6 Health Benefits of Green Tea You Will Never Regret to Know
Green tea holds an important part of daily life in Japan. Every year, 80,000 tons of green tea are consumed in Japan.
Tea consumption are mostly come from Eastern Asia, especially China.
Lots of people believe that tea could help us become healthier.
The tea that has a light and refreshing flavor holds numerous health benefits despite how easy it is to get or consumed. Because green tea is now known worldwide, you can easily find it in supermarkets.
In this article, we will show you the tea’s charm. Learn about green tea from its nutrition fact, to green tea’s health benefit.
What is Green Tea?
First, we need to know better about what green tea is.
Green tea, all from the plant Camellia sinensis, can be consumed in form of green, black, or Oolong tea. However, some researchers found that the consumption of green tea has the most significant effect on human health.
You can learn more about green tea’s health benefit here, in this article.
To make green tea, the freshly harvested leaves are immediately steamed in high temperature and dried. This steam allows the leaves to maintain its green color (which contains catechins) during the rolling and drying processes.
Unlike green tea, black tea is prepared using fermented leaves. While oolong tea is prepared using partially fermented leaves.
When the leaves are fermented or not steamed immediately, their natural polyphenols (catechins) will drops and their caffeine content rises. This makes green tea have plenty amount of polyphenol (45-90%), while its caffeine content is only 0.4-10%.
Green tea can be packed in the form of dried tea leaves, powder, and tea bags. You can choose according to your preference.
Dried tea leaves
In Kawashima The Japanstore, we have an organic green tea powder from Uji City.
You can check our recommended products for green tea here!
Green Tea Varieties
When someone mentions “tea” (お茶, “ocha” in Japanese) without specifying the tea type, they mostly refer to green tea (緑茶, “ryokucha” in Japanese).
This Ryokucha is divided into various grades for differing the harvest time, the processing method, and the amount of sunlight the leaves are exposed to.
The highest grade is called Gyokuro. It is picked during the first round of harvest, and the plant is shaded from sunlight around 20 days before it is harvested. Gyokuro is less astringent with a richer flavor because it is low in catechins.
There is also Tencha, that is harvested like grokuro. But, tencha is not rolled.
Sencha is the most common and well-known variety. It is harvested also in the first round, but with whose leaves are not protected from the sun. Sencha is steamed and rolled as soon as it is harvested.
The tea harvested from the second flush of Sencha is called Bancha. Because it is harvested with more firm leaves and stems, it has lower quality than other variety. So, of course, bancha is less expensive than the rest of the variety too. However, bancha has less caffeine which makes it less bitter.
Can green tea help you to lose weight?
Recently, a fat-burning supplement or weight loss beverage will list green tea as their ingredient. Is green tea really helps when it comes to lose weight?
Some small number of studies shown that green tea extract intake has the potential to induce more fat oxidation (source). Consuming green tea and green tea extract are linked to increased fat burning, and more effectively during exercise.
With an adequate amount of green tea consumption and well-balanced diet, green tea might help you for losing weight.
Why should choose pesticide-free Green Tea?
Most tea plantation in Japan uses pesticides. The reason behind that is because tea plant is actually very weak to insects. Also, mass production is needed because tea has a high demand.
Using a pesticide means a tea plantation will have to do spraying for 7 to 8 times a year. Spraying time will take some hours up to 2 full days. That is a terrifying procedure that could affect the worker’s health and people who eat the harvested tea.
We are consuming green tea for our health. But if we consume the tea cultivated with pesticide, it is not good for our health.
Cultivating organic tea plant is harder and require so much time and effort, such as a large amount of weeding.
Therefore, one of the tea plantation company in Japan — Harimaen Seicha, put so much effort in producing the organic cultivation and pesticide-free green tea. Harimaen Seicha is one of few company in Japan that produce a high quality tea products with JAS certification, NOP (Natural Organic Program) Certification, and EU Organic Certification. They are certainly maintaining their product quality to deliver a healthy and safe green tea for their customers.
Green Tea Nutrition Facts
Green tea contains plenty of good components inside.
It is categorized as low calorie or zero-calorie beverage, so it’s good for your diet (the calorie is depend to the product’s brand). Unless it is sweetened, the calorie will remain low.
Green tea also contained zero fat compound.
The flavonoids/polyphenols (catechins, particularly Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate) proportion varies between 45-90%, which is the plenty amount of natural antioxidants.
Caffeine compound in green tea is between 24–40 mg in every cup, which is 3–4% of dry weight. Green tea has less amount of caffeine from other types of tea and coffee. However, this caffeine is just the right amount to keep you energized and fit.
