Green tea - composition, varieties, benefits and harms

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Green tea - composition, varieties, benefits and harms
Green tea - composition, varieties, benefits and harms

Composition, components and calorie content of green tea. Useful properties, harmful effects. Features of product selection, types and varieties. How to brew and drink green tea properly?

Green tea is one of the most popular and healthy drinks: people have been drinking it for over 3000 years. For the first time its beneficial properties were noted in China, and then green tea spread throughout the world. Let's find out what is the reason for such a popularity of the drink.

Composition and calorie content of green tea

Green tea leaves
Green tea leaves

Pictured is green tea

All varieties of tea, with the exception of various herbal teas, are made from the leaves of one plant - the Chinese camellia. The type is determined by the degree of oxidation of the raw material. If black tea is processed for 14-30 days, then green tea either does not undergo fermentation at all, or the process lasts a maximum of 2 days, due to which the beneficial substances in its composition are fully preserved.

The calorie content of green tea per 100 g of dry product is 83 kcal. But for the preparation of one portion, only a few grams of raw materials are used, which is why the energy value of a cup of the drink is negligible - about 2 kcal.

Green tea with lemon is also non-caloric - 5-6 kcal.

However, not everyone drinks the drink in its pure form, without additives. It is customary to add cream, sugar, milk, condensed milk, honey to it, which undoubtedly increases its calorie content.

Energy value of green tea with additives:

Drink Caloric content per 100 ml, kcal
With 1 spoon of sugar 33-35
With 2 tablespoons of sugar 63-65
With 3 scoops of low fat milk 35
With 3 tablespoons of cream 75
With 2 tablespoons of condensed milk 80

Green tea is a complex biochemical "cocktail" containing more than 450 active compounds, which explains the beneficial effect on all body systems and improving human health.

Green tea is prized for its high content of polyphenols, which are powerful natural antioxidants, namely catechins. They remove free radicals from the body, thereby delaying aging. But the excess of free radicals causes more than just premature aging. It is capable of provoking almost 100 serious diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and oncology. The most potent of the catechins is epigallocatechin gallate.

Green tea contains alkaloids - caffeine. However, not the pure, but the bound form is theine. It has the same invigorating and energizing effect, but is milder than pure caffeine. A cup of drink 230 ml contains 30-50 mg of caffeine.

Another useful component in the composition is tannin. The substance determines the taste of the drink and has a healing effect on the human body. Strengthens blood vessels, improves digestion, neutralizes radioactive particles.

The composition of green tea and vitamins, which are quite widely represented - A, C, group B, P, K are not devoid of. One of the most important is vitamin P. The substance is valued for its ability to prevent allergic reactions and fight inflammatory processes, strengthen the immune system and capillaries … And ascorbic acid in green tea is 10 times more than in black!

The drink contains potassium and magnesium - substances that are very beneficial for the heart. Theobromine is also found here, which is responsible for diuretic properties.

In addition, green tea contains a lot of plant proteins and amino acids. There are as many as 20 types of them, including gamma-aminobutyric, which stimulates the brain.

Interesting! According to Chinese legends, green tea is over 3000 years old. Some sources give a different figure - 5000 years.

Useful properties of green tea

Green tea in a glass
Green tea in a glass

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, green tea has been shown to increase life expectancy. The experiment involved 40 thousand Japanese people of different ages - from 40 to 79 years old. It turned out that with a daily consumption of 5 cups of the drink, the mortality rate decreased by 23% in women and 12% in men. This beneficial property of green tea is explained by the presence in the composition of catechins - substances that can remove harmful free radicals from the body that accelerate aging.

The results of studies by American scientists show that green tea is effective in treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and dementia, although the doses are large. The drink improves memory, as the catechins contained in it prevent the destruction of neurons.

Other health benefits of green tea:

