It is no secret that green tea has been around for thousands of years. Originating in Eastern Asia around the 8th century, green tea quickly spread around the world due to its’ known health benefits. It is believed that before the common brewing method of tea leaves, people would chew on the leaves much like Ethiopians chewed on coffee beans before brewing became popular. For hundreds of years all tea was considered green tea. Green tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant which originated in China and is commonly known as the “tea plant,” because its’ leaves can produce black tea, yellow tea, white tea, oolong, puerh, and of course green tea but they are all processed differently to maintain different levels of oxidation. Green tea is the Camellia Sinensis plant in its’ purest form due to the fact that it undergoes very little to no oxidation at all.
When green tea was first introduced as a beverage, it was very uncommon for those who were not considered royalty to drink it. It wasn’t until the Ming Dynasty around the 17th century that green tea became a fundamental part of Chinese society. By the end of the 17th century, Western traders began taking the tea back to Europe and its’ popularity spread like wildfire which is why it is a commonly known drink in the Western world today.
Below I will list 10 science-backed facts of the health benefits that green tea provides which is I personally refer to it as “magical tea.”
- Oral health- Because of its’ anti-inflammatory properties green tea can help control or prevent periodontal disease which is a common gum disease that causes swelling of the gums, redness, and tenderness. Although periodontal disease is caused by poor oral hygiene those who suffer from it can find alleviation in a cup of green tea.
- Weight loss- Green tea is a commonly known drink for weight loss due to the catechins found in the tea leaves. There are many studies that link catechins not only to losing weight but to keeping the weight off.
- High blood pressure- Green tea contains high levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients found in almost all fruits and vegetables and helps regulate heart health and it can decrease high blood pressure by 50% if consumed on a daily basis.
- Inflamed joints- As previously mentioned, green tea is full of anti-inflammatory properties so it is perfect to soothe the pain brought on by swollen joints.
- Bowels- Irritable Bowel Syndrome also known as IBS is an intestinal disorder which causes stomachaches, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Green tea can help soothe the stomach pains due to its’ anti-inflammatory components and has been shown to significantly improve gut microbiota.
- Antibacterial- Green tea has been proven to have high levels of antibacterial properties in its’ leaves and therefore can aid in ridding the human body of bacteria when consumed.
- Cancer- The Epigallocatechin gallate otherwise known as EGCG is a type of catechin which is a compound found in green tea that has shown in some cases to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Green tea also triggers proteins that kill cancer cells.
- Skin care- Green tea is packed with skin-rejuvenating and skin-healiong vitamins and minerals which help maintain a beautiful complexion. Loaded with manganese, vitamin B, caffeine, folate, potassium, amino acids, and phytochemicals you’re bound to clear and tone your skin in no time. You don’t need to just consume the tea internally, but you can brew a cup or two and pour it in an empty spray bottle and spritz in on your skin throughout the day to draw out impurities.
- Cholesterol- An analysis of published studies found that consuming green tea, was linked to significant but modest reductions in total and LDL which is known as the bad cholesterol.
- Chronic Fatigue- Green tea contains theanine which is an amino acid believed to boost energy, increase dopamine, and protect brain cells.
I usually enjoy a cup of green tea first thing in the morning. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but I find that I am far more energized and alert after a nice and warm cup of tea. I’ve also noticed a significant difference in the overall appearance of my skin after introducing green tea as a regular part of my diet. However, I would not recommend drinking the tea at night due to the fact that it does contain caffeine and it will keep you wide awake if consumed before bed.
Here are a few of my favorite green tea brands that I highly recommend. Each brand recommends a different brewing time and measurement, but they all list specific instructions for preparation.
DISCLAIMER: Please refer to your general physician before changing your diet, or using green tea in replacement of pharmaceuticals.