When volunteers were given green tea, they experienced almost immediate benefits.
Other studies have shown that black tea also has benefits for cardiovascular health. However, green tea might be even better because it had higher quantities of beneficial compounds called flavonoids, some of which are lost in the oxidation process that black tea undergoes.
Flavonoids are also found in cocoa, tomatoes and grapes.. Other than water, high-quality green tea is one of the most beneficial beverages you can consume. The evidence just keeps pouring in as to why you should pour yourself a cup of this green drink.
Green tea catechins are a class of polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants. The health benefits of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) -- the main active component of tea polyphenol's biological activity – are plentiful, including the prevention of:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- High blood lipid
- Cerebral thrombus
- Prostate cancer
- Heart attack and stroke
Because green tea is the least processed tea, it contains the most EGCG of all tea varieties.
Are All Green Teas Healthy?
Absolutely not! Many green teas have been oxidized, and this process may take away many of the valuable properties. The easiest sign to look for when evaluating a green tea’s quality is its color: if your green tea is actually brown, it’s likely been oxidized.
When I drink green tea, I prefer matcha tea, and the color is a vibrant bright green and it is far less processed and of much higher quality than most green teas.
If you’re not familiar with tea you may have never heard of matcha tea. Rather than being steeped and strained like typical tea, matcha tea is made of tea leaves ground into a powder, and the powder gets added right into the water.
Because you are actually consuming the whole leaf, matcha tea is said to be one of the healthiest green teas out there.
Another thing to watch out for is purity. High-quality teas should be free of the potentially high levels of fluoride, lead, and aluminum that can be found in inferior green tea.
How Much Tea Can I Drink?!
There is a misconception that it takes pot upon pot of green tea to add up to any significant benefits. In reality, much of the research on green tea has been based on about three cups daily, including the study linked above. A cup of green tea will give you anywhere from 20-35 mg of EGCG, so three in a day will supply you with 60-105 mg. There are some studies that have used much higher doses than this -- upwards of 1,500 mg a day -- but as of now there’s now clear-cut evidence of exactly how much is best.
My advice? If you enjoy green tea, add a few cups to your day. And as always, listen to your body. If green tea doesn’t appeal to you, it’s probably not the best thing for your body.