  1. Stimulating the brain … The drink contains caffeine, which reduces the production of adenosine, the main effect of which lies in slowing down the reactions of the nervous system. As a result, brain activity and attention increase. Although green tea has less caffeine than coffee, and the stimulating effect is milder, it will last longer.
  2. Anti-inflammatory action … Camellia leaves, which are the raw materials for the production of tea, have anti-inflammatory properties. The benefits of green tea in general and this beneficial effect in particular have been noticed for a very long time, which is why the drink has found application in traditional medicine in China and India in reducing fever and stopping bleeding. It is used to treat wounds and even heart ailments.
  3. Accelerating weight loss … Many dietary supplements to combat obesity contain green tea, as it is inherent in the ability to increase metabolism. The same caffeine is responsible for this effect. In addition, the drink has a diuretic effect - it removes excess fluid from the body and helps to eliminate edema, so green tea will come in handy when losing weight.
  4. Reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes … By drinking green tea, insulin production can be controlled, which helps balance blood sugar levels. According to Japanese scientists, the risk of developing the disease in drinkers is 42% lower than in the rest.
  5. Reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease … Problems affecting the heart and blood vessels are often associated with the oxidation of cholesterol particles, as a result of which atherosclerotic plaques form, and the vessels narrow. Green tea, which is high in antioxidants, reduces oxidative stress. When drinking the drink, the risk of developing such ailments is reduced by 31%. Green tea is also useful for the body due to the content of potassium and magnesium, which are needed for the heart, vitamin P, which increases the elasticity of blood vessels and capillaries and normalizes blood pressure.
  6. Eliminate bad breath … As a result of testing, it was found that the catechins present in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcal bacteria. This pathogenic flora is typical of the oral cavity. Drinking it regularly will help maintain a healthy mouth, which will prevent bad breath from developing.
  7. Mild psychostimulating effect … Regular consumption of green tea increases sensitivity, sharpens vision and other analyzers, concentration of attention. Information is absorbed better, the thinking process is accelerated, the mood rises.

Important! Despite the significant benefits of green tea for the body, it is important to understand that this is not a panacea for all diseases, that is, it cannot be taken as a medicine.

Experts from the National Cancer Institute, located in the United States, note that the polyphenols present in green tea fight atypical cells, and antioxidants slow down cell oxidation, which reduces the likelihood of developing cancer. In countries where the drink is consumed in large quantities and in large quantities, the rates for such diseases are lower. But it certainly cannot be considered a cure for cancer.

Research suggests green tea is good for dandruff and psoriasis. However, it is important to consider that they were conducted on animals.

Note! Despite the fact that about 80% of sales come from black tea, green tea is healthier.

Contraindications and harm of green tea

High blood pressure as a contraindication to drinking green tea
High blood pressure as a contraindication to drinking green tea

Despite the fact that this is a very healthy drink, if consumed in excess, you can face its harm. It is optimal to drink no more than 4-6 cups of green tea without sugar. With an excess, headaches and dizziness are possible, in the most severe cases - tremors of the limbs.

Do not drink green tea at night, as it contains caffeine, a substance that has aphrodisiac properties. As a result, you can get insomnia and increased anxiety. But also abuse of the drink is fraught with nausea and indigestion.

People with high blood pressure should be especially careful. Also, green tea can be harmful if a person has a tendency to overexcite the nervous system. With a lack of iron, you cannot drink a drink immediately after a meal: wait at least half an hour so that the trace elements that have entered the body from food can be absorbed.

The polyphenols contained in green tea can bring a negative effect, as they inhibit liver function.

Side effects when drinking green tea are possible if a person is taking medications, dietary supplements and herbs in parallel. The drink reduces the effect of anticoagulants, which thin the blood.

Note! Other stimulants, such as coffee and energy drinks, should not be consumed with green tea. As a result, the stress on the heart and kidneys increases, as well as the pressure increases.

How to choose green tea?

How to choose green tea
How to choose green tea

Green tea is a very popular product; it is presented in a huge assortment on the shelves of supermarkets and tea shops. That is why you can get confused by the abundance of brands if you do not know how to choose the right one.

China, Japan and India are the leaders among green tea producers. It is important to choose well-known brands that supply a high quality product. But a low-quality product is likely to contain various impurities, dust and even harmful substances.

The most useful, naturally, is loose loose green tea. Depending on the variety, the color of the product ranges from silvery to dark green. But in any case, the leaves should be smooth and shiny. It is important that the color is uniform: before buying green tea, check that there are no foreign inclusions. The smell should not pick up mustiness.

It is especially important to study the composition of flavored formulations and check whether there are natural ingredients - for example, flower petals, citrus peel. Often, raw materials of poor quality are used for their production, which is why it is masked by extraneous chemical additives.

When buying tea bags, keep in mind that essential oils will evaporate faster in this case. Chlorine is used in the production of a cheap product for bleaching paper, needless to say that it has a detrimental effect not only on the taste of the drink.

The main types of green tea are presented in the table:

View Characteristic
Sheet Smooth tea leaves
Spiral Leaves twisted into spirals, "dancing" when brewing
Twisted Small balls of leaves that open when brewing
Connected Composition of green tea leaves associated with herbs and flowers
Compressed Smooth edge tiles with a smooth surface
Needle When brewing, the tea leaves become vertical, thereby resembling small needles.

