We often heard many types of tea. The most popular types are black, white, green, and oolong tea. We may ever drink some of that types. But do you know what the difference is?
All types of tea actually are produced from the same plant namely Camellia sinensis. Their difference is based on the oxidation after being harvested. After the leaves have been plucked from the plant, the oxidation occurs naturally.
Black tea is fully oxidized, causing its color to turn black. Oolong tea is semi–oxidized, make it looks like black tea but with the freshness of green tea. White tea is barely oxidized at all. Green tea, the least oxidized, is steamed after being harvested to inactivate the oxidizing enzymes (i.e., polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase).
The inactivated enzymes can’t break down the chlorophyll, so the color of the dried leaves is still green. It makes the color of the drink is greenish yellow unlike the reddish brown color of black tea. The lack of oxidation also make green tea retains its tannins, vitamin C, and minerals. Thus it taste more astringent but subtler than black or oolong tea.
Real History of Green Tea
There are many versions of tea’s history. Some of it may be true, some of it maybe just a myth. Tea likely originated in southwest China approximately 5000 years ago and first used as a medicinal drink. There is a record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD written by ancient Chinese physician, Hua Tuo.
During 16th century, China introduced tea to Portuguese priests and merchants and during the 17th century, drinking tea became popular in Britain. The British later introduced tea production and tea consumption to India, to break the Chinese monopoly on tea. After that, tea started to spread all over the world.
At first, all tea was green tea. People just simply steeped the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant in hot water. By the end of 17th century, tea was being drunk as an all-purpose drink. People started to drink black tea in the 1720s and the British added sugar and milk to tea. Now, tea becomes the second most consumed drink in the world after water and green tea accounts for 20% of it.
Ingredients of Green Tea
- Manganese 0.5 mg 26%
Potassium 87.7 mg 3%
Folate 11.9 mcg 3%
Magnesium 7.1 mg 2%
The main active ingredients in green tea are polyphenolic compounds, known as catechins. The major component are EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which may be responsible for the anticancer activities of green tea.
Green tea also contains carotenoids, protein, chlorophyll, minerals (aluminum or manganese, depending on the soil content where tea was planted), caffeine, theanine, vitamin K, and 2 mg of vitamin C for each gram of green tea. Thanks to unoxidized preparation, green tea has 10 folds higher vitamin C than black tea.
A cup of green tea (6-8 oz or about 200 mL), contains approximately 60-125 mg catechins and 20-50 mg caffeines. Green tea has higher catechins than black tea but less caffeines. Black tea has 30-60 mg catechins and also 30-60 mg caffeines. Manganese is a mineral used to digest proteins in the body and to maintain healthy bones. Just one cup of tea can provide the daily need of manganese.
Catechins, carotenoids, and vitamin C are antioxidants. That’s why green tea is renowned for its high antioxidant activity which contribute most to its health and beauty effect. You may also read Health Benefits of Lipton Diet Green Tea
Uses of Green Tea
Green tea is usually brewed and drunk as a beverage. Green tea also can be extracted and being used for healthy purpose, skin products, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical preparations, and dentifrices. Beside that, green tea is also popular as food or drink flavor in the form of powder which known as matcha.
Health Benefits Of Green Tea
Green tea benefits offers many health benefits due to the presence of of ingredients such as catechins, theanine, tannins, etc. What are they? Let’s check them out!
1. Preventing Cancer
High contents of EGCG in green tea has been associated to the prevention of many types of cancer, such as lung, colon, rectal, esophagus, mouth, stomach, small intestine, kidney, pancreas, and mammary glands. Until now, there is no conclusion whether green tea can really prevents cancer. Some studies suggest that green tea can kills cancer cells and make them stop growing. Some studies found that green tea increase the risk of cancer.
We must know first that before some experiments can be done to human, experiments must be done to laboratory animal or in vitro first. In vitro is a term to experiments which are not performed in living organism. This was done to make sure the benefit and safety of the studied material before it can be applied to human. Sometimes the studied material is works when it was researched in laboratory animal or in vitro. But when it was gave to human, it may be give another results. Sometimes instead of give good result, it give worse effect in human. You may also read about Benefits of Budwig Diet for Cancer
Which cancer that can be helped by green tea and which is not? Be ready, girls! Because the studies will surprise you! Let’s check it out!
- Lung cancer
In vitro researches show green tea polyphenols can inhibit the growth of human lung cancer cells, but some clinical studies show different results.
