The origins of green tea lie in the 8th century when the people began to chew the tea leaves; the use of coffee started with Ethiopians chewing the coffee beans. From then onwards, after seeing the benefits, people started using the tea leaves more and more. The leaves made their way into cooking. People started adding the leaves to boiling water for taste, and centuries later it evolved into the beverage we call ‘green tea’today. It is the most commonly used tea in China, and one of the most popular and common drinks in the world. The green tea leaves go through minimum oxidation when they are processed. It is made by brewing the leaves in water for about 2-3 minutes, and strained before drinking.
Today, green tea is used for several reasons, from getting healthy skin to losing weight. It is also used as an herbal remedy for various ailments. It is rich in anti-oxidants and provides a number of health benefits, including:
Cholesterol Reduction: Drinking green tea regularly decreases the amount of bad cholesterol and increases the amount of good cholesterol in the body.
Oral Benefits: According to some studies, a compound found in green tea, called ‘catechin,’ has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. They effectively prevent several diseases of the mouth and throat by killing the bacteria and viruses.
Tooth Decay: Green tea can also decrease the tooth decay by killing the bacteria that causes cavities.
Cancer: Cancer is often caused by oxidative damage. The anti-oxidants in green tea decrease the chances of getting cancer because they have a protective effect.
Diabetes: It is beneficial for people suffering from Type I or Type II diabetes. It regulates the blood sugar levels, absorbs glucose, and prevents blood sugar spikes that can lead to various other problems in diabetic patients.
Skin: It has anti-ageing properties. The anti-oxidants in green tea keep the wrinkles at bay by protecting the skin from being damaged by free radicals. It can also prevent skin cancer.
Heart Health: Green tea improves the health heath and decreases the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke by 44%.
Blood Pressure: Green tea, when consumed regularly, prevents high blood pressure.
Brain: It also has anti-ageing effects on the brain and prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Weight Loss: Green tea promotes weight loss by boosting the rate of metabolism and helping the body burn more fat. If you replace a can of soda with a cup or two of green tea, you will save 50,000 calories in a year. Do not add sugar, honey, or other sweeteners to green tea if you are trying to lose weight.
Do not add green tea leaves to boiling water as it damages the catechins in it. Do not brew it for more than 3 minutes.
You can squeeze a lemon over your green tea for taste; it also contains vitamin C which aids the body in the absorption of the catechins.
To get the benefits of green tea, drink at least 3 cups of green tea per day. Green tea is good to have first thing in the morning, before and after lunch and dinner.