Dope yourself some catechins with green tea
Green tea, the drink of gods
Original green tea, the kind of tea that says “Ingredients: tea leaves” and nothing else in the product description, is probably one of the healthiest and most natural fluids of the world you can put in your mouth. It is also the one drink with the greatest research data. Originally from China, it has created a popular hype since Marco Polo or the East India Company. The difference between original green tea and basic black tea is the process treatment, as green tea has not been oxidized. The health benefits of green tea in general are due the high amount of antioxidants, especially catechins, vitamin C and amino acids. There are a lot of varieties of green teas, most of them are originally from China or Japan.
Some varieties of green tea:
Dragon Well – The Longjing tea is one of the most common international chinese green varieties. It has many names, but the Dragon Well is probably the most common. The name originates from the area ‘Longjing Village’. You can find the dragon well tea from various tea shops around the US.
Gunpowder – Another popular chinese green tea blend, that in fact, looks like gunpowder. The Camellia sinensis plants are rolled to look like small pellets that open in the water.
Kai Hua Long Ding – or Kai Hua Crescendo, is a high quality chinese tea has a slightly different smell and taste than other chinese green tea blends. The name says it all, as the direct translation is something like “top dragon-river tea” where the top refers also to the quality. The tea looks more like pine needles than actual green tea.
Sencha – Sencha doesn’t need much of explanation. It is the daily japanese tea, that actually is a wide section of different kinds of japanese green blends. The taste is fresh and steamed with hot water to prevent oxidation. There are many varieties of sencha in the market. A good green tea for people who don’t have experience in the taste, or don’t like green tea at all.
Gyokuro – A top quality Japanese tea. The taste is smooth and the color of the tea leaves is dark. What makes gyokuro special, is the shading process that gives it the smooth sweet and refreshing taste. The leaves are shaded from 2-3 weeks in the drying process.
Matcha – The japanese ceremony tea matcha is powdered green tea, which has gained popular use in smoothies, ice cream and other foods. Like gyokuro, the matcha tea is also shaded as it is made of tencha, a shaded japanese green tea blend. Matcha is also popular and available in purchase from almost every beverage – specialized grocery store.
Bancha – Bancha tea is a second harvested sencha quality – tea. It’s harvestation process varies from early summer to late autumn. For tea experts, bancha is recognized as the lowest quality of japanese green tea, it is the cheapest quality usually used in normally green tea’s what you can buy from the grocery store, the taste and smell are strong, but hey, all the same health benefits of green tea available with the lowest price!
What does green tea contain?
Water. Green tea is 99% water, so it doesn’t have almost any calories. Because of the taste and the caffeine content, green tea is exceptionally good help when losing weight. The <0,1 percent of the content is what makes it such a powerful drink: it is full of polyphenols, such as flavanols. Flavanols are considered to have potential antioxidant effects. Green tea also includes vitamin C and a variety of different B-vitamins, such as Thiamine (B1) and Niacine (B2). From minerals, green tea includes magnesium, potassium and sodium. It contains also coffein, but only around one-third of the amount that in coffee.
The health benefits of green tea
The health benefits of green tea are widely recognized, however, in large human researches, there has not been clear scientific evidence about the health benefits, even though researches have claimed that the flavanols have potential anticarcinogen, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Flavonoids, like myricetin, have also been researched widely and can have anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic and antiviral effects (and a LOT of other anti-effects) Catechins might be useful when preventing and improving the condition of lifestyle related diseases, such as obesity:
Green tea is probably the most researched beverage when it comes to its benefits to human health. A research of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State university has researched the green tea catechins and cardiovascular health, and because of multiple reasons, green tea has potential health benefits in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Another research from Japan states that as a result of 12-week diet with daily dosage of 690 mg rich in catechins, that is, around 4 cups of brewed green tea, resulted in reduced body-fat and waist circumference, that leaded to lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
To get the potential health benefits of it, you should start by changing your one cup of coffee to two cups of green tea. If the tea is good in quality, this portion may include almost 350 mg of catechins daily. Also, it may be a good option to use green tea supplements, as one capsule includes almost 5 cups of green tea. Keep in mind that it is possible to overdose green tea, especially in supplement form. As it includes powerful stimulant, caffeine, you probably don’t want to take too many doses before going to the bed at night.
How to brew
The main idea is to not to steep it too much, or use too hot water (boiling water straight from the pot or boiling machine is waaaay too hot for green tea) as the tea can release a big amount of tannins (the chemical blend that gives a bitter taste to coffee or red wine with good body).
Green tea is one of the most popular health supplement, as it is widely researched and somewhat cheap to buy.