A study found that Okinawan tea was linked with lower lung cancer risk, especially among women. But there is a study found that green tea and black tea can increase the risk of lung cancer.
It’s still need more studies before any conclusions can be drawn. For safety, cancer patients should consult to their doctor before consume any green tea preparations.
- Colorectal cancer
Some studies found that green tea can decrease the risk of colon or rectal cancer show, while others show increased risk. A study shows that drink more than 5 cups of green tea per day may lowering the risk of colorectal cancer. But this study only shows protective effects for women.
- Esophageal cancer
Studies using laboratory animals have found that green tea polyphenols can inhibit the growth of esophageal cancer cells, but studies using human show different results.
One large-scale population-based study found that green tea protects against the development of esophageal cancer, especially among women (again). Another population-based study found that green tea consumption was linked with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. The stronger and hotter the tea, the greater the risk.
- Stomach cancer
An in vitro research have found that green tea polyphenols can also inhibit the growth of stomach cancer cells, but some studies in human seem don’t agree with it.
It was reported in two studies that people who drank green tea are likely to develop stomach cancer and stomach inflammation compared to those who did not drink green tea.
Nevertheless, a study in Japan with more than 26,000 men and women found that green tea has no association with stomach cancer risk.
- Pancreatic cancer
One large-scale clinical study found that those who drank the most green tea have less probability to develop pancreatic cancer, especially among women (again and again). Men who drank the most green tea have 37% less probability to develop pancreatic cancer.
However, it is still not clear whether green tea is solely responsible. More studies are needed before researchers can recommend green tea.
- Breast cancer
In vitro and animal researches show that polyphenols in green tea inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. One study which involve 472 women with breast cancer at various stages, found that women who drank green tea had less spread of cancer. Especially in the early stages of breast cancer.
It was also found that women with early stages of the breast cancer who drank at least 5 cups of tea daily before being diagnosed with cancer were less likely to experience a relapse after finished treatment. However, women with late stages of breast cancer had little improvement after drinking green tea.
A very large study found that drinking tea, green or any other type, was not linked with reduced risk of breast cancer.
However, when the sample is divided by age, it shows that women under 50 have 37% less probability to develop breast cancer compared to women who did not drink tea.
2. Weight Loss Treatments
When it comes to green tea, the first thing that most people think is its weight loss effect. Obesity and overweight have been worldwide major health issue nowadays. Obesity has been associated with risks of cancer, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Because of that, many health workers try to develop drugs to treat obesity. They also suggest implementation of a dietary regimen to prevent obesity. It becomes public awareness and health goal for many people.
Obesity arises from the imbalance between energy intake and its expenditure. In obesity, energy intake is greater than its expenditure.
To measure someone is obese, overweight, normal, or underweight, we can use BMI (body mass index). BMI is value from body mass (kg) divided by the square of the body height (m2). If the BMI is <18.5 someone is categorized as underweight. BMI 18.5-24.9 is normal. BMI 25-29.9 is overweight. And BMI >30 is obese.
Due to its caffeine content, green tea is associated with increased caloric expenditure and helps burn fat. Together with high catechin content in green tea, they show effect that is much greater than can be attributed by caffeine alone.
A study found that consumption of caffeine alone in the same amounts found in the green tea extract had no effect on energy expenditure.
It is also supported by the fact that EGCG (catechin-red) can reduces food uptake, lipid absorption, blood triglyceride, cholesterol, and leptin levels. A perfect combination to help you get your ideal weight. You may also read about Health Benefits of Eggplant for Weight Loss
3. Cardiac health
Catechins have been demonstrated effect of lowering level of total cholesterol and LDL (‘bad cholesterol’) and also elevated HDL (‘good cholesterol’) in body. That mechanisms make green tea has effect in lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and delay atherogenesis (the forming of plaque in blood vessel). Its blood glucose reducing and weight loss effect also contributing in cardiac health effect.
Theanine can lower high blood pressure levels back toward normal levels, but had no effect on normal blood pressure levels thus reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Regular consumption of tea (3 or more cups daily) may reduce the risk of heart attack compared to little or none. You may also read about Health Benefits of Ganitri Fruit
4. Arthritis (joint inflammation)
Polyphenol compounds in green tea has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effect in laboratory animals. Green tea consumption showed a significant reduction in the incidence of arthritis compared with none.
5. Bone density
Drinking green tea may help to protect older women from osteoporosis although there’s a study that suggests tannin content in green tea can disturb the absorption of calcium and iron in some extent.
