Beneficial effects of green tea
Today, I’d like to introduce some of the beneficial effects that green tea has on infectious diseases and human immune systems. In Japan, there is an old saying that if you drink green tea that was picked on the eighty‐eighth day from the beginning of spring, you will be able to stay healthy and live long. Japanese people started drinking green tea almost 800 years ago and still love drinking it today.
You may get surprised but black tea, oolong tea, and green tea all are made from the same tea plant. How the tea leaves are made from the plant is different among black tea, oolong tea, and green tea. In short, the degree of fermentation is different among the three, which is why a color and smell of each type of tea is different. The green tea is unfermented, while oolong tea is half fermented, and black tea is fully fermented.
One of the components that is effective for your health contained in tea is catechin and green tea has a much higher amount of catechins than black tea or oolong tea. So what health benefits does catechin have? One of them is antioxidative effect generated from a kind of polyphenol included in catechin, almost 80 times higher than that of vitamin C, and anti-carcinogenicity effects as green tea can lower blood pressure. The other health benefit that you can get from drinking green tea is bacteriocidal effect. The catethin can stop a virus from combining with the cell and prevent humans from getting infectious diseases. It is said that green tea is also effective to avoid food poisoning. Have you recognized people in Japan drinking green tea at a sushi restaurant? It is not just because green tea goes well with sushi but also food poisoning remedies by green tea.
However, catechins would not stay in your body for a long time. It could stay in your body just for 3 – 4 hours so you are recommended to drink green tea after every meal if you would like to get health benefits mentioned above.
Good for stress management
In addition to all the health benefits mentioned above, green tea includes more than 20 kinds of amino acides of which 50% to 60% is made up of theanine. The theanine is also known to reduce stress and anxiety in people. It may help you to stay calm on a hectic day if you drink green tea.
So what kind of green tea would include more theanine? Normally, the tea that is picked toward the end of July which is called “Sanbancha” in Japanese get more sunshine; therefore, contains more theanine.
Good for eating and drinking
National Cancer Center Japan announced the research that shows the risk of dying from cancer lowers for people who drink green tea compared to people who don’t drink green tea.
People may be worried about absorbing too much caffeine by drinking green tea as caffeine could disrubt sleep. On the other hand, caffeine is not necessarily bad for you as it could activate your brain during the day. The solution is to find a good balance between the two. For example, you can try to drink more green tea earlier the day and less toward the end of the day.
There is a lot of different options for you when it comes to drinking green tea. You can buy green tea bags or green tea powder and just pour water on them to make a good cup of green tea for yourself. Or you can make green tea from tea leaves with the Japanese kyusu. Other option could be eating desserts made from green tea such as green tea cakes, green tea pnna cotta, green tea ice cream, etc. Also, green tea (powder) can be used for cooking meals such as green tea risotto, pasta, meat patty, salads, rice porridge, etc.
Good thing about green tea is that vitamin C contained in green tea would not get destroyed by the heat (i.e. hot water) which is why we can appreciate health benefits that green tea can bring by using it in our drinks or cooking.