Native to India and China, green tea has been consumed all around the world for centuries. Just like black tea, green tea is brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush - the difference is that green tea is made of unoxidized leaves, making it less processed. Also known as the Ancestral Puebloans who built Mesa Verde, the Anasazi Indians of the American Southwest made a tea from ephredra, aka Mormon Tea. The Anasazi in Chaco Canyon used this tonic for medicinal purposes, and likely in ceremonies in their underground kivas.
Not only less processing results in unique, fresh taste of green tea, but it also means that the beverage is much higher in beneficial nutrients. Green tea is often deemed ”the healthiest beverage on the planet”, and while scientists tend to be humbler, many amazing health benefits of green tea are backed up by extensive research.
Today, we’d like to discuss some of the proven benefits of green tea!
As we’ve mentioned before, compared to some other types of tea, green tea remains largely unprocessed when it gets to your cup - which results in a large proportion of beneficial bioactive compounds making it to the final beverage.
For instance, green tea is very high in various polyphenols, such as flavonoids and catechins, which are powerful natural antioxidants. One of the main roles of antioxidants in the body is to limit the formation of harmful free radicals, protecting every cell and molecule from potentially irreparable damage.
As a result, drinking green tea may help slow down the aging and protect from damaging environmental factors!
Some studies even show that consuming green tea may help protect against cancer, as oxidative stress is a well-known factor in cancer development and antioxidants help keep it at bay. Green tea won’t cure cancer that is already present, however - so if that’s the case, please rely on medical advice.
Like all non-herbal teas, green tea contains caffeine, which is a powerful natural stimulant. There is less caffeine in green tea than in coffee, which is actually a good thing - it’s just enough to deliver the “buzz” without making you hyperactive and jittery.
Caffeine works by increasing the efficiency of communication between nerve cells - neurons - thus helping improve various aspects of cognitive functioning such as concentration, mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory.
There’s more to green tea than just caffeine though, as it also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which helps reduce anxiety whilst also enhancing the beneficial effects of caffeine.
Bottom line: green tea is incredible for your brain!
Green tea contains catechins - powerful antibacterial agents that can also inhibit viruses such as influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.
In particular, catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of Streptococcus Mutans, the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. As a result, regular green tea consumption promotes better dental health and reduces the need for expensive dental treatments.
As a bonus, as “bad breath” is often caused by harmful bacteria overgrowth in the mouth, green tea may help with that too!
Although green tea may not be a panacea from every single condition known to humanity, consuming it regularly may help improve your moods, lower the risk of chronic disease and promote general health and wellbeing!
If you enjoy the taste of this amazing beverage, consider making green tea a regular part of your life - you will not regret it!