6. Stress relieving
Green tea can be used as a daily antistress. Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid found primarily in green and black teas that has tranquilizing effects. The content of theanine is varied in different tea harvesting time. In some season, green tea may high in catechins, but in another harvesting time, it may high in theanine. It’s approximated there are 20 to 40 mg of theanine in 1 cup of green tea.
Theanine helps generate alpha waves in the brain associated with a relaxed but alert mental state. People who produce alpha waves have less anxiety and can be more focus and creative. Theanine can make its effects in brain about 30 minutes after being consumed.
Theanine is also believed to lower cortisol levels during stress periods. Cortisol is a hormone that body produced when we are in stress. This relaxation effect of theanine can also improve sleep quality and mood upon awakening. It can also reduce the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndromes such as irritability, depression, abdominal pain, and headaches.
According to a study, the theanine content will be reduced if we add milk to green tea. If you want to get the effect of theanine, make sure to not add more than 50 ml of milk. The recommended amount is 12 ml (about one tablespoon). You may also read about Health Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba Extract
7. Antiviral properties
A study suggests that EGCG has protective effect against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in laboratory animals. It still must be investigated further to see whether these effects are seen in humans.
Green tea is also reported to protect body from influenza virus, especially in its earliest stage; Herpes simplex; and adenovirus infection.
Adenovirus are common causes of respiratory diseases, such as cold-like symptoms, sore throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It can also cause diarrhoea and red eye (conjunctivitis). Most of the infections are not severe.
8. Antimicrobial properties
Green tea has long been used in treating diarrhoea and typhoid. Green tea catechins is reported to have an inhibitory effect on Helicobacter pylori infection which associated with gastric ulcers and other digestive tract disease.
9. Prevent dental caries
Dental caries is formed when enzyme in the saliva (amylase) hydrolyzes food starch to maltose. Maltose are easily fermented by bacterias in the mouth into lactic acid and can make up the dental caries, forming a cavity or hole. A study reported that consumption of tea (black or green) inhibits the release of maltose up to 70%.
Because of its antiinflammation properties like mentioned above, there’s a study reported that green tea extract was effective in reducing the gingival inflammation caused by periodontal structures such as dentures. Green tea extract is also reported to show strong inhibition of bacterias Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria commonly found in the human oral cavity and is a significant contributor to tooth decay.
10. Antifungal properties
A study suggests that catechins have antifungal activity against Candida albicans, the cause of candidiasis which can occurs in mouth (thrush) or genital (yeast infection).
Catechins in green tea extract combined with antimycotics (antifungal drugs) allow the use of lower doses of antimycotics and induces multiple antifungal effects. Thus help avoid the side effects of antimycotics such as feeling sick, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, flatulence, headache, rash, and indigestion.
The severe side effects of antimycotics include allergic reaction (for some people) such as swelling of face, neck, or tongue; or difficulty breathing.
According to a study in Japan, consumption six or more cups of green tea daily compared to those consuming less than 1 cup per week reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes until 33%. The consumption of green tea was shown to improve glucose tolerance without change the basal blood glucose levels. You may also read about Health Benefits of Stevia Leaf
12. Neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are caused by damage or loss of neurons in the brain and/or spinal cord progressively. It can occur at any time of life.
Human epidemiology and laboratory animal experiments suggest that green tea drinking may help protect the brain as we age. It may explain why Asians have lower rates of age-related neurological disorders than Europeans or Americans. Because of its antioxidant activity, green tea is suggested to protect body from neurodegenerative diseases caused by free radical and stress, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer, and stroke.
Some studies also suggest that green tea’s EGCG capacity to bind with iron in blood also contribute to the neuroprotective effect. As we age, iron accumulates progressively in brain, as well as in area that are affected by neurodegenerative diseases.
Iron is a essential minerals for our body. But in the excessive amounts, it can put our health to risk. The bond of EGCG and iron is insoluble in blood, so it is less well-absorbed by body and will be eliminated.
13. Digestive health
Our intestine has many microflora that help to digest food. The microflora are affected by external factors like our diet. A study shows that green tea polyphenols keep low levels of Clostridia perfringens (associated with food poisoning) and Clostridia difficile (associated with bacteria infected-diarrhoea) but doesn’t change the other microflora level significantly.
