Herbal tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, based on a published report in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
And according to studies, drinking it may help reduce one’s risk of Alzheimer’s or heart disease, keep eye diseases away, maintain bone mineral density and promote long life.
What You Should Know about Tea
Tea is a drink made by steeping the leaves, buds or twigs of the Camelia sinensis plant for about five minutes. What determines its color is on how it is fermented. The most fermented type is black tea, but fermentation stops on any tea when it is fully dried.
It has no calories, yet it contains loads of phytochemicals and methylxanthines, a chemical group, including caffeine (but much lower than coffee has). It is why tea is considered a healthier alternative than coffee, especially for its loads of phytonutrients.
Hibiscus and green tea are two of the best antioxidant sources, which may elevate its level in the bloodstream in almost just an hour. But dandelion tea is what contains the most antioxidants among herbal teas.
Most teas come from Camellia sinensis, but there are so many types of teas – each with a distinct aroma, taste and color. Just like coffee, each harvest changes because of rainfall, climate and other weather factors. It is also the reason tea coming from the same garden or plantation taste differently from year to year. Also, a specific harvest may have a different character based on how the leaves are processed.
When a tea is less oxidized, the lighter and gentler it will have regarding aroma and taste. Oppositely, those highly oxidized will result to an earthy fusion or a dark deep reddish brown color.
On the other hand, white teas will normally produce a pale or yellow green drink. However, there are also exceptions, such as in the case of gyokuro, which is the highest grade in green tea that will produce an intense flavor versus the toffee-like drink coming from the Sri Lankan black tea.
But then, it must be noted that infusions, such as linden or chamomile flower, are not real teas because they are not from the Camellia sinensis.
Green Tea Nutritional Information
Until now, green tea’s nutritional value is highly debated, but the experts agree of its awesome health benefits. Check out the following for more about the nutritional value of green tea that you will love.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Memory Loss Prevention
University of Newcastle’s scientists looked into the effects of green and black tea on Alzheimer’s disease and discovered that both could prevent acetylcholine breakdown, which is directly linked with memory. The scientists also discovered that both could inhibit beta-secretase and BuChE, which are the same enzymes in Alzheimer’s disease patients’ brains.
The catechins found in green tea can promote bone mineralization. They can also weaken cellular activities, which reabsorb than form bones.
Brain Cell Protection
Both the epicatechin and flavonoid in green tea may help in improving memory ability, according to a study done by researchers at the Salk Institute in 2007. They also discovered that the epicatechin content of tea could encourage blood vessel growth in the brain.
Green tea may reduce your appetite. Based on certain studies, the antioxidants in green tea, specifically the EGCG, may prevent weight gain and improve metabolism.
Anthocyanidins and flavan-3-ols may aid in normalizing blood sugar levels and improving glycemic control. And due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may also help patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, the EGCG catechins also have anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects.
Vision and Eye Health
Its catechins may aid in eye health because they can prevent vision loss and reduce oxidative damage.
Based on many trials, green tea has anthocyanidin and flavan-3-ols that may provide heart protection. It also has 16 diuretic compounds, 10 beta-blockers and 7 calcium channel blockers, which can help in preventing the risk factors linked with a heart disease, including high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
It is a hydrating drink; in fact, a consumption of up to eight cups a day is recommended for its total hydrating effects. According to the experts, it’s composed of 99% water and is the second choice after water when it comes to body hydration.
There you have what you should know about herbal tea and green tea, including their health benefits and nutrition information. Be sure to have your daily dose and reap all these great rewards for drinking green tea today!