It’s no secret that green tea is an incredible health booster. Sometimes hailed as the healthiest drink on the planet, green tea is full of nutrients and antioxidants and boasts some pretty amazing positive effects on the human body.
Fat and weight loss, improved brain function and a lower risk of cancer are just a few of the outstanding benefits that green tea offers. Of course, as with all things, not all green teas are created equal. Join us as we go over all things green tea and let you in on the best green teas that money can buy!
Where Does Green Tea Come From?
Green tea originates from Camellia sinensis leaves. If you’re wondering what the heck a Camellia sinensis leaf is, it can be best explained as a species of evergreen shrub whose leaves are used to make tea. The concept is quite straightforward.
Green tea may credit its name to the Camellia sinensis leaves, in that they haven’t undergone the same process of oxidation and withering used to make black teas. Therefore, the leaves retain their vibrant green color, resulting in green tea. Green tea production is widespread throughout Asia.
What Makes Green Tea Different?
Green tea differs from other teas in that a good amount of compounds from the actual plant make it into the tea itself. Most teas are quite rich in polyphenols, micronutrients we absorb through food that have positive effects on our systems, such as reducing inflammation. Since many diseases progress from chronic inflammation, polyphenols have the potential to play a major role in maintaining balance within the body.
By weight, green tea is made up of about thirty percent polyphenols. Paired with the additional antioxidants, minerals and nutrients naturally found in green tea, studies have shown that green tea reduces the amount of free radicals in the body, and can intervene on their initial formation.
Since free radicals are known to play a legitimate role in aging and diseases, green tea is in constant experimental rotation for treating various diseases. When choosing a green tea, it’s important to go with a high quality, reputable brand.
You’ll find that the cost isn’t much different, and your tea will contain little to no additives. Organic is a great option!
Additional Benefits of Green Tea
It’s time to dig a little deeper into the health benefits that green tea has to offer. Yes, it has the ability to fight inflammation, and disease as a result, but there are some other wonderful things that the best green tea can do to change your life on a daily basis.
Green tea contains caffeine, but not too much caffeine. A typical cup of brewed coffee, depending on the size, can contain anywhere from ninety to three hundred milligrams of caffeine. Green tea (which you can also purchase decaffeinated), has around fifty to sixty milligrams.
Caffeine, coupled with the amino acid L-theanine (also found in green tea), means that green tea won’t give off that jittery effect, and can encourage a focused mind instead of scattered attention. Studies have shown that L-Theanine may help decrease anxiety and stress.
Increased Fat Burning
If you’re on track for that summer bod, green tea may be able to help. Chances are, if you check the ingredients on any fat burning supplement, it contains green tea. Unfortunately, it might also contain a bunch of other junk that’s not so good for you.
Sipping green tea on the regular has been proven to boost the metabolic rate in some people. This can increase short term fat burning, which is typically the goal of any weight loss product. Not all studies agree on this, but it sure doesn’t hurt to try it out for yourself!
A Lower Risk of Certain Cancers
While more studies are needed on this topic, current studies show that the antioxidants present in green tea may be very effective in reducing the risk of certain cancers by offering a protective effect. This is an incredible find, and even if more information is needed, it should make you want to start up a green tea habit right away.
Breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer were all the target of studies involving green tea and it’s protective potential. While these studies do show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing certain cancers, it’s also important to take lifestyle and habits into consideration as well. However, it’s wonderful news on the green tea front.
The Best Green Teas
There probably isn’t one particular brand of green tea that can be labeled as the best, but they definitely vary. When shopping for the best green tea, you want to get your hands on it in its purest form in order to reap the benefits.
Brand names go a long way here, since you want a green tea that is reputable, clean and organic. Green tea can be purchased with additional flavors added in, such as cranberry or jasmine.
Matcha has grown in popularity in recent years as well. Meaning “powdered tea” Matcha comes from specifically harvested green tea plants, and is ground into powder. It works wonderfully in tea bags, smoothies and even lattes!
Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, even more than its original green tea sibling, and it tastes wonderful as well. However, the green tea you decide to stock in your cabinet is personal choice. If it helps (and it will), here are a few of the best green tea brands:
Incorporating Green Tea Into Your Diet
It doesn’t matter your reasons why or which brand of tea you choose. Incorporating green tea into your diet is a fantastic idea all around. A couple of cups a day will point you towards hydration, clearer skin, focus and an overall better feeling of health.
The additional hydration alone will help to clear the toxins out of your body. Green tea is a wonderful, natural way to take a step in a healthy direction, no matter where you might be coming from.
From an immune boost to relaxing the mind, there is nothing that green tea can’t do. Well, it can’t get your daily tasks done, but poured into a tall travel mug, it sure makes a good errand buddy. No wonder they call it a wonder beverage.
If you love green tea you may also be interested in our post on the best chamomile teas!