Green Tea originated in China; however, with gaining popularity, it spread its reach the world over. Known for its immense health benefits, green tea is being supplemented in place of the traditional black tea, as the world’s favourite drink of the health-conscious.
Green tea is made from the leaves and leaf buds of cammellia sinnensis, a shrub. Common names for this shrub include tea plant and tea shrub. Green tea, basically, is grown in two ways – either in the sun or in the shade. It is generally harvested four times in a year. It is graded as per the size of the final tea granules.
Making a refreshing drink of green tea, is in itself, an art. Too little brewing will not give the drink the desired flavour and aroma. Too much of brewing results in alteration of taste – it changes to bitter. Hence, the art of tea brewing should be practised to be perfected.
Green tea contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. It is a storehouse of poweful antioxidants. It contains manganese, zinc, chromium and selenium. It contains very few calories and the caffeine content in green tea is minimal when compared to other beverages which have caffeine as one of the ingredients.
Health Benefits of Green Tea:
Good for diabetics:
- Regular consumption of green tea is said to regulate blood sugar. The polyphenols in green tea have a useful effect on the glucose levels in the body.
- Studies in this direction found that green tea had a beneficial effect on fasting blood sugar.
- However, the results were inconclusive about the effect on post-prandial blood sugar.
- Whatever be the results of studies in this direction, drinking at least four cups of green tea and replacing routine black tea with this, would benefit in controlling diabetes.
- Studies suggest that green tea consumption lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. The bad cholesterol tends to accumulate as plaque on the arterial valves prompting the heart to expend more effort to pump blood. Triglycerides are accumulated fats which may cause a heart disease.
- Thus, green tea promotes heart health by reducing the risk of cardio vascular diseases and strokes.
- Health experts recommend green tea for weight loss. The catechins present in green tea help in burning body-fat, faster.
- Studies conducted on regular green tea drinkers (i.e, those who drank four cups of it, daily, for more than a year) showed that they had reduced waist lines and their body weight had reduced considerably.
- Combine green tea with a healthy exercise routine to ensure optimum weight and health.
- Topical application of green tea on sun tans has helped in reducing the same.
- Dip a little cotton into a thick green tea concoction and clean your face and neck. Green tea acts as a good cleanser and removes accumulated dirt.
- Green tea is also used in a facial. Mix this with yoghurt and apply all over the face. Allow it to dry and wash off later. This is said to bring back the glow and radiance to the face.
- Regular consumption of green tea hydrates the body. This keeps the overall body skin, well moisturised.
Do not go overboard in consuming green tea. A maximum of four cups of green tea would suffice to get all its benefits. The oxalates in green tea may cause kidney stones if consumed in higher quantities. Also, green tea consumption is restricted in certain health conditions.
In the best interests, consult a nutritionist/ dietician and talk about your present health status, to decide on the number of cups of green tea you may consume to derive the maximum advantage.