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the benefits of green tea

Posted by Sarah on 11th September 2018

the benefits of green tea

The revival of green tea is very much in full swing, with the young, the not so young and pretty much everyone in between firmly jumping aboard the green tea train. And who can blame them!? It’s packed full of health benefits, is one of the most diverse tea groups out there, and above all, tastes amazing! But what actually are the benefits of green tea, and do they have any science behind them? Let’s find out!

What is green tea?

Tea or not tea? 

Tea! All green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, making it a fully-fledged tea.

Why is green tea… green?

Once the green tea has been plucked, withered and rolled, heat is applied to stop any oxidation happening – this heat is what makes the tea green. The leaf is either steamed or pan fired to a temperature hot enough to stop the enzymes from browning the leaf.  

Where is it grown? 

Although now grown all over the world, China and Japan remain the top producers with over 75% of green tea still being produced in China.

How does it taste?

From light & floral (good) to astringent vegetable (…not so good)

How to make green tea? 

Brew for 3 minutes, using 80 degree water (grab the kettle just before it boils!) and serve without milk.

Discover our full range of green tea here

benefits of green tea

With the basics covered, let’s delve in to why green tea is good for you with the help of Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, authors of bestselling book The Sirtfood Diet and experts in the field of health and nutrition.

If you’re short on time, the reason tea is believed to be so good for us is primarily down to its rich content of a group of powerful plant nutrients called catechins (cat-eh-kins). The most significant of which is epigallocatechin gallate...or EGCG for those of you, like us, who struggle with its chemical name. Whereas black tea only contains about 3–10 per cent catechins, green tea boasts a staggering 30–40 per cent, with matcha by far the best green tea catechin source (but more on matcha later!).  

If you’ve got a few more minutes to spare, grab a cuppa and have a read through our five amazing health benefits of green tea.

Heart health

When it comes to matters of the heart, there’s a lot of love for green tea. A 2014 review, which combined the results from 20 trials, found that green tea consumption has significant benefits for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. But how does that translate to the chances of actually succumbing to heart disease? A large Japanese study of 40, 530 adults found that those who enjoyed five cups or more of green tea daily had a 26% reduction in death from cardiovascular disease compared to those consuming just one cup a day.

Cancer

A large (and still growing) body of laboratory, animal and human research suggests an important role for green tea in cancer prevention. Significant benefits have been observed for green tea consumption, and especially EGCG, for inhibiting cancer growth in the prostate, lung, stomach and breast.

With benefits for such a broad range of cancers, low toxicity, and the fact it is easy to consume with low risk of side effects, researchers are now looking to green tea as a potential inclusion alongside more conventional cancer medicines. *slowly lifts jaw back up from the floor*

Diabetes

There has been considerable interest in the benefits of green tea for diabetes and improving blood sugar control. In 2013, an analysis of 17 trials put this to the test and found that green tea consumption significantly lowered levels of fasting blood sugar as well as long-term blood sugar levels.

The results of this analysis show that drinking more than 3-4 cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 15-20 per cent when compared to non-tea drinkers.

Weight

The one that everyone actually wants to know – does green tea help with weight loss? Things might get a little sciency here…but bear with us!

Green tea catechins exert a thermogenic effect, which means they help drive fat burning in the body, making it a valuable aid in the battle to lose extra pounds. Habitual green tea drinkers have been shown to have a 20% reduction in body fat percentage as well as a favourable reduction in their waist to hip ratio.

Drinking green tea also shows benefits for maintaining fat loss after people stopped dieting, as well as in enhancing the fat-burning effects from exercise, making it truly a food for improving body shape.  

Bone health

Green tea is now also emerging as an invaluable food in the battle against osteoporosis. Early stage studies show that catechins enhance bone formation and suppress bone breakdown. Studies from countries around the world, including the UK, link tea consumption as a protective factor against osteoporosis.

One early stage intervention study of 150 post-menopausal women with early stage osteoporosis found that consuming 4-6 cups of green tea per day, for six months, reduced bone stress, helped to boost bone formation and improved muscle strength.

 ...still with us!? 

The benefits of green tea are so clearcut, we're amazed that everyone isn't drinking at least five cups a day. If you want to go one better, try matcha! It's a superpower green tea from Japan, renowned for its health benefits and versatility. One serving contains ten times the antioxidants of a normal cup of green tea yet only half the caffeine of coffee. The best bit? You only need 1g a day (or one of our handy matcha sachets) to reap all the benefits! 

Discover our full range of green tea and organic matcha powder here with 20% OFF* everything in our green tea category plus FREE UK delivery throughout September! Enjoy! 

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