We have evidence of Green Tea Leaves being used as far back as 618AD. It is a type of tea that originated in China as a medicinal herb. Today, it is a type of tea that has not undergone the same process as darker teas such as Oolong or Black Tea. There are several different varieties of Green Tea, depending on growing conditions or time of harvest. Depending on the quality of your tea, it may need to be steeped longer or shorter to get the best results. Ideally, Green Tea that has been steeped for between 2-5 minutes boosts the polyphenols and antioxidants.
The amount of time your tea is steeped determines how strong it will be, and steeping too long can cause it to taste bitter. However, as long as your tea has steeped long enough, it doesn’t matter whether you drink it hot or cold.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
There have been many claims over the years about the health benefits of drinking green tea regularly, but the fact is there simply has not been enough study done to prove that.
While it may temporarily improve alertness and mental clarity due to its caffeine content, there is very little evidence that it assists with weight loss, blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease. While it does seem to lower fasting blood sugar, studies show the results for hemoglobin and insulin were inconsistent.
Drinking any type of tea when you are sick can help clear nasal passages, soothe sore throats and help ease coughs. Adding a little honey to a hot cup of green tea is the ideal way to consume it if you are feeling under the weather.
Green Tea has no calories and has a sweet enough taste if you brew it properly that it is an enjoyable beverage on its own. It is certainly a healthier alternative to sweet tea, soda, or other sugary beverages.
Adverse Effects of Green Tea
Excessive consumption of Green Tea has been proven to increase the risk of liver failure and hepatotoxicity. While low to moderate amounts of green tea extract are considered safe, anything over 300mg should be avoided. When brewed too strongly, Green Tea can cause stomach cramps, headaches, and trouble sleeping.
Like anything else, moderation is the key when it comes to Green Tea. It is not a miracle beverage that should be consumed 10 times a day. A glass a day should be fine unless you have a rare adverse reaction. Proper preparation is the key to getting the most out of this tea, and once you have done so it does not matter how you drink it.