Green tea: Elegant drink and health benefits

Green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. Please join to discover the most interesting and useful things about this cool drink!

Other than herbal and floral drinks, all true teas (which connoisseurs call tisanes) are made from the leaves of an evergreen plant, botanically known as Camellia sinensis. In the wild, tea trees can grow up to 9 meters tall, but in tea plantations (tea gardens or tea estates), tea is grown as a shrub, regularly pruned to only about 90cm tall for rapid leaf growth and easy to harvest.

Origin of the tea plant (tea)

Nguồn gốc của cây trà (chè)

The tea plant only grows in warm climates, but can thrive at altitudes from sea level to more than 2,100 meters. However, premium teas are produced from tea plants grown at higher altitudes, where the leaves mature more slowly and provide a richer flavor. Depending on the altitude, a young tea tree can take between two and a half to five years to reach harvest age. But once mature enough, it can provide tea leaves for hundreds of years.

A relative of the camellia plant, the tea tree has numerous foliage, camellia-like flowers, and berries containing one or two seeds. Only the smallest, youngest parts of the plant – the two leaves and the bud at the tip of each new bud – are picked to make tea. New shoots sprout weekly with low-altitude tea plants, but take several weeks at higher elevations. Fresh tea leaves are hand-picked by tea pickers. A good picker can harvest 20kg per day, enough to make 5kg of tea.

All tea plants belong to the same species of Camellia sinensis, but local growing conditions (altitude, climate, soil, etc.) However, the way the leaves are processed plays a more important role in developing the distinct characteristics of the three key teas: green tea, black tea, and oolong tea.

The difference between green tea, black tea and oolong tea

Sự khác nhau giữa trà xanh, trà đen và trà Oolong

Green tea is the least processed tea, thus providing the most antioxidant polyphenols, especially a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is responsible for most of the health benefits. related to green tea.

People process green tea by quickly steaming freshly picked tea leaves so that the leaves are soft, flexible and do not ferment or change color. After steaming, they roll up the leaves, then spread them out and “fire” (hot air-dried or pan-fried) until the tea leaves are crispy. The finished tea will have a green, slightly astringent color, close to the flavor of fresh leaves.

For black tea, the tea leaves are first spread on a rack and blown with air, which removes about a third of the moisture and makes the leaves soft and supple. Next, the leaves are rolled to break down the cell walls, releasing the water needed for fermentation. Again, the leaves are spread out and kept at a high humidity to promote fermentation, which gives the leaves a dark copper color and exudes the distinctive flavor of black tea. Finally, the leaves are “fired” to create a dark brown tea, steeped in hot water to a reddish brown tea with a stronger flavor than green or oolong tea.

Oolong tea is made from partially fermented leaves before being fired, between the two types of green and black tea. Oolong tea has a greenish-brown color, and the flavor, color and aroma are darker than green tea but more subtle than black tea.

Green tea and caffeine

Trà xanh và caffeine

Green tea contains caffeine. The amount of caffeine in a cup of tea will vary depending on the amount of tea you use, the length of time the leaves infuse, and the first or second steeping. Most of the caffeine in green tea is extracted into the first brewing water. The table below compares the average amount of caffeine found in tea, other caffeinated beverages, and chocolate.

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There are very few studies in the published literature comparing the caffeine content of green and black tea. A recent study measured the caffeine content of tea grounds – a method that allows to control for any confounding variables related to brewing technique that could affect the caffeine content of the final tea product.

This study found that the caffeine content of 1g of black tea ranged from 22 to 28mg, while the caffeine content of 1g of green tea ranged from 11 to 20mg, reflecting a significant difference. (Please note that not all caffeine from tea leaves is extracted into the tea, so these numbers only provide the relative difference in caffeine intake between black and green tea, not the amount.) absolutely contained in each drink).

Drinks Water type Caffeine (mg/portion)
Tea Green, Black, Oolong 50mg/190ml
Tea 20 – 45mg/250ml
Black 47mg/250ml
The coffee Phase 100 – 115mg/190ml
Pack 75mg/190ml
Soft drink Regular and sugar-free 11 – 70mg/lon 330ml
Energy drink All types 28 – 87mg/250ml
Chocolate Bar 5,5 – 35,5mg/thanh 50g

10 amazing benefits of green tea

10 lợi ích tuyệt vời của trà xanh

Green tea is considered one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. Tea contains many healthy antioxidants, including:

  • Improve brain function
  • Melt fat
  • Protect the body against cancer
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease

1. Contains healthy bioactive compounds

The polyphenols in green tea are natural compounds with health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer.