Green tea is also can be used to cure insect stings due to its anti-inflammatory effects and its capacity to stop bleeding. Some studies have suggested green tea consumption can decrease the risk of kidney stone formation. The antioxidant properties of green tea can also helps protect eye lenses, thus prevent cataract. There’s also a report that green tea has beneficial effects in alcohol intoxication. You may also read about Health Benefits of Red Date Tea
Green Tea Benefits for Beauty
Here are more benefits of green tea:
1. Ultraviolet protection to skin
A human study reported that a topical application of EGCG prior to exposure to UV light can prevent damage on the skin. The effects is expected comes from the anti-inflammation and free radicals scavenging activity of green tea. However, green tea does not block UV light so it’s important to use it with the other sunscreen.
2. Aging skin problem
Like mentioned above, green tea antioxidant properties can help solve aging skin problem. In a study, green tea can improve moderate skin damage resulted in improved skin elasticity. You may also read about Health Benefits of Beets for Skin Care
3. Acne problem and other skin conditions
The anti-inflammatory properties can be used to treat skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and inflammatory lesions. Green tea cream also has been found to improve skin complexion with fewer cases of dry skin or itching.
4. Deodorizing effect
We usually don’t like the unpleasant odor that comes out of mouth after eating some foods such as fish, garlic or after smoking tobacco.
There’s a study using green tea candy that was given to people after eating garlic. After 4 minutes, the sensory test shows that the smell reduced from strong smell to no smell.
Freshly brewed green tea can be used as a toner. It’s a gentle exfoliant (lifting the dead skin cells) so our faces can become brighter. We can make it as a spray, splash, or make it as ice cubes to give cool sensation.
If we want to use the ice cubes, put the brewed green tea in freezer until it’s frozen. Let it a little bit melted before use or wrap it in clean cloth then wipe gently over the cleansed face.
A spritzer made with green tea and mineral water also can be used to freshen the face, treat minor cuts, soothe sunburn, or reduce swelling.
Daily Consumption Recommendation
- Children. Green tea has not been studied in children, so it is not recommended for children.
- Adults. For every purpose, the maximal intake of green tea is varying. But to maximize the health benefits of green tea safely, 2 to 3 cups daily is recommended by University of Maryland Medical Center. It gives you 240 to 320 milligrams of polyphenols. The amount of green tea extract supplements that is recommended is 100 to 750 milligrams per day. Choose caffeine free green tea supplements when possible to avoid the undesirable side effects.
Homemade Green Tea Preparations for Beauty
Other than beverage and supplements, we can use green tea for beauty purpose. Theanine can helps to soothe and calm the skin. Caffeine and EGCG can protects the skin from UV radiation-induced damage and skin cancer formation.
There are many beauty products that contain green tea extract or beauty salons that offer beauty treatment with green tea. But we can make it ourself, it’s easy and cheaper. Here some easy homemade preparations to help you dealing with skin problem.
1. Basic green tea toner
- Add 1 green tea bag or 2 tbsp loose green tea leaves into 1 cup (200 ml) of hot water.
- Wait for 5 minutes.
- Pour the tea into closed container or spray bottle. If you used green tea leaves, filter it first.
- Add essential oils that you like or based on your skin type. It’s optional. You can add it or not. Lavender oil can be used for all skin type and has relaxing effect. For oily skin you can use rosemary or peppermint oil. For acne, try tea tree oil.
- Apply the green tea toner to face and neck 2 times per day. This may be done by dabbing it on skin with cotton ball or just spritz the skin if you use spray bottle. Do not rinse.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to approximately 3 days.
- After 3 days, make a new one.
- If you want, you can also make it as ice cube like mentioned above. When your skin is sunburned you can wrap the ice cube in clothes or let it a little bit melted than wipe it in your skin.
2. Green tea facial mask
- Open the green tea bags after you use it.
- Empty the content into a small cup and add a tbsp of honey, half tbsp of lemon, and the white of an egg to make it into a paste. If you don’t like the smell of the white of egg, you can change it with plain yoghurt.
- Clean your face before apply the paste.
- Apply the paste and leave it on for fifteen minutes.
- It can also be used as scrub. Just scrubbing it slowly in your face when it is half dry.
- Rinse it off with warm water first to open the pores so the dirts can come out.
- Rinse again with cold water to close the pores.
- Do it once a week.
3. Green tea refreshing splash
- Prepare hot green tea and let it cool.
- Pour some tea from into your hand.
- Splash it all over your face repeatedly until there’s no more tea.
- Rinse it off.
