Benefits of green tea: discover its full potential

The benefits of green tea they are more than proven.

Whether to take care of their weight, to help in digestion or, simply, to relax, many are the people who have included the green tea in your daily diet. It is a drink rich in antioxidants and nutrients that benefit the body in multiple ways, helping to strengthen defenses and prevent diseases.

However, you may also have adverse effects because the body does not react well, causing migraines, bleeding and even insomnia and anxiety.

Although some experts talk about the “infallible powers” of this drink, care must be taken when adopting tea regularly on a day-to-day basis. It can lead to more diseases than it wants to “fight”.

Next we will talk both the benefits of green tea that produces, as of precautions and care when drinking more than two cups of tea a day.

Green tea is synonymous with health and is known as the drink of eternal youth for its great benefits and the large amount of antioxidants and polyphenols it contains, these are the protagonists that make green tea an aid to our body, physical and mental health.

discover the benefits of green tea

Currently the advantages and benefits of green tea can be enjoyed in different ways. Although the traditional is in the form of tea, in specialized stores we can find variants such as capsules or powder, only or mixtures of other teas (such as black, blue, white, etc.).

An example can be this:

In this case, its promotion is based on its use as a slimming agent, based on facilitating the movement of lipids and their subsequent elimination. Of course, in combination with a healthy diet, with a lot of incorporation of fruits and vegetables, and moderate physical activity.

Where does green tea come from?

Green tea comes from the pure extraction (without having undergone oxidation processes) of the plant Camellia sinensis. The color of the tea is determined many times by the time of harvesting.

Therefore, in this case, the harvest of leaves occurs when they contain a lot of accumulated chlorophyll and are fresh. From here, the process of drying, pressing and rolling begins. This tradition in the creation of green tea is determined above all by Asian countries such as Japan, China and Vietnam.

The first discoverers of the benefits of green tea it was the Chinese, back in 2700 BC.C. At that time, its consumption was very limited due to the high value of its leaves once they have been treated. Therefore, it was an exclusive consumption of the elite of Chinese society.

The great importance in its consumption comes at the beginning of overseas travel, where it was very common for all sailors to suffer from scurvy disease (vitamin deficiency).

Green tea provided them with a significant amount of vitamins and reduced the chances of suffering from this disorder.

Within each production area, there are derivatives of green tea, where they obtain small differences in the concentration of vitamin and polyphenols, such as the final color once the infusion has been prepared.

  • Vietnam green tea or Vietnam tea
  • Ceylon tea or Ceylon green tea
  • Darjeeling green tea or Darjeeling tea
  • Assam tea or Assam green tea

If you are curious to know if you can grow the tea tree in areas far from its origins, we give you some keys to its cultivation. Could you grow this tree in a Mediterranean area? Let’s see it.

Climatology

One of the particularities of growing tea tree is to maintain warm and moderate conditions in humidity almost all year round. Therefore, cold areas with the possibility of frost should abstain.

Its cultivation can occur in coastal areas with mild annual temperatures and microclimates where frost rarely occurs.

Here are some recommendations for its cultivation:

  • Warm climate, with mild winters, and high humidity.
  • Disposition in full sun (at least most of the day).
  • Abundant watering.

Soil type

For its cultivation, there are no conditioning factors at the time of choose the soil. We can increase the fertility of those sandy and silty textures with the incorporation of organic matter, since it is an important requirement for their development.

Fresh soils, rich in organic matter (high in fertility), with good drainage and that favor the accumulation of moisture.

It is preferable that such soils have a slightly acidic pH. An optimal pH would be in the range of 5-6.5. Calcareous soils often express in the crop iron deficiency and micronutrients, which reduce the accumulation of phytochemical components of the plant. Therefore, they can reduce the benefits of green tea.

Plant multiplication

Traditionally, Chinese medicine has been reproduced the plant by seeds. In fact, this improved the quality of green tea (its composition, in general), thanks to the genetic improvement it produced (genetic improvement by crossbreeding, as it is usually called).

