Is Green Tea an Anti-inflammatory Powerhouse?
By The Whistling Kettle July 16th, 2021
What is Inflammation?
To understand why green tea is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, we first have to identify the problem. Inflammation is your body’s response to an injury or invader. Acute inflammation when the body is injured is a healthy response, but chronic inflammation is not. If the body is constantly stressed due to chronic health issues, it never gets a chance to rest and recover. That’s where green tea can help. Anti-inflammatory polyphenols in green tea are known to reduce symptoms associated with IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammation-driven chronic conditions.
Why is Green Tea an Anti-Inflammatory?
All tea is considered anti-inflammatory, but green tea is at the top of its class. Green tea is made from unoxidized tea leaves that are dried and steamed. This preserves more of the anti-inflammatory polyphenols in the leaf, as opposed to oxidized teas. Other factors can affect quality as well, like amount of time the trees are shaded, time of harvest, and the age of the leaf.
EGCG - One of the most prominent polyphenols in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate)- a particular polyphenol that suppresses the gene and/or protein expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines and inflammation enzymes. In other words, it is an immensely powerful anti-inflammatory.
How Does Green Tea Compare to Anti-Inflammatory Foods?
A small amount of EGCG can be found in foods such as apples, avocados, blackberries, cranberries, and nuts. However, green tea has higher levels of EGCG and is easy to drink multiple times per day. Drinking green tea on a regular basis is the best way to prevent symptoms due to inflammation.
What is the Best Green Tea for Inflammation?
There are endless varieties to choose from, but here are some exceptional green teas that pack a polyphenol punch.
- Loose Leaf Green Tea - Tea bags are typically lower quality so we always recommend choosing loose leaf tea. High-quality, loose-leaf green tea will have the highest amount of polyphenols. Tea from pre-packaged tea bags can taste bitter, but loose leaf tea is sure to brew a smooth and flavorful cup.
- Green Tea with Herbs - Blends such as our Apple Ginger Green Tea can include other anti-inflammatory ingredients as well. Ginger is another strong anti-inflammatory herb that pairs well with the taste of green tea.
- Matcha - Matcha green tea is made from finely ground tea leaves and is THE most potent source of EGCG. To prepare matcha, you whisk the powder in hot water and drink it without straining out the leaves. This makes it a much more concentrated tea. Matcha contains up to 137x more antioxidants than a low-grade variety of green tea and up to 3x more than other high-quality teas. Powerhouse may be an understatement when matcha is concerned.
How Much Green Tea Should I Drink?
EGCG levels are known to drop about 2 hours after consumption, so 7-8 cups of green tea are recommended to keep the levels elevated. However, the amount will vary depending on the grade and type of green tea. For example, matcha is more concentrated so only 1-2 cups are needed daily for the same benefits. It is best to start slowly with 1 cup per day and see how you feel as you increase the amount. For most green teas we recommend steeping 1 teaspoon in 195 degree water (hot but not boiling) for 1-3 minutes. And of course, when dealing with inflammatory conditions or other health concerns, always consult a doctor to be sure green tea is the right fit for you.
So now what are you waiting for? Brew a cup of bright green wellness and feel revitalized. We have an extensive selection of green teas available to get you started. Green tea is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse that is worth adding to your daily routine to promote overall health.