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Green Tea | Numerous Health Benefits

Updated on August 9, 2015
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Health Benefits of Green Tea

It is hard not to be enthused about green tea because of the many medicinal properties.

Over the last decade there have been conclusive studies about the health benefits of green tea and its potential to combat heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, there has been some research on how green tea may help with various health concerns such as:

  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight loss
  • Parkinson's
  • Low blood pressure

Note: There has not been enough research that can support all the possible health benefits of green tea.

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Green Tea Medicinal Properties

The health benefits of green tea come from the antioxidants called catechins. Antioxidants are known to enhance the immune system by helping stop free radicals that damage DNA. These free radicals can contribute to cancer, atherosclerosis and blood clots.

Green tea is also high in flavonoids and polyphenols. In fact, green tea contains 30-40% polyphenols by weight. Although it has not been determined how much green tea is needed to reap the benefits. Approximately 300-400 mg of polyphenols should be taken daily. That is around 4 cups of green tea.

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Green Tea vs. Black Tea

Although both green and black tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) their properties are very different. Because green tea is less processed than black tea it contains a lot more beneficial catechins. In fact, many researchers say that the health benefits of green tea are considerably higher than black tea. Studies have shown that catechins are significantly reduced in black tea due to the fermentation process.

Moreover, black tea contains high amounts of caffeine. Where green tea contains 2% to 4% caffeine or around 10-80 milligrams per cup, black tea has two to three times more caffeine than green tea.

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Ways to Use Green Tea

Since this is the New Year and National Hot Tea Month it is an excellent time to enjoy the health benefits of green tea. Whether you have a New Year's resolution to reduce caffeine consumption, lose weight or live a better lifestyle, green tea is a healthy choice.

There are a wide variety of ways to using green tea. You can create a classic mint green tea by adding fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves when brewing. You can make a green tea latte by adding steamed milk or soymilk once the tea is brewed. Green tea can also be served iced or you can add it when baking cakes and cookies, to smoothies, soups and homemade ice cream.

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How to Make Traditional Green Tea

The ideal method of making green tea is in a traditional Japanese teapot called a kyusu but it is not crucial. To get premium quality it is also recommended to use fresh tea leaves as opposed to tea bags. Some people even grow their own tea and pick it fresh from the plant right before brewing.

The kind of water you use is essential to ensure quality flavor and to receive the full health benefits of green tea. Tap water is not recommended because it gives the tea a bitter taste and because of the chemicals. Use either home filtered water or bottled mineral water.

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Amount of Green Tea to Use

There are many types of green tea such as Sencha, Kabusecha, Gyokuro, Genmaicha, Bancha and Hojicha. Generally, the higher quality the leaf the more leaf and less water you use. Customarily, for every ounce of water it is recommended to use the following amounts of green tea leaves:

  • Genmaicha, Bancha & Hojicha: 0.5 to 1g
  • Sencha & Kabusecha: 0.75 to 1.25g
  • Gyokuro: 1g to3g

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Brewing Temperatures

When brewing green tea, water temperature is also very important. If the water is to hot you will have a very bitter tasting tea. First heat your water to a boil in a kettle then add the water to your teapot. Let the water cool to the appropriate temperature. Listed are the ideal temperatures for brewing certain green teas:

  • Genmaicha, Bancha & Hojicha: 176-194°F
  • Sencha: 140-158°F
  • Kabusecha: 140-149°F
  • Gyokuro: 104-140°F

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Steeping Time

Seeping time can vary depending on the type of green tea you use. Likewise, do not stir, mix or shake the tea while it is brewing. The following are recommended seeping times for a variety of green teas:

  • Genmaicha, Bancha & Hojicha: 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Sencha & Kabusecha: 1-2 minutes
  • Gyokuro: 2-3 minutes


Once the leaves are infused you want to pour the tea gently and slowing into your teacup so that the filter does not clog. It will also make a big difference in the taste of the tea. If you brewed more than one cup then pour a little bit of the tea into each cup alternately until the teapot is empty. That way each cup will have equal strength. Have fun and enjoy the health benefits of green tea.

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    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      I love green tea, and drink it every day using tea bags. It's interesting to read how much more there is to the brewing process when done the right way. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      This is most informative and useful. Thank you for sharing these wonderful and health-beneficial tips. Aloha!

      Joe

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 4 years ago from Chesterfield, UK

      Great outline of the benefits of green tea and how to use it. I was going to put up a hub with exactly the same title, so I'll have to change it now. And wait a couple of weeks too. Never mind.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I agree with everything you said in this well written article. I have green tea everyday and know and enjoy all the great benefits it has. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Hi kashmir56

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback and votes. Yes, green tea is amazing and so versatile. Again, thank you!

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      dwelburn

      Thank you for stopping by and for the great feedback. :-) I as well had to change my title, it was originally Health Benefits of Green Tea, but that was already taken. Well, I will look for your green tea article in a few weeks.

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Hi Joe

      Thank you and you are welcome. :-) I am glad that you found the article informative and useful. Aloha

      Mary

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Hi mperrottet

      You have to try fresh green tea. When brewed correctly it is quite amazing. Thank you so much for the votes up. It is well appreciated. :-)

    • catmalone profile image

      catmalone 3 years ago

      I love Green Tea. You just gave me a reminder to drink it more, especially with all the health benefits it has. Thanks for the useful information.

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi catmalone

      I am glad that my post inspired you to drink more green tea. Thank you for the great feedback!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      I LOVE green tea. I don't drink coffee and I like to drink it in the mornings. :)

      I also hear that it's an amazing detoxifier. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I love green tea, and this is a pretty good article about it. I don't usually see information about how hot to brew the teas, or about the specific varieties.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a happy and healthy new year.

      ~ Kathryn

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi cclitgirl

      Me to. Although i love my coffee as well. It is great to hear that you drink Only green tea. Thanks for your great feedback.

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi Kathryn

      Thank you for your wonderful feedback. Yes, there is an art to brewing green tea, especially with so many varieties. Have a happy and healthy New Year as well. :-)

    • Mary McShane profile image

      Mary McShane 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

      Hi mecheshier, This hub is full of great info for new tea drinkers and also diehard tea drinkers. Voted up. :)

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi Mary McShane

      Thank you for your kindness and vote. I am glad that you enjoyed the Hub.

    • Carol Reed profile image

      Carol Clarke Reed 3 years ago from Remote

      This article was an interesting read. Thank you for the useful information.

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi Carol... thank you very much. I am glad that you enjoyed it. :-)

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I love green tea. I recently bought a French Press which does an awesome job of brewing the tea at a proper temperature. Your article was very informative!

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi cygnetbrown

      Interesting, I have never tried using a French Press for coffee. What a great idea. I will determinately give it a try!

      Thank you so much for the Kudos! :-)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Green tea is good if you acquire the unique taste. Well-advised tips and sounds a good idea.

    • mecheshier profile image
      Author

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hi DDE

      Thank you for your wonderful feedback. There are many ways to fix green tea. If you have not acquired the taste then adding chai spices is a great alternative e.g. cardamon, cinnamon, etc.

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