Green tea has its origin in China province since ages. Initially there was only Green tea and it was used in its natural form; the leaves but after that other teas came into picture which were fermented or oxidised to make oolong tea or black tea.
The main active components of green tea are Alkaloids in the form of caffeine and Catechins in form of EGCG.
Caffeine as we know that has stimulators effect on CNS hence improving brain alertness, cognition and performance. One cup of Green tea contains 15-30 mg of caffeine and the content depends upon the time leaves picked up. Younger leaves contain higher caffeine content as compared to more mature leaves.
Catechins give green tea an astringent taste and have most health benefits. Younger the leaves higher is catechins content. The catechins content ranges from 14-15%
Green tea also contains an amino acid Theanine which has shown in various studies to reduce blood pressure and act as CNS relaxant by increasing alpha waves patterns in the brain. Theanine content is also higher in younger leaves than the mature leaves.
The Green tea has multitude of health benefits with Top 5 health benefit listed below
1) Improves Brain Health – The Theanine contained in green tea is precursor to GABA and Serotonin which are inhibitory neurotransmitters. Theanine helps to unwind and relax acting as anti anxieolytic. It also prevent brain degeneration and age related memory decline in humans. The caffeine also acts as CNS stimulant thereby enhancing brain performance.
2) Fat Loss – Catechins (EGCG) has been shown to have fat burning effects by iprmoving glucose metabolism, fat oxidation & thermogenesis which all play a role during fat burning process.
3) Reduce Inflammation & Oxidative Stress – The Catechins are known for their strong anti oxidant properties & helps to reduce the inflammation & oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals produced in body. It also helps to reduce he chances for various types of cancers by reducing overall oxidative stress.
4) Lower risk of Heart Disease – Catechins prevent clotting of blood, prevents LDL oxidation, Reece the chances of arteriosclerois & stroke. Theanine helps lowering blood pressure by lowering stress & vasodilation properties. All these are makers for Heart disease and hence green tea support overall Heart Health.
5) Longevity – Various studies repeatedly show promising results that drinking 4-5 cups of green tea per day reduce the mortality rate by 23%. The Green tea prevents DNA damage and prevent shortening of telomere thereby increasing longevity and overall health.
How to brew a perfect cup of Tea
Different teas need different water temperature and brewing time to reap the full benefits.
Green Tea and white teas – water temperature should be 75-85 degree with brewing time of 2-3 mins
Oolong tea – water temperature should be 85-98 degree with brewing time of 4-7 mins
Black tea or fully fermented tea – water should be rolling boiled and brewing time is 3-5 mins