6 Incredible Green Tea Health Benefits
Health Benefit 1 Lower The Risk of Several Types of Cancer
Green tea is rich in catechins, particularly Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG) – one of the plant compounds in tea called polyphenols that act as natural antioxidant.
The antioxidants may prevent damage caused by free radicals. Therefore consuming green tea could lower the risk of several chronic diseases for your body (source). A study concludes that consuming green tea may lower the risk of several types of cancer such as breast and prostate cancer.
The catechin contained in green tea has a greater amount than in other teas like black or oolong tea. Every green tea has a different amount of catechins, but the proportion varies between 45-90%, which is quite a lot to help in protecting your body cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Health Benefit 2 Reduce The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Studies show that green tea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, hypertension and stroke (source).
Consuming green tea appears to be a good way to prevent heart disease by increasing the antioxidant capacity in the blood. The antioxidant will protect the LDL particles from oxidation, which may one of the pathways towards heart diseases.
But on the contrary, green tea should not be consumed by patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Excessive consumption of green tea also may increase heart rate and elevated blood pressure. So it is best to drink green tea just in an adequate amount.
Health Benefit 3 Gives Relaxation Effect
According to studies, the active amino acid (L-theanine) contained in green tea induces relaxation effect (source). L-theanine stimulates the alpha brain waves that could create deep mental relaxation.
A study published in Trends in Food Science & Technology found green tea produces relaxing effects without drowsiness for only 40 minutes after ingestion.
This amino acid is responsible to give the umami flavor that becomes the characteristic flavor of tea.
Health Benefit 4 May Help You to Lose Weight
The EGCG in green tea also helps people to lose weight, mainly body fat, by increasing the fat oxidation. Some small number of studies shown that green tea extract intake has the potential to induce more fat oxidation (source).
Green tea is categorized as low calorie or zero-calorie beverage, so it’s good for your diet.
That is why recently green tea has been called as a beverage that helps in weight loss.
Though maybe the effect would be different for every individual, it is great to consume one or two cups of green tea in the morning to make your workouts and diets more effective.
Health Benefit 5 Gives You Energy
Green tea has caffeine and tannins, which makes you feel energized after drinking one cup of the tea.
Despite their potential adverse effects on health which depends on every individual, caffeine and tannins could be a solution to solve fatigue, sleepiness, and lack of energy.
In general, the caffeine in green tea has less amount than other types of tea. However, those with caffeine sensitivity and excessive consumption of green tea may encounter caffeine side effects.
The good news is green tea has a natural chemical called theanine, which reduces caffeine effects with its calming effect.
Health Benefit 6 Reduce Risk of 2 Type Diabetes
Consuming tea seems to have advantageous effects on individuals with diabetes (source). According to a review of 7 studies with a total of research in 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.
The antioxidants and astringent characteristics of green tea give better functioning of the pancreas. Good functioning of pancreas manage better discharge of insulin, which can prevent the beginning of diabetes.
The Difference Between Green Tea, Matcha Tea and Bancha
Green Tea (Ryokucha)
● The general name of green tea in Japan.
● Divided into various grades and varieties for differing the harvest time, the processing method, and the amount of sunlight the leaves are exposed to.
● Can be packed in the form of dried tea leaves, powder, and tea bags with wide variations of the product price (depend to its quality/grade).
● Finely grounded tea powder of Camellia sinensis plant that has been shaded-grown for three to four weeks before harvesting process.
● The price is more higher than other types of tea. It is often use for tea ceremony in Japan (ceremonial grade), also for cooking and baking (culinary grade).
● Have greater amount of chlorophyll and amino acid because it is a 100% grounded lea leaves.
● Read more about matcha in our article, here.
● Bancha can be harvested from the lower shoots of tea plant, or the later flush of tea plant.
● Bancha is much cheaper than Sencha.
● Bancha has less bitter taste than Sencha because of the low caffeine content. That is why, even pregnant and breastfeeding women can drink Bancha in limited amount daily.
How to Drink Green Tea?
How to prepare green tea?
We usually use a teapot to brew a nice, delicious green tea in every sip.
Why do we use teapot? Because when the remaining drop of the first pot (first serving of tea) remains, it will become astringent and ruin the second pot's taste.
Using the teapot will help to drain the tea well. That way, the next serving will always be delicious, too.
Preparing Green Tea (for 2-3 servings):
Tea leaves: 5-6 g (about 2 tablespoons)
If you are using powder: 2 tablespoons of green tea powder
Water temperature: 60-90˚C (lower temperatures for higher grade tea)
Hot water volume: 180 cc (60 cc x 3 people)
Infusion time: about 60 seconds
1. Pour the hot water (use the water that has been boiled once) in around 60-90˚C.
2. Put the tea leaves (or green tea powder) to the teapot. Let it sit for about 60 seconds.
3. Pour the tea into tea cups and enjoy it to the last drop.
For the second pot / second serving, the water temperature should slightly increase with shorter infusion time.