It is impossible to say which green tea is the best, because there are just a huge number of its varieties. And the inhabitants of each country have their own preferences. On hearing about 5-10 well-known varieties from Japan, 10-20 - from China. There are also favorites in Korea, India, Georgia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ceylon.

The best varieties of green tea with a worldwide reputation:

Variety Description
Xi Hu Long Jing Imperial tea, handcrafted, fried 2 times - after collecting the leaves and after drying, aftertaste of green pistachio nuts
Tai Ping Hou Kui Additional oven drying, mesh print on the sheet, nutty notes on the palate
Bi Lo Chun The curled leaves resemble a snail shell and have a fruity taste
Gunpowder Rolled leaves into small balls, dried fruit aroma
September Fine needles, rich green color, aroma - woody, light bitterness on the palate
Nai Xiang Jin Xuan Legendary milk oolong, sweet caramel-creamy taste, like adding milk to green tea
Gekuro Raw materials are harvested in early spring, shading the shrubs beforehand, less tannin, taste without bitterness
Matcha Steamed leaves, peeled of stems and veins, are ground into powder, and this type of tea is also eaten
Gemmaitya A mixture of september and fried rice, the satiety of the drink is increased
Pearl of the Ocean Intense Ceylon tea, green tea flavor - tart floral

The product is stored in an airtight container, as it is able to absorb foreign odors from the environment - for example, seasonings and spices, which leads to the loss of its own aroma. Glass or ceramic containers are ideal for this. The container with green tea should be placed in a dark place in the cupboard, since the oxidation process begins under the influence of sunlight, which reduces its taste.

Note! Green tea is a product that does not like heat, but responds well to coolness. But you can store it at room temperature.

How to brew green tea correctly?

How to brew green tea
How to brew green tea

The preparation of green tea has its own characteristics related to its composition. It is believed that boiling water will be harmful for catechins, therefore, its raw materials are brewed with hot water, the temperature of which is 60-90 ° C, depending on the variety used.

The most delicious will be a drink prepared with soft water - spring water. You can also freeze boiling water. Next, let's take a look at how to properly brew green tea.


  • Water - 400 ml
  • Green leaf tea - 2 tsp

Step by step preparation of green tea:

  1. Boil water and wait until it cools down to 60-95 ° C.
  2. Warm up the teapot with hot water before brewing. To do this, pour the liquid inside and drain it after a while.
  3. First, you need to lightly pour over the raw material itself with hot water so that the aroma is better revealed. Tea dust is also washed off the leaves in this way.
  4. We put the raw materials treated with hot water into a teapot.
  5. Pour water to fill half of the container.
  6. Cover with a lid and leave to brew for 1 minute.
  7. Then add hot water to fill the entire kettle.
  8. We leave the drink to infuse for 5 minutes. It is not worth brewing green tea longer, its taste deteriorates, it acquires bitterness. In addition, useful properties are lost.
  9. You can brew green tea several times - 6-7 times, but the water must be fresh. It is not recommended to reheat it.

Note! Some sources advise heating the water for brewing green tea until the first small bubbles appear at the bottom. This is not worth doing, it must necessarily boil, and then cool to the set temperature. After 5 minutes the temperature will be 90 ° C, after 10 - 80 ° C, and after 15 - 60-70 ° C.

How to drink green tea properly?

How to drink green tea
How to drink green tea

Green tea is a healthy drink, but it's important to drink it wisely. In China, its use is approached with special trepidation, and there are even rules here that will help enhance its effect:

  • It is not recommended to consume green tea on an empty stomach, as it irritates the mucous membranes, resulting in increased secretion of gastric juice. And this, in turn, can be dangerous if a person suffers from gastritis or an ulcer.
  • You can not drink too hot tea, which literally burns. Long-term use of such a drink is fraught with serious consequences, up to painful organ changes.
  • Do not brew overly strong tea. It is capable of provoking headaches and sleep disturbances.
  • Do not infuse the drink for a long time, otherwise the polyphenols and essential oils present in tea leaves begin to oxidize, resulting in a decrease in the nutritional value of green tea. It loses its taste and aroma.
  • It is not advisable to drink green tea before bedtime. An exception can be made if you have to work all night.
  • Do not alternate the drink with alcohol, otherwise the kidneys will have a significant load.
  • Do not take medications with green tea. This limitation is due to the fact that the tannins of tea leaves tend to reduce the body's ability to absorb drugs.
  • Do not drink green tea just before meals. It liquefies saliva, food becomes unpalatable, and it can slow down the absorption of protein contained in food.

Note! Old tea leaves, which have stood for a day or more, are a breeding ground for pathogenic microflora, because it contains a lot of protein. You cannot drink such tea.

How to brew green tea - watch the video:

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