Green tea contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This is a natural antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage and provides other benefits.

These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals play a role in aging and many diseases.

EGCG is one of the most potent compounds in green tea. Research has tested this substance’s ability to aid in the treatment of various diseases. This appears to be one of the main compounds that give green tea its healing properties.

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are beneficial to your health. Choose a high-quality brand of tea, as lower-quality varieties can contain more fluoride.

2. May improve brain function

Green tea not only keeps you awake, but it can also help boost brain function. The key active ingredient is caffeine. Tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee, but enough to induce a reaction without the jittery effects associated with consuming too much caffeine.

Caffeine affects the brain by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. In this way, it increases the firing of nerve cells and the concentration of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

Research has consistently shown that caffeine can improve various aspects of brain function, including mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory.

However, caffeine isn’t the only brain-boosting compound in green tea. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine.

L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and alpha wave production in the brain.

Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can go a long way, meaning that a combination of the two can have a particularly powerful effect on improving brain function.

Due to the presence of L-theanine and a small amount of caffeine, green tea gives you a much lighter and different feeling than coffee. Many people say they have more stable energy and work more efficiently when drinking green tea, rather than coffee.

3. Increase fat burning

If you look at the ingredient list of any fat-burning supplement, chances are green tea will be on it.

This is because, according to research, green tea can enhance fat burning and increase metabolic rate.

In a study of 10 healthy men, taking green tea extract increased calorie burn by 4%. In another study with 12 healthy men, green tea extract increased fat oxidation by 17%, compared with those given a placebo.

However, some studies on green tea did not show any increase in metabolism. Therefore, the possible effects depend on the individual and how the study was set up.

Caffeine may also improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from adipose tissue and using them for energy.

Two separate review studies reported that caffeine can increase physical performance by 11-12%.

4. Antioxidants in green tea may reduce the risk of certain cancers

Chất chống oxy hóa trong trà xanh có thể làm giảm nguy cơ mắc một số bệnh ung thư

Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

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Research has shown that oxidative damage can lead to chronic inflammation and chronic diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants can help protect against oxidative damage.

Green tea is a powerful source of antioxidants. Research has linked compounds in green tea with a reduced risk of cancer, including the following:

  • Breast cancer: A comprehensive review of observational studies found that women who drank the most green tea had a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Prostate cancer: One study observed that men who drank green tea had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer: An analysis of 29 studies found that green tea drinkers were about 42% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.

Many observational studies indicate that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, but more high-quality studies are needed to confirm these effects.

To get the most health benefits, avoid adding milk to your tea. Some studies suggest that milk may reduce the antioxidant value of some teas.

5. Can protect the brain from aging

Green tea not only improves brain function in the short term, but also protects it as you age.

Alzheimer’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia in older adults.

Parkinson’s disease is another common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain.

Some studies suggest that the catechin compounds in green tea may have multiple neuroprotective effects in test tubes and animal models, reducing the risk of dementia.

6. Can reduce bad breath

The catechins in green tea are also beneficial for oral health.

Test-tube research shows that catechins can suppress the growth of bacteria, potentially reducing the risk of infection.

Streptococcus mutans is a common bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque formation and is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Studies indicate that catechins in green tea can inhibit bacterial growth, but there is no evidence that drinking green tea has the same effect. However, some evidence suggests that green tea may reduce bad breath.

7. Green tea may help prevent type 2 diabetes

The incidence of type 2 diabetes has been increasing in recent decades. The condition currently affects about 1 in 10 Americans.

Type 2 diabetes involves elevated blood sugar levels, which can be caused by insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. A study in Japan found that green tea drinkers had an approximately 42 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of developing diabetes.

8. May help prevent cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the leading causes of death worldwide. Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases, including improving total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Green tea also increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, which helps protect LDL particles from oxidation, which is part of the pathway to heart disease.

Given these beneficial effects on risk factors, it’s not surprising that green tea drinkers have up to a 31 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

9. Can help you lose weight

Green tea can boost your metabolic rate in the short term, helping you lose weight.

Several studies show that green tea reduces body fat, especially in the abdominal area. One of these 12-week randomized controlled studies involved 240 people with obesity.

In this study, people in the green tea group experienced a significant reduction in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference, and belly fat compared to those in the control group.

However, some studies did not show a statistically significant increase in weight loss with green tea. Therefore, scientists need to perform further studies to confirm this effect.

