Green Tea has a beneficial effect on human health by reducing the risk of heart and blood vessels, the risk of cancer, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is used as a stimulant as it contains caffeine.
It was used even in Ancient China for medical purposes to treat headaches and depression.
Legend says that the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, around 2750th BC, while the rest of the hard hunting cooked up water from the stream.
In the pot in which the Emperor was boiling water, accidentally had fallen a few leaves of evergreen tree that is relative to magnolia, which today we call tea. Pleasant odor reached up to his nostrils and the Emperor could not resist trying the taste drink.
This bushy tree is planted in large tea gardens at altitudes of 100-2000 meters, and depending on the chemical treatment process, we differ three basic types of tea derived from this plant: green tea, oolong and black tea
The leaves of black tea are fully fermented, while the leaves of green tea is processed under steam and is fried in pan wherewith is preventing oxidation changes in the leaves. In this way, green tea sustains its color and there is no loss of enzymes and other favorable ingredients.
Green Tea Nutrition Facts
Green tea is rich with vitamin B, ascorbic acid, essential oil, proteins, chlorophyll, organic acids, and amino acids, of which the most notable is theanine, and most important is the alkaloid caffeine that gives stimulating effect, and slight amount of other xanthine alkaloids (theophylline, theobromine, dimethylxanthine, xanthines and adenine). Caffeine is present in an amount of 1-5%.
It also contains six primary polyphenols, phytochemicals with antioxidant properties that gives it a distinctive, slightly bitter taste, of which the most important are catechins.
The most active and most studied catechin from green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), which can neutralize the protein in sperm that serves as a vector for the transmission of the virus during sexual intercourse.
A study from the 2009 has shown that consumption of green tea in combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) dramatically increases the absorption and the activity of antioxidants from green tea during digestion.
A cup of tea contains about 50-100 mg of caffeine and 300-400 mg of polyphenols.
As an important junction, theanine affects the increase of dopamine which affects the emotions in the brain, whose increase is perceived as pleasure.
Green Tea Healing Properties
In addition, catechin, as an important ingredient of green tea, reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive system. Also helps with Crohn’s disease and strengthens the immune system of the entire body.
It is also associated with a faster metabolism and fast fat burning, and is mentioned that the strongest effect of the tea is the protective effect on the risk of developing cancer of digestive system.
Because of its antibacterial action, it helps in preventing cavities, and tooth decay.
The recommended daily intake of green tea is 1200 milliliters (5-6 cups). The researchers mention that the only negative effect of green tea can be a large amount of caffeine, but if it’s consumed in the recommended amount is not the case.
Green Tea or Coffee?
When the caffeine was first discovered in tea, they called it theine, but since there is no difference between theine and caffeine, in use caffeine remains the only term.
Caffeine (chemical name: 1, 3, 7 trimethylxanthine) is an alkaloid discovered in the 19th century, it has no odor and bitter taste. It is a source of antioxidants, shows diuretic properties, accelerates the metabolism and affects as a mild laxative.
Green Tea contains 30% less caffeine than coffee, and the caffeine in tea does not have adverse effects on the heart and circulatory system, but increases blood flow in the brain, while the coffee apparent significant changes in that field.
Degradation of caffeine in coffee is already done in the stomach, while caffeine from green tea mainly degrades intestinal juice.
Caffeine from coffee arrives rapidly into the bloodstream and works after 5 to 10 minutes and disappears for 30 minutes, while the process of tea is flowing peacefully and the action of caffeine is the largest after 40 minutes, and disappears after 70 minutes.
Tips for preparation of green tea
It is important to point out that green tea is not prepared with boiling water (100 °C), but with the water with temperature of 70 °C (some species with 90 °C) and we should not hold it in hot water for more than 3 minutes. In this way we take the best from the green tea.