4. Green tea facial cleanser
- Pour hot water over green teabag. Cut it open and empty its content into a small cup.
- Put 2 tablespoons (doesn’t have to be exact) of your cleanser into the cup.
- Mix it together.
- Spread it in your face. Leave it for 5 minutes.
- Rinse off.
5. Green tea hair tonic
- Steep 5 tbsp or 5 bags of green tea in 4 cups of hot water and let it for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, you can wash your hair.
- After washing your hair, rinse with brewed green tea. Leave it for 10 minutes.
- Rinse it with cool water.
- Do 2 or 3 times a week.
It will make your hair healthy, shiny, and free from scalp problems like dandruff, psoriasis, or even baldness.
If you continue to use green tea and make it a daily routine, you will have refresh and clean skin. You are going to feel your skin softer. Drinking green tea every day will also help to brighten your complexion.
Weight Loss Experience: Good News From Green Tea
Many people try to lose their weight but it’s always fail. It’s because they are too focus on the goal of weight loss. They also want to get instance result. It makes people try many ways (including the not healthy one) to get their weight lose.
Try to setting the right goals (get the normal weight, not the skinny one). Focus on lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, watching portion sizes, and being physically active are much more effective than take excessive dietary supplement and food restriction.
The good news is, you can add on green tea in your healthy meal plan. As reported by thenewdaily.com.au, an Australian obesity researcher, Dr. Nick Fuller from University of Sydney, has reviewed 11 of the most common diet pills on the market. He examined the scientific evidence of guarana, acai berry, aloe vera, caffeine, ginseng, green tea, guar gum, chitosan, cayenne pepper, white bean extract, and eucommia leaves.
The review is given because of recent warnings of potential liver and kidney damage from the use of over-the-counter weight loss remedies. From all of the diet supplements that be reviewed, only green tea had the best evidence and was the only product worth buying.
“Of the ones that were reviewed, the evidence does suggest that maybe green tea in its natural form is something that’s a simple and easy and hopefully safer method that may aid with weight management,” he told The New Daily (sic).
Dr. Fuller suggests that green tea should be consumed as drinkable tea, not as an extract or supplement if we want to use it for weight loss.
When we grows old, our metabolisms slow down. The EGCG in green tea renowned for boosting metabolisms hence helps to burn fat. The effect is increased along with routine exercises and control in daily calories intake from our diet.
Here are some tips that you should pay attention for success weight loss with green tea:
- Avoid buying green teas with any added sugar or artificial sweeteners. If you already use green tea without any additional sugars or flavors, don’t add sugar to your prepared green tea. It will add more calories and instead of getting your weight loss, you’ll maybe gain weights.
- You can drink green tea iced or hot. A study found that there is no significant difference in green tea’s content either it’s hot or cold.
- The brands are really matter. Choose the trustworthy brand that will serve you with high quality green tea leaves without any unnecessary artificial additives.
Green Tea Weight Loss Program
Thus, there are many benefits of green tea for health. Green tea weight loss program is an easy one to follow. Please, keep in your mind to get the ideal weight, not the skinny one.
Don’t think to get your normal weight hastily. The safe weight loss in one week is between 1-2 lb. Enjoy the process of healthy lifestyle and then you will be surprised by the change. Here we present you steps for lose weight with green tea weigh loss program.
1. Replace your usual morning coffee with green tea.
For first try, you can still have your coffee but limit it just one cup a day. After drink your morning coffee, follow that with a cup of green tea. Gradually, skip your morning coffee.
2. Restrict the addition of green tea with sugar.
Maybe at first you don’t like the taste of green tea and want to add some taste to it. But it will give you better weight loss result if you don’t add sugar. According to a study, you still can add 1 teaspoon of sugar to a cup (6-8 oz or 200 ml) of green tea.
3. Avoid alcoholic beverages consumption.
Some people are drinking alcoholic beverages for health reasons. Red wine for example, are known for its resveratrol content which has antioxidant properties. But green tea contains far more antioxidants than red wine and EGCG in green tea has been found to be twice as powerful as resveratrol in red wine.
Drinking alcoholic beverages can also stimulate your appetite and make you want to eat more. While the EGCG in green tea are known for suppressing appetite effect.
4. Calories intake control
The most important thing in weight loss program is calories intake control. Obesity and overweight programs come when calories intake and expenditure are not balance. Usually, excessive calories intake come from high sugar and fat foods consumptiom.
