Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea, but it is harvested at a younger age. It is consumed “fresh”, while black tea is consumed roasted. Green tea is thus less processed and retains more of its nutrients and antioxidants than black tea.
Here’s a look at the science behind some of Green tea’s health effects:
- Green tea and Cancer: Studies have shown green tea has the potential to fight many forms of cancer. One lab study done at the McGill University in Montreal found that the antioxidants in green tea could successfully shrink prostate tumors in mice. Another meta-analysis of data found that high green tea consumption could lower lung cancer risk by up to 18%. Other studies done on Japanese populations found that increased green tea consumption could be correlated to lower recurrence of cancer relapse in women with breast cancer. Chinese studies have even shown a link between green tea consumption and lowered chances of stomach, pancreatic, esophageal, prostate and colorectal cancer. This is definitely an exciting to start for more research to come.
- Green tea and Various Bioactive Compounds: Green tea is more than just green liquid. Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients. One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties. Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health. Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride. That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.
- Green Tea and Brain Function: Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter. The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant. It doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine. Therefore, green tea also has the amino acid L-theanine. Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function. Because of the L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder and different kind of “buzz” than coffee. Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.
- Facts about Black Tea (cupofrealitea.wordpress.com)
- Green Tea: Benefits to human health (jhowengs.wordpress.com)