Green tea is one of the most discussed foods in recent times, although the Chinese have known the medicinal benefits of it since ancient times. Native to China and India, it is produced and consumed in many countries now-a-days due to its numerous health benefits. Green tea is produced from leaves of the plant ‘camellia sinensis'. Out of the 3 varieties of tea (green, black and oolong), green tea is the least processed variety and thus provides many antioxidants, tannins and flavonoids.
Nutritional Values Of Green Tea
Green tea will not add up to your calorie consumption! It is high in antioxidants but has very small amounts of many other nutrients. You can use green tea in many recipes and enjoy the benefits.
Nutritional values (Per Cup – 150 ml of prepared Tea*)
- Energy (Kcal) - Nil
- Protein (gms) - Traces
- Carbohydrates (gms) - Traces
- Fats (gms) - Traces
- Vitamins (gms) - Trace
- Minerals (gms) - Trace
- *Made from 1.9g of tea in 150 ml of fresh boiling water
Green tea contains compound called catechins, specifically epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin and EGCG. These catechins are believed to be responsible for giving green tea its potential health benefits.
Green tea also contains caffeine and drinking too much of it can lead to classic signs of caffeine overconsumption such as feeling jittery, having trouble with sleep, etc.
Benefits Of Green Tea
The health benefits of green tea are due to certain components like flavonoids, polyphenols (particularly catechins), tocopherols and some phytochemical compounds.
- Improves metabolism and helps body burn more calories
- Boost the effects of certain fat burning hormones
- Helps mobilize fat from fat cells.
- Helps boost immunity
- Improves blood circulation
- Helps to keep skin glowing
- Helps to control hair loss
- Helps to control blood pressure
- Helps in lowering blood sugar
- Helps lower bad cholesterol levels
- Helps to prevent cardio vascular diseases
- Helps prevent cavities and tooth decay
- Has a role in building bones
- Might help in preventing glaucoma
- Minimizes the risk for various types of cancers
- Helps to relieve stress and anxiety
Myths About Green Tea
Myth: Green tea - a short cut for losing weight!
Fact: Green tea is believed to increase the metabolic rate by around 4%, but that is not enough for reducing weight. One cannot lose weight by drinking green tea alone, but by following a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle one can.
Myth: No harm in unlimited consumption of green tea.
Fact: Green tea contains certain compounds such as caffeine and catechins, which might be harmful if taken in excess. Caffeine as known can affect the sleep and can also cause headaches. Catechins have an affinity toward iron, so if consumed with a meal, before or after a meal, it may hamper iron absorption
Tips To Include Green Tea In Your Diet
- Drink the regular hot green tea or iced green tea.
- Green tea extract can be added to the salad dressings (goes well with vinegar and olive oil) and can be used for vegetable, chicken and fish salads.
- Brewed green tea, honey and lemon juice makes a tangy sauce for grilled chicken or fish.
- Add a teaspoon of green tea powder to the yoghurt/curd for a different flavor.
- Green tea powder can be used while preparing ice creams, puddings, cream cakes and smoothies.
- Green tea tastes good with milk too, try using it to prepare a latte.
- Green tea extract can also be added to the dip and spreads served with garlic bread.