Green tea, along with all other types of tea, is one of the most consumed beverages in the world along with water and coffee, and reaps many health benefits! Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechins (especially EGCG). They attach to free radicals and remove them from our body. Free radicals are particles that damage our DNA and can accelerate aging of the cells and the body.
Green tea is one type of tea that comes from the camellia sinensis plant, which is what all tea is made from. Alongside of green tea you also have white tea, oolong tea, black tea, and puerh tea. They undergo different fermentation processes, and hence change their color, flavor, and contents accordingly. Green tea is the least fermented so it retains most of the green color.
Dietary Health Benefits
High concentration of antioxidants
Helps to fight cancer and heart disease
Helps with weight loss and encourages the body to burn fat
Increases metabolic rate with caffeine
Makes you feel more full and eat less
Helps prevent diabetes and stroke
Staves off dimentia
Common Types of Japanese Green Tea
Some people might find this tea to be less palatable due to the grassy taste, but do not worry. There are many varieties of green tea and I am certain that you can find one that will suit your tastes.
Gyokuro – These are the highest quality. They have a very smooth taste and light fragrance. They are moved to the shade before harvesting.
Sencha – This is the most common form of green tea. When you buy a TAZO green tea bags, this is what it contains.
Fukamushi Sencha – Literaly deep steamed green tea; it undergoes a longer steaming process and has a much greener body.
Matcha – This is the powdered form of the tea and is used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It also contains the highest amounts of beneficial compounds because you are digesting the whole leaf that has been crushed down. (Requires some extra utensils)
Houjicha – Houjicha is roasted green tea and hence, has a brown color. It has a nutty flavor and lower caffeine levels for those who get too jittery.
Genmaicha – This is by far my favorite. This tea is also made from sencha that is pan fried. It is then mixed with toasted rice which gives it a very nice roast aroma.
According to WebMD and recent health research done by the American Cancer Society, lab results show that green tea’s EGCG regulates cancer growth and kills cells that display abnormal growth. Though human studies have not yet proven this, hope remains.
A study in Japan involving roughly 500 Japanese females with breast cancer found lower cancer recurrence associated with green tea consumption before and after surgery.
Some studies in China also showed that there is less risk of developing stomach, prostate, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer.
Another way that it helps to prevent growth of cancer is by starving the cells. It is one of the consumables that inhibits blood vessel growth to cancer cells which prevents them from attaining nutrients.
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