However, we still need carbohydrate and fat to obtain energy. Weight loss program doesn’t mean we don’t need it anymore.
Fat is produce more energy than carbohydrate and protein. 1 gram of fat equal to 9 kcal energy, while carbohydrate and protein each equal to 4 kcal energy.
To control your calories intake, you must pay attention to many factors, such as age, gender, body mass index, and activity. That 4 factors is the main keys to determine how much calories you may take in one day.
You can use any calorie calculator online.
- For example, for 25-year-old woman with BMI 29 and sedentary lifestyle, you need 1,894 calories/day to maintain your weight; 1,394 calories/day to lose 1 lb/week and 894 calories to lose 2 lb/week.
- But if you are lightly active (doing exercise 1-3 times a week), you need 2,170 calories/day to maintain your weight; 1,670 calories/day to lose 1 lb/week and 1,170 calories to lose 2 lb/week.
- If you are moderately active (doing exercise 3-5 times a week), you need 2,446 calories/day to maintain your weight; 1,946 calories/day to lose 1 lb/week and 1,446 calories to lose 2 lb/week.
It appears that it’s easier to balance the calories intake control along with exercise. Without exercise, you must eat less and it’s usually make weight loss program fail because of starving. You can do exercise for 30 minutes 3-5 times a week.
Balanced food intake, contains of 60% carbohydrates, 15-25% of proteins, and 15-25% of fat. Let’s assume that we use combination of 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 15% of fat.
Based on calculation above, if a 25-year-old woman with BMI 29, moderately active, and want to lose weight 2 lbs a week, then she should eat about 1,446 calories per day. She gets 867,6 calories from carbohydrates; 361,5 calories from proteins, and 216,9 calories from fat.
If we divide it into three times meal, then in one meal, she should eat 289,2 calories carbohydrates; 120,5 from proteins; and 72,3 calories from fat.
Here is example breakfast menu: 5 oz roasted salmon (with 1 tbsp of olive oil to roast it), 1 cup of oatmeal, 2-3 cup of (16-24 oz) mixed salad greens, 1 apple or pear, and don’t forget 1 cup of green tea.
For menu inspiration, you can check in the recipe in food and beverages. Here we give you food calories table from Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health to guide you how to choose food See : Food and Drinks Calories List.
Green Tea Food and Beverages Recipes
People are always discuss about green tea benefits in health and beauty. But don’t forget that green tea can also be a yummy foods or beverages. Green tea has strong aroma and taste that many people like. No wonder many people try give that aroma and taste in their foods or beverages.
Here we choose for you some easy recipes from appetizer, main course, dessert, and drink to follow. We try to give the healthy recipe yet delicious so there is no need to worry for you who are in weight loss program.
1. Appetizer: Green Tea Chicken Soup
When people got common cold, they usually eat chicken soup to boost their immune system and give warm feeling to body. When green tea—which has antiviral properties and also an immune booster— is added to the soup, it will give the body ‘double’ immune boosters in a one delicious meal. Added by chili flakes that give it spicy taste, it will help you being able to sweat and cure your common cold fast. You can also add it in your weight loss program. Spicy food is renowned to help burn fat too.
- 1,25 litres water
- 4 green tea bags
- 1 stalk lemon grass, sliced
- 1 small head sliced green cabbage
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 500 g chicken
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp grounded black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
- Place the chicken in a large saucepan and add 1,25 litres water.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, skim off foam that rises to the top. Wait until 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
- Turn off the heat, move the chicken to a bowl and let it to be cool.
- Add tea bags and lemon grass into broth, steep for 15 minutes.
- Remove the solids.
- Bring it up to a simmer and add green cabbage, carrot, salt, chili flakes (if using) and pepper; cook for ten minutes or until the carrot is tender.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken and put it back into broth.
- Add sesame oil; heat for two minutes.
2. Main Course: Green Tea Roasted Salmon (which is very easy but tasty)
With its high protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D content, salmon and green tea is a healthy (and tasty) blend.
- Salmon fillets
- 2 green tea bags
- Olive oil
- Open the green tea bags and sprinkle the green tea on all sides of the salmon.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper for seasoning and make sure the salmon is coated on all sides evenly.
- Pour a small amount of olive oil into a frying pan over a medium heat.
- Fry the salmon until it is golden brown then turn it on the other sides.
- Serve hot. You can eat it with rice, noodle, add it with lemon sauce, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, or anything you want.
