made with leaves that have a bright, full-bodied taste and LOTS of antioxidants.
- Yogi Green Tea – This is a slightly more expensive brand of tea bags, but it’s a good option for those who want a caffeine kick in their tea. There are a few flavors to choose from, and all of the teas have a good taste with a full aroma.
- Taste of Kyoto – For organic matcha green tea, look no further than Taste of Kyoto. Not only is it certified organic, but it is sold at a decent price per gram. A great-tasting, grassy flavor that makes a wicked cup of green tea.
These are probably the best brands of green tea on the market, so they’re definitely worth buying for use in your home!
How to Make Green Tea
If you’re going to make green tea (using the loose leaves), it’s important that you do it right! Not only will brewing the tea correctly give it the best flavor (with fewer bitter-tasting tannins), but it will also ensure that you extract the maximum antioxidants from the tea!
Tea should ALWAYS be brewed with water between 140 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 85 degrees Celsius). The heat of the tea depends on the leaf grade and the type of leaf used:
- Gyokuro is best brewed at 122°F – 140°F (50°C – 60°C)
- Sencha tastes best when brewed at 160°F – 170°F (70°C – 80°C)
- Bancha and Genmaicha taste best when infused at higher temperatures of 170°F – 185°F (80°C – 90°C)
Heat the water according to your type of tea leaf!
Here’s how to make green tea the right way:
- Step 1: Place the kettle on the stove to boil. The water must reach a rolling boil for it to brew the tea properly.
Don’t let it cool too much, or it won’t brew the tea!
- Step 2: Let it cool to the proper temperature. This is the critical step! To let the water cool, you can:
- Pour the water into a ceramic teapot and use a thermometer to monitor its temperature.
- Pour the water into a Pyrex measuring cup/glass cup and let it sit for between 2 and 5 minutes. 2 to 3 minutes for 160 to 170 F, or 5 minutes for 140 to 150 F.
- Pour the water between kettle and teapot a few times until it cools (use a thermometer to monitor temperature)
- Step 3: Pour the water over the leaves and let it steep. Green tea only needs to steep for a few minutes–Japanese teas for no more than two minutes, and Chinese teas for no more than three minutes. Too much steeping time will extract the tannins, giving your tea a bitter flavor!
- Step 4: Serve the tea. Add honey or sugar as desired, and enjoy!
Follow the steps above to make a killer cup of tea every time.
Green Tea Recipes
Check out these awesome drinks you can make using green tea:
Green Tea Frappuccino Recipe
Who doesn’t love a Frappuccino on a hot day? But, instead of going for coffee, why not try to use green tea instead?
The matcha green tea used to make this green tea frappuccino recipe packs an antioxidant punch, and you’ll get just the right amount of caffeine to help you get through your day!
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups ice
- 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
- Sweetener, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pour the milk and water into the blender, add in the matcha tea powder, and blend for a few seconds to ensure the powder is mixed in properly.
Add in the vanilla, ice, and sweetener, blend, and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of: http://www.primallyinspired.com/green-tea-frappuccino-matcha-recipe/
Green Tea Cleanse & Detoxer
When you’ve had a lot of junk food in your life, it may be time for a detox! Instead of going the Master Cleanse or Lemonade Diet route, why not drink up a few glasses of this awesome detox green tea recipe?
You’ll love the unusual taste of the green tea cleanse, and it will do wonders for your digestive tract!
- 1 cup Green Tea, brewed and chilled
- 1/2 cup Baby Kale
- 1/2 Apple
- 1 tbsp Greek Yogurt
To begin, brew your green tea–either from a tea bag or tea leaves. Make sure that the tea is properly steeped before removing the bag/leaves and setting the tea in the freezer to chill.
As the tea is chilling, peel and core the apple and run it through the juicer. Pour the juice into the blender along with the baby kale, and add in the Greek Yogurt. Add the chilled green tea in with the ice, blend, and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of: http://bembu.com/green-tea-detox-drink-recipes
Iced Sun Green Tea
Want to know how to make iced green tea?
This recipe makes a wonderful pitcher of sun tea using green tea bags, and, once chilled and mixed with lemon, it’s one of the best drinks to serve at any picnic and BBQ!
- Green tea bags (enough to make 2 liters of tea)
- 3 lemons
To begin, fill the pitchers with water and add in the green tea bags. Place the pitcher out in the sun, and let it sit there for between 3 and 5 hours. Remember, the longer it sits in the sun, the more it will steep, and the higher the risk of tannins forming. Taste the tea every 30 minutes or so once you pass the three hour mark.
Once the tea has steeped, bring it into the kitchen and place it in the freezer. Cut the lemons and squeeze the juice, straining the pulp and seeds. Pour the lemon juice into the pitcher of sun green tea, add A LOT of ice to chill, and enjoy your fresh iced green tea!
The Magic Sore Throat Healer
Suffering from a sore throat? There’s nothing more painful than trying to swallow when you’ve got a throat infection, but thankfully you’ve got this wonderful tea to deal with it. Not only will the green tea help to kill off the bacteria in your throat, but the addition of lemon and ginger will reduce swelling and promote quick healing.
DEFINITELY the drink you want!
- 1 cluster of fresh ginger root
- 1 green tea bag
- 1 lemon
- Honey, as desired
To begin, peel the ginger root and slice it into small pieces (about the size of the first knuckle of your thumb). Place the ginger pieces into about ¾ quarts of water, and place it on the stove to boil. Let it boil down until there is roughly 2 cups of liquid left–a VERY potent ginger tea.
Let the water cool to the desired temperature and pour it over the green tea bag. As the tea is steeping, squeeze the lemon into the cup and add honey. Enjoy the burn!
Green tea is one of those amazing drinks you just can’t get enough of! The recipes above will help you to enjoy green tea in a whole new way…
About the Author
Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.