Green tea is the result of processes carried out with the Camellia sinensis plant . It has antioxidant substances, as well as its relatives, black tea and white tea .
Also, Chinese tea, as it is also known, has caffeine in its composition. For this reason, its ingestion loses weight , as long as it is associated with a sports practice and a diet.
Despite the benefits, green tea has a bitter taste , a characteristic that makes its use not pleasing to all tastes. For this same reason, the drink has been used with other plants and spices, such as hibiscus tea and ginger.
According to nutritionist and nutrition teacher, Luciana Marchetti da Silva, in addition to changing the flavor, these mixtures also increase and reinforce some benefits. Understand better throughout the article!
Table of Contents
Benefits of Green Tea
“Green tea is rich in vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin C and vitamin K. It also contains polyphenols, flavonoids that are antioxidant substances that help protect the body’s cells against the action of free radicals”, explains the nutritionist. Better understand the benefits:
1. Lose weight
According to Marchetti, caffeine is largely responsible for the drink’s action in weight loss . This is because Chinese tea acts as a thermogenic. “So, it speeds up the energy metabolism and this favors the weight loss process”, contemplates the professional.
Polyphenols can also play an important role in fighting the scales. They favor the oxidation of fats and can be useful in combating obesity.
But of course, as beneficial as it may seem, no food or drink does a “miracle”. In order to lose weight, you need to have discipline in your diet and in the periodicity of physical training.
2. Prevents aging
“Green tea contains compounds that fight free radicals, so it prevents premature aging and some diseases as well”, explains the nutrition professor.
Researchers were able to conclude that drinking tea daily helps prevent premature death , especially death from cancer.
3. Helps in cancer prevention
Talking about cancer cells, there is a lot of research in order to discover the relationship of green tea with cancer. What is known so far is that polyphenols have an anticarcinogenic potential .
Although the substance acts differently depending on the type of cancer, it has been proven that the drink works by helping to treat and prevent some types of the disease. Prostate, breast , gastrointestinal, pancreas, bladder, liver, lung and skin cancers are examples.
4. Prevents cardiovascular disease
There are several factors that explain the emergence of cardiovascular diseases, such as consumption of foods rich in saturated fat and smoking, for example.
These events promote a higher concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Also called bad cholesterol, this substance accumulates in the walls of arteries, compromising blood flow and giving rise to atherosclerosis .
When they are oxidized, they promote inflammatory reactions and form cells that further damage the bloodstream. It is then that the action of the drink made with Camellia sinensis appears
“Tea also has an action on total cholesterol, reducing these levels”, highlights Marchetti. In addition, it acts as a vascular protector, protecting blood vessels from oxidative action.
5. Decreases inflammation
Muscle and joint pain result from the body’s inflammatory process, such as arthritis . But for the teacher, this drink is still able to reduce inflammation in general.
Benefits still studied
- It helps in the treatment and prevention of diabetes: the substances related to this benefit of green tea are catechins, as they work preventively against disorders in lipid and glycemic metabolism, common problems in type II diabetes
- Helps protect the brain: also thanks to catechins, Chinese tea is considered a natural neuroprotector. They act as antioxidants, preventing the action of free radicals that cause cell oxidation. In addition, the vitamin C present in the composition of this drink can favor the cognitive function of human beings, reducing the risk of dementia
- Fights micro-organisms: this drink also works to protect the body against bacteria and viruses. Responsible for this protection is the set of polyphenols present in the Camellia sinensis plant .
How to make?
Luciana Marchetti teaches how to make green tea through the infusion process . For this, the ideal is to bring the water (1l) to a boil and as soon as the first bubbles appear, you turn off the heat and add five teaspoons (of tea) of the dried leaves.
Then cover the pan and wait between three to five minutes. After that, just strain, put in a bottle and consume on the same day. The urgency of ingestion is due to the short shelf life of the natural remedy.
“After 12 hours, it starts to lose its properties”, warns the nutritionist. And she continues: “it is also important after it is prepared that it is not reheated , because this can also interfere with its properties.”
In addition to these precautions in preparation, it is interesting not to add any type of sugar or sweetener. But if the bitter taste is hard to face, you can choose to add other ingredients to the recipe.
Next, the nutritionist explains the benefits of two possible combinations for Chinese tea, one using hibiscus and the other using ginger . Check out!
