Tea consumption has its legendary origins dating back to more than 4,000 years ago, making it the oldest plant-based tea known. According to legend, green tea was first brewed in 2737 BC.
Recent study shows growing interest among tea lovers for green tea across the globe for its health benefits. Green Tea, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity in the US.
Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients. The useful parts of green tea are the leaf bud, leaf, and stem. Green tea is not fermented and is produced by steaming fresh leaves at high temperatures. During this process, it is able to maintain many of its important molecules which seem to be responsible for many of the benefits of green tea.It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants . These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases. One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties. Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage. The caffeine contained in a cup of tea can vary according to length of infusing time and the amount of tea infused.
Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea (with white tea the least) and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. In general, green tea contains a relatively small amount of caffeine (approximately 20-45 milligrams per 8 oz cup), compared with black tea which contains about 50 milligrams and coffee with 95 milligrams per cup.
Tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world behind water, however 78% of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20% is green. Green tea is considered one of the world's healthiest drinks and contains one of the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea. The natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea are what are thought to provide its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most studied and bioactive polyphenol in tea and has been shown to be the most effective at eliminating free radicals. Green tea is approximately 20% to 45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60% to 80% are catechins such as EGCG. These catechins are antioxidants that are said to possibly help with fighting and preventing cell damage.
From a weight loss aid to targeting pancreatic cancer, green tea has evolved into a medicinal drink that caters to a myriad of illnesses. The reality is there are surprising benefits to reap from this magical drink in just one cup.Although black tea remains America’s favorite at 84 percent, green tea can invite more positive changes when it comes to your health. Unlike green tea, black tea is processed in a way that allows for fermentation, which depletes the amount of antioxidants and polyphenols found in tea. Black tea also contains less catechins than green tea, which minimizes the benefits of the hot beverage.