Green tea is a remedy for many ailments. Used by people around the world, it can have a stimulating effect, but it is the most popular due to the possible beneficial effect on weight loss processes.
Due to the richness of active ingredients, including polyphenols, green tea can delay the aging process of the body and have a positive effect on well-being.
Green tea - story
Green tea reached Europe only around the seventeenth century, but in China it was already known several thousand years ago. Legends say that one of the Chinese herbalists discovered green tea quite accidentally more than 2,000 years B.C.
Firstly, it was available only to the upper social classes, with time it went to the homes of less wealthy people and eventually became a infusion available to everyone.
Green tea - what is it?
Green tea is an infusion prepared from Chinese tea leaves, known as Camellia sinensis.
During the production of green tea, the leaves are subjected to only a small "fermentation", or rather enzymatic transformations - steam and drying, which affects the behavior of many valuable active ingredients.
The infusion obtained in this way is distinguished by its delicate taste and subtle color, as well as the richness of minerals.
There are many varieties of green tea, which are characterized by their country of origin, growing conditions and harvest times. The most expensive species come from the early harvest and the leaves are still covered with morning dew.
Although green tea originated in China, it is now known and successfully used all over the world.
Green tea - composition
Green tea is appreciated for its richness of active ingredients. It is estimated that the infusion may contain about 4000 bioactive compounds. The most important substances found in green tea include antioxidant polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins.
The most biologically active compound found in leaves of the drink is epigallocatechin 3-gallate, abbreviated as EGCG. It is classified as a very strong antioxidant.
In green tea you can also find ingredients such as:
- amino acids,
Properties of green tea
The health-promoting properties of green tea are associated primarily with the presence of polyphenols, which have an antioxidant effect and thus can positively affect the work of the system - fight free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and delay the aging process of the body. In addition, these compounds can protect DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage, as well as protect the skin from excessive UV radiation.
The catechins present in green tea can positively affect the lipid profile of the blood, as well as reduce the concentration of total cholesterol, its LDL fraction and triglycerides. They can also reduce the risk of inflammation in the walls of blood vessels and reduce platelet aggregation.
In addition, catechins can lower blood pressure and restore the balance of intestinal bacterial flora. These compounds can have antibacterial and antiviral effects on many pathogens.
Green tea can also have a positive effect on maintaining normal blood sugar levels and increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Properly brewed green tea can have a beneficial effect on concentration and simplify memorization, as well as support digestive processes and relieve inflammation.
The infusion is also appreciated by people who care about weight reduction, because green tea can accelerate metabolism and fat burning processes, as well as support detoxification of the body. Green tea extract may reduce the ability to digest fats and increase excretion of lipids and cholesterol. Catechins contained in the infusion can also inhibit the multiplication of adipocytes, i.e. fat cells.
How should green tea be brewed?
To bring out the taste and health qualities from leaves of green tea, it is worth following a few rules when preparing the infusion.
Never brew green tea with boiling water, because then the infusion loses valuable properties,
The right water temperature to prepare a green tea is 60-90 degrees Celsius and depends on the type of tea,
One teaspoon of dried leaves is enough to prepare the infusion,
The stimulating effect can be obtained by brewing green tea for 2-3 minutes, while the relaxing effect can be achieved by prolonging the brewing time to more than 4 minutes,
Green tea can be brewed several times, as it does not affect the reduction of taste or health values.
Interestingly, addition of lemon may enhance the antioxidant effect of green tea.
Dietary supplements with green tea
If the process of brewing tea seems too complicated or you simply do not like its taste and you want to use its health-promoting properties, dietary supplements rich in green tea come to the rescue.
Green tea in form of tablets, capsules or powder is a convenient way to provide the body with valuable ingredients. Thanks to regular supplementation with green tea, you can have a positive effect on your health, as well as on your well-being, skin, complexion and figure.
Preparations containing green tea may have a beneficial effect on people exposed to prolonged stress, performing heavy physical or mental work, as well as on those who want to reduce body weight and reduce body fat.
Contraindications to the use of green tea
Green tea is considered a safe substance. Strongly brewed and consumed in excess, however, it can contribute to the occurrence of undesirable effects.
Since the catechins present in green tea may weaken the absorption of iron, excessive consumption of it can lead to a decrease in the level of the element in erythrocytes and thus contribute to the development of anemia.
In addition, substances present in green tea can reduce the bioavailability of folic acid, so caution should be exercised, especially in case of pregnant women.
Green tea consumed in large quantities can also contribute to the leaching of calcium from body and at the same time to increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. The infusion may also weaken the effect of drugs for hypertension.