Green tea with hibiscus
“They can help a lot in the weight loss process , because green tea is thermogenic and hibiscus tea has a diuretic action”, explains the professional.
To make this drink, just follow the step-by-step preparation of green tea and as soon as you add the dried Camellia leaves, add the hibiscus ones as well.
Green tea with ginger
In that case, add a few slices of ginger to a boil along with the water. After the boiling process, turn off the heat and add the dry leaves. Cover the container and wait up to five minutes. Strain and consume right away.
“Green tea with ginger can help with the weight loss process. It also fights cholesterol, can prevent heart disease and has an antioxidant action, because ginger is also an antioxidant”, he explains.
Other ways to use Camellia sinensis
Anyone who believes that this little plant is just for making green tea is wrong. In fact, the dried leaves or powder can be used in the production of capsules and in the preparation of other recipes . Look!
According to the nutrition professor, green tea capsules are used as supplements and have the same benefits as the drink.
“It is advisable to take one capsule before the main meals, with two capsules a day ”, he teaches.
Green tea juice
- 1 cup of green tea
- 1 cabbage leaf
- ½ apple
- Ice (optional).
These are the ingredients you need to make Chinese tea juice. Simple, quick and very easy to make, this drink is a great choice to start the day and detoxify the body . Learn how to prepare:
Green tea mochi
- 1 cup (of tea) of mochi rice
- 50 ml of water
- 1 tablespoon of sweetener
- 1 teaspoon of green tea (match)
- ½ cup (of tea) of cornstarch.
Are you on a diet , but still can’t resist a sweetie? So this dessert is for you who want to enjoy the sweet side of life, but without losing focus. For those who don’t know, mochi is a sweet rice ball and can be prepared in different ways, such as the one used with green tea. Check out:
Frequently Asked Questions
Even after all this information, it is common that there are other questions about this drink. With this in mind, we separated some doubts on the subject and asked the nutritionist to answer all of them. Follow up!
1- What is the best time to drink green tea?
“It can be taken on an empty stomach or half an hour before lunch or dinner. Ideally, it should be taken warm or cold”, explains Luciana Marchetti.
She even warns about the caffeine content found in tea. For this reason, it is not recommended to take it close to bedtime, as it can interfere with the quality of sleep.
2- Can you have iced green tea?
“It can be stored in the refrigerator in a jar, it’s just important not to exceed 12 hours .” That’s because after this period, the tea starts to oxidize and lose its beneficial properties.
Another care mentioned by the nutritionist is the preference for dry leaves in the preparation of tea. Therefore, only use sachets or product powder when you cannot find the leaf version.
3- Who has gastritis problem can drink green tea?
According to the professor, green tea is contraindicated for those who suffer from this health problem. “Caffeine is what we call a secretagogue, it increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, so it’s not interesting for people with gastritis and ulcers.”
4- What are the differences between green tea, black tea and white tea?
All three natural products are the result of processes carried out with Camellia sinensis. But what differentiates them, besides the color, is the fermentation time.
“In the case of white tea, the leaves do not undergo fermentation. So, white tea has a higher amount of antioxidants and a lower amount of caffeine. As for green tea, the leaf undergoes a fermentation process, so it is a little older, having less antioxidants and more caffeine ”, explains the nutritionist.
Of the three, black tea undergoes the longest fermentation process. Consequently, the antioxidant composition is low, while the amount of caffeine is high.
What are the side effects of green tea?
“The exaggerated consumption of green tea can cause stomach problems, because caffeine increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid, so it can lead to gastritis , for example”, comments Marchetti.
In addition, she explains that caffeine can also reduce iron absorption in the body. This means that, in excess, drinking tea can cause iron deficiency and anemia .
“It can also cause headaches, insomnia, increased anxiety and heartbeat. In some cases, excessive consumption generates nausea and vomiting, “he adds.
These health problems arising from the consumption of the drink only arise when it is consumed in excess, so the nutrition professional recommends the use of up to two cups a day.
Are there contraindications?
According to the professional, green tea is contraindicated for people with hypertension, gastritis or ulcers , and also for pregnant women . “In the case of hypertension, as it has caffeine, it can speed up the heartbeat and this increases blood pressure”, he concludes.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.