Source: Harimaen Seicha's Official Website
How much green tea should you drink?
2-3 cups of green tea per day (720 to 1,200 ml), which provides a total of 180 mg polyphenol and at least 60 mg of amino acid contents, is said to be the adequate amount for green tea consumption.
If green tea is excessively consumed, it may adversely cause several health complications.
Possible Green Tea Side Effects
Those with caffeine sensitivity and a pregnant woman may want to limit their green tea consumption, because of its caffeine content. High dose of caffeine in the body may cause headaches, insomnia, diarrhea, and irritability.
Due to different needs in every individual, please consult further with your doctor to make sure your appropriate amount for green tea consumption.
Green Tea Q&A
- What is green tea? and what is the difference between matcha green tea?
- Green tea (緑茶, written as “ryokucha”) is the freshly harvested Camellia Sinensis plant that immediately steamed in high temperature and dried. Which later divided into a few green tea varieties.
On the other hand, matcha is finely grounded tea powder of Camellia Sinensis plant that has been shaded-grown for three to four weeks before the harvesting process. Read more about matcha in this matcha article.
- Can green tea help you to lose weight?
- Drinking green tea in an adequate amount while having a well-balance diet and daily exercise can help you to lose weight.
Please also note that drinking an organic green tea will give you extra benefit for both health and beauty effects.
- What are some benefits of drinking green tea?
- Green tea contains plenty of good components inside. Here are some health benefits from green tea:
- ● Lower The Risk of Several Types of Cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer
- ● Reduce The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, including heart disease, hypertension and stroke
- ● Gives Relaxation Effect
- ● May Help You to Lose Weight
- ● Gives You Energy
- ● Reduce Risk of 2 Type Diabetes
- How much green tea I could drink?
- 2-3 cups of green tea per day (720 to 1,200 ml) is said to be an adequate amount for green tea consumption. It is advised to drink green tea just in an adequate amount to get its maximum benefits.
- When is the ideal time to drink green tea?
- The best time to drink green tea in the morning. You can drink a cup of green tea between meals, too.
You may drink green tea in the evening, but avoid drinking it before going to sleep. The caffeine level in green tea may make you harder to fall asleep. It may lead to nighttime peeing that could disturb your sleep.
Recommended Products for Green Tea
Green tea has many health benefits. Consuming green tea daily could help you maintain a good health condition.
We are hoping that you could have a perfect experience when drinking green tea. In Japan, we use a teapot which could enhance the taste of green tea. It would help you to drink green tea most deliciously.
Be sure to find the organic and high-quality green tea powder at the link below. We also recommend Japanese-style tea container and some teapot which help you to brew tea more enjoyable.
- Organic Green Tea Powder from Uji, Kyoto 40 g
- The powdered Green Tea made only with the highest quality, and softest tea leaves from Uji, Kyoto. With only pouring hot water into this green tea powder, you can enjoy the delicious fragnance of this Uji’s Green Tea. Enjoy the organic green tea harvested from Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
- Contents: 40g
Expiration Date: about 6 months
Production: Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
- Click here for product's page
- Octagonal Tea Leaves Container (with Japanese Paulownia Wood)
- The simple and warm style octagonal tea leaves container made by domestic Kiri wood from Masuda Kiri Box Store. This box is good to store your tea leaves or coffee beans because Kiri (Paulownia) has an insects repellent effect, protector against humidity, and has airtightness.
- Size: 90mm width x 90mm depth x 125mm height
Capacity: About 150g of tea leaves
Production: Koga City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
- Click here for product's page
- Sideways Grip "Shojiki Kyusu" Teapot From Shikou Toubou Pottery
- A handmade teapot made carefully one by one from Shikou Toubou Pottery, makes you able to deliciously brew any types of tea. It is designed to drain all the tea into the last drop, ensuring you to enjoy delicious tea without losing any richness and deliciousness of the tea leaves.
- Size: 175mm width x 103mm diameter x 100mm height
Weight: about 380 g
Capacity: 240 cc
Production: Shigaraki Town, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
- Click here for product's page
- Back-Hand Grip “Shojiki Kyusu" Teapot from Shikou Toubou Pottery
- The back-hand grip handmade teapot made carefully one by one from Shikou Toubou Pottery, makes you able to deliciously brew any types of tea. It is designed to drain all the tea into the last drop, ensuring you to enjoy delicious tea without losing any richness and deliciousness of the tea leaves.
- Size: 145mm width x 103mm diameter x 125mm height
Weight: about 380 g
Capacity: 300 cc
Production: Shigaraki Town, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
- Click here for product's page