10. Green tea can help you live longer

Trà xanh có thể giúp bạn sống lâu hơn

Certain compounds in green tea may help protect against cancer and heart disease, which means you’ll live longer.

In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults over 11 years, those who drank the most green tea – 5 cups or more per day – were significantly less likely to die during the study period.

  • All-cause mortality: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men.
  • Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men.
  • Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.

Another study involving 14,001 older Japanese adults found that those who drank a lot of green tea had a 76% lower risk of death over the six-year study period.

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How to choose and store green tea

When buying green tea, if possible, ask to taste the tea before you choose. Most high-quality teas, when steeped in hot water, will have a pale green to yellow-green color.

Leaf tea

To test for freshness, crush some tea leaves and smell the aroma. The freshest, most intensely flavored tea will have a grassy aroma and aroma.

Tea bag

To test the freshness of a tea bag, remove the tea from the bag, place the empty bag in a cup, pour hot water over it, and steep for 2-3 minutes. If the cup of water is white and tastes like regular filtered water, then this is probably a fresh tea bag. If the water to soak the bag (without tea) has a taste of tea, it means that the tea is old and the paper has absorbed the flavor.

30g tea can make 15-30 cups. Therefore, the best way to ensure the tea is always fresh is to buy small quantities, at most 50-100g. To preserve the freshness and flavor of both leaf tea and tea bags, store tea in an airtight, opaque container away from light, moisture, and other food odors.

Dark glass or ceramic containers are best; Tin cans often leak where the solder joints are. Use a small box just enough for the amount of tea you store. If the box is too big and the amount of tea is small, the tea leaves exposed to the air in the empty box will continue to oxidize.

It is best to store tea in a dark, cool and dry cabinet. Tea stored in the refrigerator is susceptible to moisture and odors from other foods. In addition, water condensation that occurs when defrosting frozen tea can damage the tea.

How to make tea properly

Pha trà sao cho đúng cách

Green tea needs to be handled gently, the same way you would with fresh green leafy vegetables.

Spring water is the ideal choice for making tea, followed by filtered water. You should not use distilled water because the brewed tea will have no taste, because the minerals in the water are removed, which is essential to bring out the flavor of the tea.

To make leaf tea, you follow the dosage of 3g tea with 90ml of water if mixed in a small pot, 4g of tea with 235ml of water when mixed in other containers.

When making leaf tea, keep in mind that a teaspoon of small, concentrated leaves will weigh much more than a teaspoon of larger leaves.

Boiling water is used to make black tea and oolong tea, while green tea requires a much lower temperature (160 – 170°F, 79 – 85°C) and should be brewed for a shorter time.

Bring the water to a boil just enough to release oxygen, then let it cool a bit before pouring it into the teapot. If you are new to estimating water temperature, you can use a thermometer.

Brewing the tea for 30 seconds to 1 minute is ideal. However, Nilgiri and Darjeeling green tea can take a few minutes, and Chinese Dragonwell tea tastes best in 6-7 minutes.

Although good quality tea leaves will sink to the bottom after soaking, it is recommended to pour the tea through a small strainer, if the tea pot does not have a sieve attached.

Green tea isn’t just for drinking!

You can use green tea in the following delicious ways:

  • Brew green tea with thinly sliced ​​ginger and lemon or mint sprigs. Add a teaspoon of honey to a cup, stir well and serve hot or cold.
  • Brew green tea with hot vanilla flavored soy milk, sprinkle with some cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger.
  • Mix 1-2 teaspoons of green tea with about 250ml of cold water, leave for 20-30 minutes for the water to infuse the tea flavor without being bitter. Add to stir-fries, sauces, soups, marinades, salad dressings.
  • Cook Japanese udon noodles in green tea for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and soak the noodles in the tea until cool. Drain the noodles, mix with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Add thinly sliced ​​tofu, scallions, mushrooms and finely chopped coriander, serve on a plate to enjoy.
  • Soak pears in green tea with thinly sliced ​​fresh ginger. Pear stew with honey and a sprig of fresh mint.
  • Mix cooled green tea with fruit juice, such as peach or pineapple. Add sweetness with a teaspoon of honey. Puree the mixture, add ice cubes.

In addition to paying attention to nutrition, you also need to pay attention to exercise to improve health. Don’t know how to start exercising? Download now to connect with professional coaches. They will help you map out a reasonable exercise plan that’s right for your fitness and needs. You can practice with the trainers anytime, anywhere.

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