3. Dessert: Green Tea Crepe
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk (almond, soy, or skim)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp powdered green tea
- Low fat butter or olive oil
- Mix all ingredients for 10 seconds in blender.
- Keep the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour to get rid of the bubbles that can make the crepe likely tears during cooking.
- Heat a small pan on medium high. Add low fat butter or olive oil to coat the pan.
- Pour 1 scoop of batter into the pan and spread evenly. Cook about 2 minutes or until the bottom is light brown.
- Flip with spatula and cook the other side.
- Serve hot. You can put sliced fruits, honey, low sugar jam, anything you like then roll it or just let it flat.
Remember that if you are in weight loss program, don’t use too much sugar or artificial sweeteners. We try to give you recipe that don’t use too much sweetener or high in fat.
4. Drinks: Green Tea Vanilla Smoothies
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup milk (almond, soy, or skim)
- 2 tbsp powdered green tea
- Vanilla essence or vanilla powder
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Honey (optional)
- Blend everything together.
- Add honey if you want.
- Taste and adjust until you like the taste.
5. Drinks: Iced Mint Green Tea
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp powdered green tea
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 1 pc lime
- A handful of mint leaves
- Honey (optional)
- Add water and green tea powder in a shaker and shake until there are no lumps.
- Add the ice, a squeeze of lime, a handful of mint leaves and shake it again.
- Add honey if you want.
- Pour into glasses.
6. Drinks: Green Tea Frappuccino
- 1 cup milk (almond, soy, or skim)
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1/2 tsp powdered green tea
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Blend everything together.
- Serve immediately.
7. Drinks: Green Tea Latte
- 1 cup milk (almond, soy, or skim)
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tsp powdered green tea
- 2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or stevia (optional)
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- Blend everything together about 1 minute.
- Serve immediately.
Powdered green tea are known as matcha. Matcha is made by grinding tea leaves into a fine powder. Commercial matcha is divided into three grades.
- First, ceremonial grade, the highest grade. It’s best for drinking and not recommended to be used in any foods.
- Second, premium grade, it’s easier to find. You can use it for both drinking and cooking.
- Third, ingredient grade or cooking matcha. It’s the cheapest and is used for both drinking and cooking. This grade is has stronger flavor so it can compete with the other flavors in foods and beverages.
Make sure to purchase matcha from trusted sources. Matcha should be in tin containers or sealed packages (the dark one), not in see-through containers, because it’s sensitive to heat and light. After open it, keep it refrigerated to prevent it from being oxidized and lose its flavor and nutrition.
The signs if matcha is oxidized are hay-like smell and brownish-green color. After being opened, it’s suggested not to use it longer than four to six weeks to get the optimum freshness and taste. Exciting, isn’t it? There are so many informations of green tea in this article that is too good to pass up.
Potential Side Effect and Caution
Like drugs, although green tea has many health and beauty benefits, it’s also has side effects. Especially when being consumed in very high quantities regularly. The main ingredients that induce green tea’s side effects are caffeine, aluminum, and polyphenols. Here are the list of green tea’s potential side effects and cautions.
1. The caffeine effects
Caffeines in green tea are less than in black tea or coffee. But it’s enough to cause undesirable side effects, such as insomnia, restlessness, tremors, and upset stomach when being consumed more than five cups per day. Caffeine tolerance and reactions vary from person to person.
We can avoid these side effects by drinking green tea about 2-3 cups daily or drinking decaf green tea. Yes, it’s not only coffee which can be decaffeinated, green tea does too.
2. Iron deficiency anemia
Tannins in a green tea can bind with non-heme iron in the body. Iron is essential nutrient for our body because it is an essential component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in blood to the tissues. When the tissues don’t get enough oxygen, it will lead to the death of cells and later the tissues itself, creating an unbalanced body functions.
Iron is not produced by our body so it is acquired from our diets. Heme iron, which is easier to be absorbed by our body, can be found in meat, poultry, and seafood. Non heme iron, which is less well absorbed, can be found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts.
The bond of tannins and non-heme iron is irresolvable, causing the iron hard to be absorbed in the body. This obstacle with iron absorption can causes iron deficit anemia. Iron deficit anemia can cause the feelings of weakness, shortness of breath, irritability, headaches, and irregular heartbeat. This bond will also make the antioxidant properties of green tea’s reduced.
For people who are prescribed iron supplements because of health conditions like anemia or irritable bowel syndrome, it’s recommended to avoid drinking green tea.
