Native to China and India, green tea has gained popularity for its role in improved heart, health, and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. Benefits of Green Tea is also being hailed for the weight loss benefits it offers. Made from unoxidized tea leaves, green tea is less processed as compared to black tea, and as such, contains a greater amount of beneficial compounds.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea and Black tea both originate from the same plant species. Camellia sinensis; the type of plant used and the processing methods involved make tea green or black.
- Camellia sinensis is a smaller-leafed tea variety that is native to China. Typically used to make white and green teas, this tea species evolved as a shrub, growing in sunny regions that have a dry, coll climate. This species of tea also has a high tolerance for cold temperatures.
- Camellia sinensis assamica is a larger-leafed variety that is typically used to produce black tea. This species was first discovered in Assam and grows in warm, moist climates.
Green tea processing involves harvesting tea leaves and heating them quickly by pan-firing or steaming, and drying to prevent oxidation. In black tea processing, harvested leaves are allowed to fully oxidize, following which the tea leaves are heat-processed and dried. The interaction of oxygen with the cell walls of the tea leaves, known as oxidation, turns tea leaves dark brown to black also altering the flavour profile.
7 Health benefits of Green tea:
- It aids weight loss and lowers the risk of obesity: Given that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight. Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area. One of these studies was a 12-week randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference, and belly fat. Some studies don’t show a statistically significant increase in weight loss with green tea, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
2. Green tea reduces the risk of cancer: In countries where green tea consumption is high, cancer rates tend to be lower, but it is impossible to know for sure whether it is the green tea that prevents cancer in these particular populations or other lifestyle factors. Researchers believe that it is a high level of polyphenols in tea that helps kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing. Other studies have not found that tea can reduce cancer risk. The amount of tea required for cancer-preventive effects also varies widely in studies- from 2-10 cups per day.
3. Green tea heart disease: Green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
4. Green tea helps to lower blood sugar: If you are drinking unsweetened versions, then again, it’s certainly a blood sugar-lowering beverage! But lately, I’m seeing green tea as an ingredient used in everything from sugary juices, “tonics” and “elixirs” to frozen yogurt, pasta sauce and dressings, which can be loaded with sugar.
5. Green tea boosts metabolism: While a few small studies have linked an increased metabolic rate to drinking green tea, the only truly variable factor in your basal metabolic rate is increasing your lean body mass, a.k.a building muscle. That’s why strength training is key to keeping your metabolism up for the long-term, and crucial to the bone, muscle, and immune function, which ultimately helps to support metabolism over time. The only real, tried-and-true way drinking green tea will help boost your metabolism.