Green tea contains antioxidants properties, polyphenols, theanine, as well as a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Polyphenols are a class of phytochemicals found in high concentrations in green tea, and have been associated with heart disease and cancer prevention. The slight astringent, bitter taste of green tea is attributed to polyphenols.
A group of simple and complex phenol, polyphenol, and flavonoid compounds. Produced by plants, all of the tannins are relatively resistant to digestion or fermentation. All tannins act as astringents, shrinking tissues and contracting structural proteins in the skin and mucosa.
Catechins are a category of polyphenols. In green tea, catechins are present in significant quantities, more specifically; epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG makes up about 10-50% of the total catechin content and appears to be the most powerful of the catechins ?with antioxidant activity about 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E. A cup of green tea may provide 10-40mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant activity greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries.
Flavonoids are plant pigments, and are the brightly colored chemical constituents found in most fresh fruits and vegetables. They may aid in protecting against infection. Deficiency can result in a tendency to bruise easily.
An amino acid that produces tranquilizing effects in the brain, theanine is a unique amino acid found in the leaves sencha. Theanine is quite different from the polyphenol and catechin antioxidants for which green tea is typically consumed. Through the natural production of polyphenols, the tea plant converts theanine into catechins. This means that tea leaves harvested during one part of the growing season may be high in catechins (good for antioxidant benefits), while leaves harvested during another time of year may be higher in theanine (good for anti-stress and cortisol-controlling effects). Three to four cups of sencha are expected to contain 100-200 mg of theanine.
2 cups of green tea has approximately twice the antioxidants of red wine, 7 times that of orange juice, & 20 times that of apple juice.
Drinking green tea will provide your body with many health benefits:
- Rich in antioxidants - antioxidants are natural compounds that help protect the body from harmful free radicals, which are believed to be the cause of destruction & death in nearly all living things. Free radicals can attack, damage, & ultimately destroy organic material
- Increases your metabolism - helps to loose weight
- Protects against cancer
- Bolsters your immune defenses
- Less caffeine than coffee
- May reduce your risk of heart attack & stroke
- Helps protect your bones & prevents tooth decay
- Helps to keep you hydrated
- Calorie-free (without milk) and helps prevent Obesity