Benefits of Green Tea, Matcha, Black Tea and White Tea
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Note: Only the effects of tea that
is made from the plant Camellia sinensis (namely black tea, oolong tea,
green tea and white tea) are discussed here .
What is Matcha ?
Matcha is powdered green tea and is
the highest quality of green tea. Matcha can be consumed by dissolving
it in hot water, or blending it with cold milk or soy to make a refreshing
drink for a hot day.
The difference between matcha and loose
green tea is that matcha has higher concentrations of catechins and
vitamins as the whole tea leaf is consumed since the tea leaves are
stone ground completely to produce matcha.
There are two types of matcha : thick
tea and thin tea. Thick tea is of a higher quality than thin tea.
Thick tea is made up of the young tea leaves of older tea plants ; thin
tea contains the young tea leaves of the younger tea plants.
Preserving the Freshness of Matcha
Always store your matcha in the freezer
in an air-tight container or plastic bag. To make matcha for consumption,
let the matcha reach room temperature, pour hot water and then strain
the matcha through a fine sieve.
Health Benefits of Green Tea or Matcha
Anti- Cancer Properties
Many studies suggest that green tea
protects against a variety of cancers such as lung, prostate and breast
cancer. Results of a 1994 epidemiological study published in the Journal
of the National Cancer Institute revealed that drinking green tea reduced
the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty
Researchers attribute this anti-cancer
property of green tea to the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
The Hirofumi Tachibana's team at Kyushu University in Japan showed that
the growth of human lung cancer cells with a cell receptor called 67
LR is was inhibited significantly after drinking just two or three cups
of green tea, which contains EGCG.
Another study by the U.S. National Cancer Institute of laboratory animals found that
the catechins found in green tea prevented
oxidants from causing cell damage, and inhibited the growth of tumor
and cancer cells.
Green tea is rich with antioxidants,
which help to reduce free radicals in your body. Free radicals are harmful
by-products of your body metabolism thatcause damage to human cells
and contribute to the ageing process in humans.
According to research conducted by the University of Geneva and the University of Birmingham, green tea increases the body’s metabolic rates and fat oxidation. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.
The catechin polyphenols in
green tea increase thermogenesis, which is the rate at which calories
are burnt. This finding may have contributed to belief that green tea
aid weight loss.
Catechin polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant
found in green tea, deter cancerous growth and protect your heart
against diseases. These antioxidants in green tea lower LDL cholesterol
and regulate your blood pressure. In addition, catechins inhibit the
abnormal formation of blood clots. Thrombosis, which is the formation
of abnormal blood clots is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.
Increases Mental Alertness
Based on the results of human trials
in 2007, theanine in the leaves of green tea reduces tension and stress
by causing your brain to generate more alpha brain waves. This also
has the effect of improving your mental concentration.
Thus, here are a few medical conditions
in which drinking green tea may be beneficial :
* high cholesterol levels
* heart disease
* rheumatoid arthritis
Black tea is a more oxidized version
of tea than the oolong, green, and white teas. Like the other teas,
black tea is made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea tends
to be stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the other teas.
Pure black tea contains negligible
amounts of calories, protein, sodium, and fat.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
The association between tea consumption
and reduced cardiovascular disease was confirmed in a 2001 Boston University
study of black tea consumption over a period of time. Black tea from
the camellia tea plant is rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant which
reduces damage to the human cell, thus protecting your heart and guards
against cancer development. It should be noted that any milk in
tea prevents vascular protective effects of tea, according to a 2006
White tea is made from uncured
and unoxidized tea leaves. White tea tends to have lower caffeine content
as buds and younger tea leaves are used to brew the tea.
White Tea versus Green Tea
White tea was found to have more anti-viral
and anti-bacterial qualities than green tea, according to a study at
Pace University in 2004.
White tea also contains higher levels of catechin levels than green tea, due to its use of young and unfermented tea leaves. The amino acid, theanine, which relieves tension and increases mental alertness, are also present in higher levels of white tea as it is made from bus and young leaves.