GREEN TEA BENEFITS: THE DIFFERENT TYPES, AND WHICH TO CHOOSE?

June 03, 2017

Background

Green Tea Benefits are becoming increasingly well-known within the media. As well as being encouraged by celebrity endorsement and popular herbal remedies, such as those produced by the Medicinal Chef; Dale Pinnock. We know from the consistent publications that green tea can help promote weight loss, is a high antioxidant, and is all-round…a healthy beverage. But how do we know what type of Green tea to buy? How do we ensure it’s effectiveness? How accurate is the research to back it?

Brief History

The benefits of Green tea are thought to have originated in China, dating back to around 600AD. In the southwest area of China tea leaves were first used by people for chewing and eating, in just the same way that people began eating coffee beans. Over time, the leaves and buds from the tea tree were used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes by adding the leaves and buds to boiling water. Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.  Most noteworthy is how Green Tea was known to support many areas of health and wellbeing including supporting brain and memory health, metabolism, detox health and much more.

Types

  1. (Tea) bags
  2. (Tea) leaves
  3. Green Tea Extract (capsules)
  4. Matcha Tea

Many people think there is particular properties to each type…to answer the question simply, I have actually ordered them in the list above by weakest to strongest. Tea bags are basically tea leaves in a bag, easier for a single person to drink and prepare, but in many aspects, less potent due to the natural restrictions of a bag.

Matcha Tea is powdered Green Tea. It comes from the same source as the leaves (and bags), but is much stronger, a concentrate. For this reason, the additional benefits of green tea Matcha, makes it the popular choice for medicinal, beauty, weight loss and fitness related goals. While it tends to be a more expensive option, due to it’s equivalence to multiple green tea bags. Furthermore,  I agree with those that say Matcha has a much pleasanter taste than standard green tea bags. There is believed to be 3x more EGCG in Matcha tea, compared to Green Tea bags.

Finally, Green Tea Extract in capsule or tablet form, has been found to be as effective as green tea drinks. Yet, it is worth checking the levels of Catechins and Polyphenols-that they are not too low or too high. The average person should not consume more than  750mg of Polyphenols per day. So, don’t be alarmed at the nutritional values of a green tea supplement. Remember you are looking at the levels of Green Tea EXTRACT and Catechins/polyphenols…’equivalent to Green tea mg’ is additional information.

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a catechin that is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and tea. It is a potent antioxidant that is believed to have many health benefits.

Finally… The Research

There is many questionable claims on the benefits of green tea, but there is also a lot of concrete evidence, which should be explored by everyone…healthy or not.

Hence catechins in Green Tea are shown in various research to support the following:

  • Atherosclerosis.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Cancer.
  • Bladder cancer. …
  • Breast cancer. …
  • Ovarian cancer. …
  • Colorectal cancer. …
  • Esophageal cancer.
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver Disease
  • Weight Loss

Especially relevant is a small sample of the amazing research available…

Baladia E, Basulto J, Manera M, Martinez R, Calbet D. Effect of green tea or green tea extract consumption on body weight and body composition: systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Hosp. 2014; 2993):479-90.

Fritz H, Seely D, Kennedy DA, Fernandes R, Cooley K, Fergusson D. Green tea and lung cancer: a systemic review. Integr Cancer Ther. 2013;12(1):7-24.

Fujita H, Yamagami T. Antihypercholesterolemic effect of Chinese black tea extract in human subjects with borderline hypercholesterolemia. Nutr Res. 2008;28(7):450-6.

Kovacs EM, Lejeune MP, Nijs I, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Effects of green tea on weight maintenance after body-weight loss. Br J Nutr. Mar 1, 2004;91(3):431-7.