Recently, it seems that green tea is dominating mainstream culture. Endless studies, research papers and health professionals rave about its benefits, but what’s the hype about it?
All teas originate from a plant known as camellia sinensis. The tea leaves go through a fermentation process that determines their type (black, green, oolong, white). Green tea is left unfermented, but then goes through other processes determining its subcategories, such as matcha, sencha, bancha and so on.
Among the reasons why green tea is so great are its main compounds: polyphenol and catechins. They both are antioxidants, which are known for their properties that prevent cell damage.
Many studies suggest that drinking green tea could help prevent various diseases. For example, if someone suffers from Parkinson’s disease, this magic drink could reduce the shakes. Its power can decrease the level of bad cholesterol, the risk of heart diseases, and if you want to lose weight, it’s known to boost metabolism. Green tea is shown to also help prevent pancreatic, bladder, and oesophageal cancer.
To maximize the beneficial effects of green tea, studies suggest drinking between three to six cups daily. While this regimen may get you closer to finally having those recommend eight daily glasses of water, remember to be mindful of your daily caffeine intake.
Health Canada recommends that a healthy adult should not exceed 400 mg, and green tea is very high in caffeine with up to 90 mg per cup. The maximum intake for others can vary depending on their health conditions.
Caffeine and staying healthy
A caffeine fix is essential for all those go-getters and sleep-deprived students, so for those who prefer the healthier option, swap your double-double for the greens. A cup of brewed coffee contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine, which is not much of a difference from green tea’s levels.
As for being boring, green tea is far from it. There are different types of green tea, which all have their own caffeine levels. The taste and benefits depend on its steep, transformation process, and your level of intake.
According to a study, matcha green tea contains the most caffeine, as it is the finest form of extracted tea, providing the best benefits, followed by gyokuro, sencha, and then bancha. Flavoured green teas are the least caffeinated.
If you desperately need a kick but aren’t so keen drinking coffee or green tea, you could always have a piece of matcha brownie. With caffeine in both chocolate and matcha, it’ll most likely to give you the boost you need. Matcha is known to find its way into many other recipes as well, and has recently dominated food blogs.
So, if you need some more zen and energy in life, get out there and stock up on those boxes of green tea! Your body and mind will thank you for it.