The seeds are soaked 24 hours before planting. We can do this by means of a newspaper or damp cloth, leaving the seeds covered and moistened.

The next day, we sow in a hot seedbed (inside the house), watering whenever we can to maintain constant humidity.

The gE-mination is slow, the first seedlings may appear from 30 days after planting, or in other slower varieties, from 60 days.

The reproduction by cuttings it is much more comfortable than by seed, obtaining plants identical to that of the mother, since a stem of it is chosen.

Such cuttings are selected from adult trees over 3 years old. To do this, moderately young branches are selected, between 10 and 20 cm high, and removing the leaves from the base of the stem.

This stem is arranged in a container with water (which we will change every 3 or 4 days) until we see that the first white rootlets come out. The use of rooters, such as natural hormones, facilitates the operation and accelerates it.

Once we have enough roots, we can perform the transplant. A much faster process than by seeds and, as you see, something more comfortable.

Nutritional composition

CompositionQuantity% recommended daily
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)0.03 mg2,5%
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.95 mg73%
Vitamin B3 (niacin)0.1 mg0,55%

The benefits of green tea go more hand in hand with the chemical properties of its components. At the nutritional level, it does not stand out for its contribution in fiber, proteins or much less carbohydrates.

In vitamins, as we have seen in the table, its consumption is not a great incentive. However, we have to know first-hand the chemical composition to know the reason for the benefits of green tea.

One of the components that has more concentration of green tea are catechins. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Epigallocatechin (EGC)
  • Epigallocatechin-3-gallictate (EGCG)
  • Epicatechin-gallictate (ECG)
  • Epicatechin (EC)

What are catechins?

Catechins are a group of flavonoid-type polyphenols with great antioxidant power. Traditional Chinese medicine has pursued and studied since its inception all the plants that contained these elements among its components.

 

In vegetables, it works by inhibiting the development of other plants (such as herbicide) and reducing seed germination. In living beings, it has a high antioxidant power and a great list of benefits for our body.

However, the benefits of green tea they are not only limited to the presence of catechins. That way, we’d be forced to narrow down the list of properties you’ll see below.

The accumulation in the leaves of other compounds with phytochemical properties, such as tannins, kenferol, caffeine and myricetol, characterize all clinical trials conducted with this plant.

Although in lower concentration, the list of compounds exceeds one hundred, being able to find substances such as caffeine (as it could not be otherwise), riboflavones and theanines.

Benefits of Green Tea

One of the most defended and valued benefits of green tea is its antioxidant and free radical reducing potential. IsThis is given by the composition of catechins, with high concentration in their leaves, since they are stored in the cellular vacuole.

The free radicals they are very reactive elements eager to bind to other particles, so they totally transform their nature and composition.

This, in some cases, can be very harmful, as it can be the beginning of the formation of tumors and cancer. Products rich in antioxidants and vitamins, substances with also high reactivity power, can bind to these free radicals to inactivate them or reduce the formation of other toxic compounds, so they act as a protector of the organism.

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases

The benefits of green tea based on its large amount of antioxidants, offers a benefit reducing triglyceride values in the bloodstream, thus helping to improve blood circulation and reduce cardiovascular diseases.

Due to its composition, it is able to reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow, avoiding the appearance of thrombi and clots.

Prevention of several types of cancer

An antioxidant present in green tea, the catechin, is being studied by several laboratories and scientific trials to reduce different types of cancer of the digestive system, such as the stomach, esophagus and colon.

Some studies, such as the U.S. National Cancer Institute, have obtained conclusive results where the risk of contracting esophageal cancer is reduced by up to 60% with the taking of an infusion of green tea a day.

Benefits of Green Tea to Reduce Body Weight

Although in the subject of weight reduction, miracles do not exist, it has been shown that one of the benefits of green tea is to collaborate in body lipids, combined with a low-fat diet and moderate physical activity.