It’s recommended that we also eat food that rich in vitamin C when we consume green tea frequently. Vitamin C can increases iron absorption hence help us to avoid the iron deficiency. Vitamin C are high in food such as are orange, lemon, grapefruit, papaya, strawberry, guava, cantaloupe, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
It’s also suggested to not consume food rich in non-heme iron with green tea to avoid the reduction of antioxidant properties caused by the bond. Food that have high content of non-heme iron for example are spinach, tomato, asparagus, potato, apricot, beet, kale, green pea, and grains products.
However, drinking green tea may be benefits people with high level of iron in their blood as it can reduce the risk of iron-associated disease that can affect heart and liver.
3. Folate deficiency
EGCG can interfere with folate use in cells. Folate is needed in DNA production and prevention of DNA modification by the cancer cells. Folate also helps to make red blood cells, prevent anemia, and protect against heart disease. It is important to be aware of green tea intake to prevent folate deficiency.
4. Dehydration and electrolyte disproportion
Like coffee, green tea is a natural diuretic (stimulate to urinate) beacuse of its caffeine content. Drinking more than five cups/day of green tea can cause excessive urination leading to dehydration and unbalanced electrolyte in body. Dehydration can also leads to headaches, lethargy, changed heart rate, and distress. Avoid being dehydrated by drink 8 glass of waters a day.
5. Interfere with medication, herbs, or supplements
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea can disturb the absorption and effects of certain medications. This can decrease or increase the effects of medications, which could put your health at risk. Some medications that might be affected include are:
- MAOI inhibitors such as isocarboxazid, moclobemide, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine. MAOI inhibitors is used to treat depression. If green tea is consumed by patient who also consume MAOI inhibitor, it will increase blood pressure leading to hypertensive crisis. It’s extremely high blood pressure. The top number (systolic pressure) can reach 180 mm Hg or higher or a bottom number (diastolic pressure) of 120 mm Hg or higher. It can damage the blood vessel and leading to stroke.
- Lithium, medication used to treat bipolar disorder. Green tea can reduce blood levels of lithium and make lithium less effective.
- Adenosine, medication used to treat irregular heartbeat. Green tea may inhibit the adenosine actions.
- Blood thinners such as warfarin and aspirin. The drug is given to people with blood clotting problem that can trigger stroke or heart disease. Green tea contains vitamin K that can triggers blood clotting hence disturb the blood thinners effect and risk the patient’s health.
- Benzodiazepines such as diazepam used to treat anxiety. Caffeine in green tea, may reduce the sedative effects of these medications.
- Beta-blockers such as propranolol and metoprolol used to treat hypertension and heart disease. Caffeine in green tea may increase blood pressure in people taking propranolol or metoprolol.
- Chemotherapy. Like mentioned above, there is still conflict whether green tea can help cancer patients or not. For safety reason, cancer patients should consult to their doctors before drinking green tea or taking green tea extracts while undergoing chemotherapy.
- Beta-lactam antibiotics (amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephalosporin, cefixime, etc) and quinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, etc). Green tea may increase the effectiveness of antibiotics but that means you must be aware of increased side effects.
6. Tooth staining
Tannins in green tea may cause tooth staining. Adding milk to tea can help to prevent it. The casein—main protein in milk—will make complex with tannins in tea. Adding milk is even more effective than use whitening toothpaste. But, this can also reduce the protein that can be absorbed from milk by the body.
7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are suggested drink less than two cups green tea per day, because caffeine can increase the heart rate.
Caffeine can crosses the placenta and get to fetal blood and tissue levels in the same concentrations as the mother. Excessive caffeine intake (greater than 600 mg/day, about 12 cups of green tea or maybe from the other source like coffee or drug) has been weakly associated with increased fetal death, low birth weight, premature birth, an increase in fetal breathing activity, and a reduction in baseline fetal heart rate. Caffeine also can appears in the milk of breastfeeding mothers.
There are reports of hepatotoxicity after consumin dietary pills containing green tea extract, causing the withdrawal of a particular green tea product in France and Spain. This hepatotoxity cases usually linked with the use of green tea extracts in supplements (not green tea as a beverage). A review found possible causality due to EGCG or its metabolism product. Onset of toxicity occurred within 3 months in 70% of cases.
Now that you know many benefits of green tea and how to avoid its side effects, why not try to drink it regularly, use it on skin and in food-beverage as well? Let’s try it and see what miracle can happen to us!