Green tea has earned a place as one of the healthiest beverages to include in your diet. It is a taste that you have to get used to, but many companies now blend Green Tea with flavour enhancing additions such as Honey or Cranberry, which can help new drinkers acquire the taste.
So why is it considered so healthy? Well, green tea comes from exactly the same plant as your traditional cup of black tea, known as Camellia Sinensis. It is the processing of the plant which is responsible for the difference in flavour and properties, green tea contains 50% more vitamins than black tea and it is also considered a zero calorie beverage.
Black tea is obtained through a fermentation process of the leaves, which changes the properties, the colour and the flavour of the leaves. This process also increases the levels of tannins and caffeine in the product. Green tea is either dried or steamed but it is not fermented, this is why once brewed, the tea remains a pale green colour.
Caffeine is responsible for the taste and stimulating properties of green tea, but what also contributes to the characteristic taste of this tea and the bitterness is the presence of a group of chemicals known as catechins or most commonly referred to as tannins. These catechins stimulate the calorie burning process (thermogenesis), therefore green tea has great weight loss benefits and consuming green tea with your meal (as indeed is part of Chinese culture) can aid with digestion and help metabolize the food in your body. A cup of green tea as a pre workout supplement before training is a great way to shed those pounds.
Powdered green tea is a powerful antioxidant and Matcha green tea is known to be one of the richest in antioxidants and is effective at boosting metabolic rate and calorie burning. Matcha is reputed to burn as much as four times as many calories. Matcha is already a great contributor to weight loss at it is contains almost zero calories and it increases thermogenesis, from around 10% to between 35% and 43% of a person’s daily energy expenditure, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Flavonoids or catechins also act as powerful antioxidants. The presence of Antioxidants in green tea help the body protect itself against disease. These also assist the blood pumping around the body, helping to widen arteries and increase oxygen intake around the body. These antioxidants also contribute to the prevention of fatty plaque build-up on the also helping to reduce cholesterol and reduce blood pressure which can reduce the risks associated with clogged arteries and heart disease.