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Green Tea: Effects

Green Tea: Effects

Every day, drinking several cups of green tea can boost well-being, extend life, and bring happiness. Sounds like a healthy resolution for the new year - but what exactly is behind this? We decode the ingredients of tea and what they contribute to our health.

Green miracle cure?

Green tea may not do it all, but there is a good reason why it is considered an essential part of a healthy diet. Here are the health benefits of green tea:

  • Prevention of diabetes
  • Assistance with cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Prevention of cancer
  • Prevention of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
  • Promotion of dental health
  • Fighting obesity
  • Slowing down the aging process
  • Strengthening the immune system and protection against infections.

Perfect drink for early risers thanks to caffeine and L-theanine

A first positive effect: green tea makes you alert and focused. This is not only due to the contained caffeine but also the amino acid L-Theanine, which elevates mood and induces relaxation. The caffeine content in a cup of Gyokuro or Sencha can easily compete with a serving of coffee. So, for those who crave a cup of coffee every morning, switching to green tea could be an option. Contrary to popular belief, black tea does not necessarily have more caffeine than green tea!

Green tea poured into a teacup

In addition to the alertness effect, memory is boosted. Therefore, drinking green tea is good prevention against diseases like Alzheimer or Parkinson. Caffeine in moderation also reduces the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). At the same time, L-Theanine soothes the stimulating effect of caffeine, so the body feels less stressed compared to drinking coffee. Typical side effects like rapid heartbeat and nervousness only occur with very large amounts.

It's important not to confuse Theanine with Tannin. Tannin is a bitter substance that becomes more prominent with longer steeping times of tea. Black tea has less of it than green tea, so it is not as sensitive if steeped for a longer time. In the second infusion, significantly more tannin enters the green tea, but fewer amino acids. Besides the taste, the tannin substance also has an antibacterial effect.

Vitamins and phytochemicals: healthy blood pressure, strong immune system

We learn from an early age that vegetables contain healthy vitamins. But these are not only found on the plate but also in the cup. Especially the universally popular Vitamin C is abundant in the tea plant. The immune system is happy, and infectious diseases have less chance of affecting green tea drinkers. Vitamins, among other things, have a positive effect on healthy skin, shiny and strong hair, as well as good eyes.

Also, polyphenols, which belong to the group of secondary plant compounds, have an antibacterial effect. This is particularly important for dental health: tooth decay and periodontitis can be combated. In the cup, you can also find Beta-Carotene, which is a precursor to Vitamin A, along with other carotenes. These also inhibit the development of certain cancers such as breast and colon cancer.

You can even taste catechins. They are secondary plant compounds that cause the astringency - the furry mouthfeel - of tea. This is especially evident in Matcha. But catechins can do even more: for example, promote blood circulation and lower blood pressure, as studies have shown. Therefore, they are particularly valuable for the cardiovascular system. Last but not least, they promote - especially the catechin EGCG - cancer prevention and fat burning. The latter is an effect that is highly valued in diets.

More on the topic of green tea and weight loss can be found here.

Green tea | Blog article read in Japan-Magazine »

However, clinical studies show that catechins can be harmful to the liver in large doses. This is highly unlikely with high-quality varieties. Such an overdose occurs only with specially processed diet teas or capsules containing highly concentrated green tea extract. Drinking three cups of green tea daily usually does not cause any side effects in healthy individuals.

Anti-ageing effect with antioxidants

Vitamins, carotenes, and catechins have one thing in common: they are antioxidants. These substances inhibit the action of free radicals in the blood. Free radicals are not harmful in themselves - in fact, they also have benefits for us. However, if there are too many without counteraction, they cause oxidative stress. This damages cells in the body, accelerating the aging process. It also promotes infections and is responsible for many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. That's why antioxidants are so important to prevent this.

You can also intake these valuable components with black tea. However, vitamins and carotenes are destroyed during fermentation, which occurs in black and oolong tea but not in green tea. The content of catechins is also much higher in green tea. The water temperature is also important. For example, for Matcha, you need a low temperature for a cup of tea to preserve vitamins and carotenes completely. This is different with boiling water.

Green tea also contains some substances that are not particularly well-known, such as diphenylamine. This component helps lower blood sugar, making it valuable for combating type 2 diabetes.

Green tea preparation in our theme world »

At a glance: what makes green tea so valuable

We have seen what the tea plant Camellia sinensis is capable of. These are the ingredients that make up green tea:

  • Caffeine: increases alertness and concentration and is effective against high blood pressure
  • Amino acids: especially L-theanine plays a crucial role in relaxation, mood enhancement, and memory
  • Diphenylamine: helps keep blood sugar in check
  • Tannin: not only contributes to the bitterness in green tea but also has antibacterial effects
  • Polyphenols: fight unwanted bacteria in the body and oral cavity
  • Antioxidants: these substances protect against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, infections, and diabetes
  • Vitamins and carotenes: they have a positive effect on the immune system and are essential for many bodily functions. Carotenes can also protect against cancer
  • Catechins: the secondary plant compounds have blood pressure-lowering effects and support blood circulation. They also aid in weight loss.

The amount of these substances you intake while drinking also depends on the type of tea. Young leaves, such as those found in Shincha, have a lower concentration of some ingredients. Matcha, Gyokuro, and Sencha tea are examples of green tea varieties with the highest caffeine content. The steeping time, water temperature, and whether you drink the first or second infusion also play a role.

The right preparation is crucial for green tea to maintain its health-promoting effects. Tip: Be cautious with milk. According to scientific studies, adding milk to green tea can enhance the effects of some ingredients such as catechins, but it can negate others. Therefore, we recommend drinking green tea without milk. You can read how to prepare it correctly and tastefully here.

Organic green teas view in the store »
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