This may be due to the activation of metabolic reactions in the body related to thermogenesis, by accelerating metabolism.

High concentration of antioxidants

Discussed above, among the benefits of tea stands out the great contribution of vitamins and antioxidants, such as polyphenols and secondary metabolites. This shot for the body through an infusion a day, helps reduce the accumulation of free and toxic radicals that can cause diseases.

Reduces stress and helps calm us down

An amino acid present in the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) called theanine, analogous to glutamic acid, it affects the levels of serotonin and dopamine producing a feeling of relaxation and well-being within a few minutes of taking it.

Theanine produces a physical tension-reducing sensation, has stimulating properties, and improves cognitive activity in a very similar way to caffeine.

Neuroprotective effect

The amino acid that we have previously given a lot of importance to reduce stress, theanine, has also been shown in several important scientific studies its neuroprotective activity.

These studies have also derived, for the moment in rats and other animals, to reduce active states of schizophrenia and diseases related to the brain.

Benefits of Green Tea for Lowering Blood Glucose Levels

The presence of antioxidants helps control insulin secretion by the pancreas. These polyphenols reduce insulin hormone resistance, a common case in type 2 diabetes.

In a study conducted by the University of Japan, the benefits of green tea to control diabetes have been analyzed, resulting in a 30% reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes with the taking of 1 cup a day.

How to drink green tea

As we have said, the traditional way for the benefits of tea to act on the body is through infusion. The capsules or extracts are equally effective, since in their conservation chemical processes have been followed that do not destroy their properties, such as lifiolized or dehydrated.

For the convenience of its preparation, the taste and the advantages of enjoying the moment, the benefits of green tea go beyond its chemical properties, but the tranquility of taking the infusion, the moment of relaxation and personal well-being.

Although as for green tea we can discover hundreds of combinations with other infusions, honey, citrus, ginger and others, the simplest recipe may be the following:

Ingredients for a cup

  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 1 tablespoon green tea coffee
  • A few drops of squeezed lemon

Preparation method

Add in the boiled water the green tea leaves and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain, add the lemon juice and drink.

Another benefit of green tea with lemon is that lemon juice helps disguise the characteristic bitter taste of green tea and is easier to drink throughout the day.

Benefits of green tea… in capsules?

The benefits of green tea capsules are equal to all the benefits of green tea and are an excellent alternative for those who do not like the bitter taste of green tea. It is enough to ingest 1 capsule of green tea, 3 times a day, 30 minutes after meals, the ideal is to confirm on the product label because the amounts may vary with the brand.

Green tea can be found in the form of dried leaves, bags of crushed or granulated tea, can be consumed hot or cold and can be purchased in supermarkets or natural products stores.

Contraindications of green tea

It is not recommended, as with many other infusions and foods, to exceed the recommended dose. In general, it is not necessary to take more than 3 cups a day, and you can suffer headaches, diarrhea, sleep problems, irritability, fast heart rate, etc., when we exceed 5 cups.

All the green tea benefits mentioned can be achieved with up to 3 cups a day.

For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is not advisable to take more than 2 cups a day. In moderation is success.

This is due to the amount of caffeine we incorporate into the body, quantified at 200 mg per cup. Excess caffeine, also included in coffee, can cause negative effects on pregnancy, and you should always consult with your doctor.

In young children, no more than 1 cup a day is recommended, due to the effects of caffeine and the hyperactivity generated. Likewise, if the child consumes refreshing drinks with caffeine, the benefits of green tea, even if it has caffeine, are above this type of drink.

In people who regularly consume medicines, it is essential to consult on a case-by-case basis with the medical specialist, in order to avoid negative interactions between green tea and drugs.

This infusion can be iron sequestrant, so it is advisable not to take it if you suffer from anemia.

Types of green tea of Japanese origin

Within green tea, we find the following infusions, many of them of Japanese origin.