Green tea is a natural drink rich in benefits and properties for our health. Discover its health qualities, how to prepare it and also when you should avoid it (what are its main contraindications).
It was in the year 1211 when the Buddhist monk Eisei wrote that “tea has an extraordinary power to prolong life.” He did so in his book Staying Healthy by Drinking Tea, and he was correct when he made such an assertion about green tea, especially for its clear properties and benefits.
Although from Antiquity until approximately the 6th century, green tea was consumed primarily as a remedy for kidney problems, headaches, ulcers, poor digestion or even against the noxious humors of the horn, at present – exactly – they are known the substances that make this drink a very important natural remedy.
Within its varied and rich chemical composition, green tea has powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, the most abundant being catechins.
And, among them, epigallocatequin gallate (Egg), which has been shown to have an important anticancer effect, helping to prevent arteriosclerosis and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
It is in fact one of the most consumed beverages in the world, along not only with the other varieties of tea (red tea and white tea), but also with coffee.
The incredible benefits of green tea for your health
Helps prevent heart disease
This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why millions of people consume green tea on a regular basis. In the first place, this drink allows us to get rid of all the “bad cholesterol” that is deposited in veins and arteries. This is because it has powerful antioxidants that are capable of cleaning and renewing all the blood that runs throughout our body.
For this reason, green tea is recommended to all those patients who suffer from diabetes or who have ever had a heart attack.
In addition, different scientific studies have found that, in people with high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, green tea would help reduce high blood pressure.
Great ally to lose weight
The truth is that “losing weight” is increasingly fashionable. In this sense, green tea can be a great ally to maintain our shape and even lose a few extra kilos. This is also due to the high content of oxacids in this drink. These will help burn all the remaining fat and boost our entire metabolism much more.
Likewise, the consumption of green tea is also recommended to all those elite athletes who always want to burn calories quickly and efficiently during any sports practice.
It is a natural laxative
Do you suffer continuously from constipation? Well, green tea can be the solution to your problems in this regard. It has great properties to promote intestinal flow. Hence, it is highly recommended after a copious meal. Especially after those that occur when we go out with our friends and family.
Likewise, green tea helps prevent gas, bloating and all kinds of digestive problems that often occur throughout our day to day. We recommend that you drink a good green tea on an empty stomach right after you get up. We are sure that you will see the results in a short time.
Strengthen all our defenses
Both orange and lemon juice (both high in Vitamin C) will help strengthen and improve our entire immune system. Well, this also happens with green tea since this drink has all kinds of vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium. All of them will help you enjoy much stronger health and even make you a little more immune to all kinds of flu and colds.
Good weapon against cancer
Last but not least, green tea can also be of great help in preventing cancer. Numerous studies, have concluded that all the antioxidants present in this drink can help prevent this scourge in the form of a disease that occurs so much today In fact, it is usually prescribed mainly to all those people who suffer from prostate and lung cancer.
Green tea extract helps against muscular dystrophy
Swiss scientists have found that daily doses of tea extract appear to slow down the deterioration of muscle tissue, leading to muscular dystrophy.
Researchers have stated that the tea may have protected the muscle of those animals that were used in the experiment, fighting against oxidative stress.
As has been known for years, the powerful antioxidant substances (polyphenols) offered by green tea help neutralize the forms of oxygen that damage cells, called ” oxidative stress “, which among other things could also contribute to muscle wasting.
The study tells that the different laboratory mice that participated in the study received a four-week diet that included green tea extract.
It was found that, compared to those animals that did not receive this diet, the mice fed the extract showed less wear in certain areas of the muscle tissue.
To know if these results could also be equally beneficial for people, the scientists in charge of the study consider that it is necessary to carry out more in-depth investigations that may or may not confirm their findings.
Nutritional properties of green tea
Among these beneficial ingredients we can find:
- The flavonoids. It is a group of antioxidants to which the aforementioned catechins belong. They help to destroy free radicals and oxidants, thus avoiding the destruction of the tissues of our body.
- Complex Vitamin B. They mainly help in the metabolization of carbohydrates.
- The vitamin C. It fights infections, strengthens the immune system and helps reduce stress.
- The Vitamin E. It has antioxidant properties that, among other aspects, delay aging.
- Fluoride. Prevents cavities thus protecting tooth enamel.
How to make green tea right:
Although preparing green tea is actually simple, you have to do it correctly to be able to do it well, so it is very likely to make some mistakes and errors that prevent you from enjoying this drink as it really should be.
For its correct preparation we must take into account the infusion time and the temperature of the water. In the case of green tea, we must bear in mind that it is essential that the water is at a temperature between 75 to 80 ºC, and also, the infusion time should not exceed 2 minutes.
That said, its preparation is very simple, and we are going to do it with the help of a kettle, in the traditional Japanese style. To do this, put hot water in the kettle and let it warm up a bit. Do the same with the cups where you are going to serve the tea. Put water to heat, checking that the temperature does not exceed 80 ºC. Now put the green tea inside the filter of the kettle (the amount you can choose to taste, but without overdoing it), close the lid and pour the hot water into the interior of the kettle. Wait for the green tea to infuse for 2 minutes. Remove the filter with the tea leaves and leave the drink in the kettle.
Ready! You just have to serve the tea in the cup that you have chosen and heated and enjoy this wonderful natural drink.
On the other hand, keep in mind something important: the longer you let the green tea soak (infused), the stronger its flavor and the more bitter it will be. Therefore, it is not a very good idea to leave it for longer than recommended.
Green tea side effects
Generally, there are several side effects that green tea can cause:
- Containing caffeine, high doses can cause nervousness or insomnia. Therefore, it is not recommended that pregnant women consume it.
- May cause interactions with monoamine oxidase inhibitor drugs.
- Taken on an empty stomach or in excessive amounts, it can cause nausea or vomiting.
- Taken before meals, it can affect the correct absorption of iron.
Green tea contraindications: When is it not appropriate to take it?
The green tea contains caffeine, so that higher doses (or even in small doses, depending on the individual) can even cause insomnia or nervousness.
It is not recommended that young children drink green tea, adjusting its consumption only from young age.
If you are taking mono-amino-oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), the caffeine found in green tea can cause various interactions.
It also contains tannins, so if taken on an empty stomach or in high amounts, it can cause vomiting and nausea.
In addition, it is known that pregnant women should not drink green tea, since different studies have shown that it can affect the nervous system of babies.
In short, we tell you which the main contraindications of green tea are:
- When we consume certain medications and drugs.
- Not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Not suitable for children.
- Moderate its consumption in case of heartburn, ulcers and other digestive problems.
We must also be careful not to consume it in excess. Therefore, it is best not to exceed two cups of green tea a day, and, above all, not to leave it for a long time.