What are the benefits of green tea?
There are numerous reasons to drink tea, and green tea specifically. The main reason is because green tea is unoxidized, and therefore contain lots of catechins. Catechins are the anti-oxidant compounds that help destroy free radicals and reduce inflammation - and are the primary drivers of the benefits of green tea.
Green tea is also high in a compound known as L-theanine. It is the component in tea that promotes a sort of 'calm relaxation' that helps with focus, centering thoughts and relaxation. Because green tea contains caffeine (typically 15-30mg) this combination is often sought after by those who need to focus for long periods of time. Because coffee doesn't contain this compound, you'll get a quick boost followed by a caffeine crash.
Top benefits of green tea
1. Immune boosting capabilities. Green tea contains more of the catechin EGCG. Both EGCG and L-theanine help strengthen the immune system by priming T-cell activity.
2. Weight loss. Green tea promotes thermogenesis, which increases calorie consumption. It's one of the reason green tea extract is found in many weight loss products. But drinking in it's purest form is the healthiest and safest way to maximize the benefits of green tea.
3. Anti-Aging. One of the key medicinal benefits of green tea on a regular basis is the ingestion of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent damage in the cells and molecules within the body by suppressing the production of free radicals which cause the damage and speed up the aging process.
4. Great for Teeth. Tea contains natural levels of fluoride, but also inhibits bacteria growth on the teeth themselves (as long as you don't sweeten).
5. Helps you concentrate. L-theanine has cross the brain blood brain barrier where calls turn it into a chemical called GABA that helps the brain relax, but at the same time, caffeine will increase your awareness. This prevents a caffeine crash, while allowing prolonged periods of concentration.
6. Helps guard against degenerative disease. While there is much scientific research, people who drink green tea typically have much lower rates of cancer and diabetes. Osaka, Japan is in a blue zone where people live much longer than average, and green tea is a big component of their diet. Other side benefits are lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Benefits of green tea - what tea should you buy?
A few rules of thumb:
- Avoid green tea extract (levels in these pills can be potentially toxic)
- Avoid bagged tea. This is often the lowest quality tea around, and frankly doesn't taste good
What if you don't like green tea?
We've seen this before - and almost always is caused by two issues. Oversteeping and burning. In order to get the most catechins, it is recommended not to use water that is over 180 degrees. Using boiling water will quickly scald the leaves. Leaving the leaves in too long will resulting in bitterness and bad taste. This is also the reason why some people feel nauseous if drinking over steeped tea on an upset stomach.
If you are looking at getting your feet wet, we recommend starting out with some flavored green teas, and they work great both hot and iced. From there, we recommend some of the premium single source varieties. For example, Gyokuro is Japan's finest shade grown tea. Brewed at only 140 degrees, it's has natural sweetness and some of that unami flavor. It's easy to explore these varieties by getting samples. Remember, as you try more teas, your taste buds will become adapted to many new flavor nuances.
Another tea to try out is White tea! But remember - properly brewed green tea should *NEVER* taste bitter. In fact, bitter tea means you are not getting the benefits of green tea.
We are here to help - we live for tea. We have live chat available every weekday and support often answers questions after hours and weekends.