Making a list of the health benefits of green tea is a tedious job simply because the benefits are copious. Including a cup of green tea can do wonders in your life. From increased brain functions to its incredible ability to lose fat and improve physical performance, green tea should be a mandate with your breakfast. Who doesn’t want to be healthier and smarter just from a cup of tea every morning?
It’s time to get rid of the myths regarding green tea that it’s only beneficial when it comes to weight loss. Its high levels of catechins, an antioxidant, help to prevent a number of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular problems and a great many other health-related problems. Green tea is extremely beneficial in reducing stress and vitality boosting. These are not just a couple of beliefs but actual scientifically proven facts.
So we conducted an extensive study and analysed benefits and side-effects of green tea and came up with the top green tea brands you can come across. Don’t sit back. Hurry grab a cup of green tea and start sipping!
Benefits of Green Tea:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases: Antioxidants in green tea help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), increase the good (HDL) cholesterol and reduce the damage to blood vessels and arteries.
- Prevention against Cancer: Polyphenolic components in the tea have been proven to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties that inhibit the growth of cancerous tumor cells by promoting release of chemotherapeutic agents.
- Anti-bacterial and Anti-viral properties: Green tea has been found to inhibit reproduction and growth of bacteria like Salmonella, Clostridium and Bacillus, thus proving effective against flu, typhoid, diarrhoea, and influenza, to name a few.
- Body weight control: Long-term consumption of tea catechins has been found to control fat emulsification and aid weight control.
- Oral Health Maintenance: Green tea is rich in flouride, which along with catechins can significantly help reduce dental infections, periodontal diseases and tooth loss.
- Effective against COVID-19: Green tea is packed with enzymes that hold potential towards blocking the main protease of the SARS COVID virus, without which the virus can not survive in the human body.
- Good for Skin: Protection against skin cancer, premature aging, ultra-violet damage, acne, inflammation, cuts and irritation are some skin benefits green tea promises.
While green tea is indisputably a healthful powerhouse, it’s excessive consumption has been linked to a fair share of side-effects and hence, should be consumed in moderation.
Commonly Reported Side-effects
- Stomach issues: Tannins in green tea can cause acid reflux, resulting in stomach irritation, constipation, nausea and diarrhoea.
- Caffeine-related side effects: Caffeine in green tea decelerates release of melatonin, a harmone that aids sleep, thus causing interference with sleep and increased anxiety. In pregnant women, increased consumption has been associated with birth defects and miscarriage. Additionally, it slows calcium absorption, affecting bones and teeth.
- Iron-deficiency and Anaemia: Green tea is rich in healthful catechins. Their excessive intake can however inhibit iron absorption causing iron deficiency, proving especially deleterious to people with anaemia.
- Dehydration and Heartburn: Increased green tea intake can cause frequent urination, resulting in dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, headache, inertia, altered heart rate and heartburn.
A lot of these adverse effects can be avoided by consuming the tea at the right time, in controlled proportion and by brewing it correctly to maximize it’s benefits. Let’s take a step-by-step look at the best way to prepare green tea using tea bags and leaves, with some tips to boost it’s positive benefits and taste.
Using Tea Leaves:
- While preparing green tea from tea leaves, the tea to water ratio is the most important. The most appropriate ratio that guarantees taste while also ensuring maximum benefits is three-fourth of a teaspoon of leaves for each cup of water.
- After taking the required amount of tea leaves and water as per the serving, boil the water in a stainless steel pot. The right temperature of water is the next most important parameter. Neither should the water be boiling hot as it would result in a bitter, astringent tea, nor should it be cold as it wouldn’t enable maximum extraction of taste or benefits. The ideal temperature is anywhere between 80 to 85 degrees Celsius i.e. just before it starts boiling. An easy way to get the right temperature is to switch off the gas as soon as the water begins to boil, wait for 2 to 3 minutes for the temperature to come down to ideal and then begin the tea brewing process.
- Next, add the tea leaves and let them steep for 2 minutes. Most of the healthful catechins, flavonoids and vitamins get released within 2 minutes. If you like your tea strong, you can keep it for an additional 1 minute before you strain it into a cup. Keeping it longer than that can not only make the tea taste bitter but can also result in a higher caffeine and lower anti-oxidant content and associated side-effects.
- Your tea is ready to be consumed but you can add honey, mint or lemon to enhance the taste further.
Using Tea Bags:
This is a more convenient approach since tea bags warrant portability and with the busy lifestyles people have these days, these make having green tea on-the-go possible.
- Heat the water to the ideal temperature, as highlighted above.
- Pour the water into a cup or a mug and insert the green tea bag.
- Cover the cup with a lid and let the tea steep for about 3 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag, stir the green tea well and enjoy as it is or with sweeteners, lemon or mint.