Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression.Green tea contains B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine and other antioxidants, notably catechins.
All types of tea – green, black and oolong – are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods. Fresh leaves from the plant are steamed to produce green tea, while the leaves of black tea and oolong involve fermentation. Avoiding the fermentation process allows green tea to retain the maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols.
Some benefits of green tea:
- Weight Loss. Green tea increases the metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
- Diabetes. Green tea is said to help regulate glucose levels by slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and crashes that result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.
- Heart Disease. Studies show that green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
- Cholesterol. Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
- Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
- Depression. Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. This amino acid is said to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage. The caffeine contained in a cup of tea can vary according to length of infusing time and the amount of tea infused. In general, green tea contains a relatively small amount of caffeine (approximately 20-45 milligrams per 8 Oz cup), compared with black tea, which contains about 50 milligrams and coffee with 95 milligrams per cup.
If you’re not crazy about tea, try a few different flavors. Try it iced or hot. Add some of the natural sweetener Stevia if you want a sweeter drink.