Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Are the Ingredients in Green Tea?

In the past decade, green tea has become an increasingly popular choice of beverage for a number of reasons. Known to help people lose weight while also fighting off things such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and bad cholesterol, green tea has become a part of people’s lives who are interested in being healthy. Interestingly, most people are completely unaware of the ingredients in green tea, which we wanted to cover in this article.

With more than 3,000 different types of tea, it is fascinating to find that green tea is among the top choice. Grown on the Camellia sinensis bush, the leaves actually produce three distinct tea types depending on how they are processed. For instance, unfermented leaves produce green tea, semi-fermented leaves produce oolong tea, and fully fermented leaves from this same plant produce black tea. For green tea, the leaves must be dried quickly, which is typically done in Chinese form by pan firing or steaming, which maintains the beautiful color, as well as high content of catechin.

When discussing the ingredients of green tea, keep in mind that this is more a reference to the nutritional value. Of course, you can purchase green tea in various flavors, which would change the actual ingredients in green tea. For instance, you might find green tea blended with mint in which case the additional ingredient would be mint or perhaps green tea blended with jasmine tea, again the additional ingredient being jasmine. Therefore, we are referring to ingredients in green tea as the nutrients.

The most vital of all ingredients in green tea is the antioxidant known as polyphenol, specifically Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, more commonly called EGCG. This particular green tea ingredient provides significant health benefits such as preventing cancer, lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, and even fighting oral bacteria that causes plaque, thus the reduction or elimination of tooth decay.

Another ingredient in green tea is 0.06mg of caffeine. Then, one bag of green tea contain between 80 and 100 mgs of the polyphenols with EGCG accounting for about 25 to 30 mgs of that. Then, other ingredients in green tea include theanine, which is a type of amino acid, catechin, chlorophyll, butyric acid, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, F, P, and U, and certain minerals such as, saponin, saccharides, and pectin.

Each of these green tea ingredients works together to provide a wonderful product that is delicious, as well as healthy. Keep in mind that the way in which the product is made will determine the level of beneficial ingredients in green tea For example, the Chinese people have long pan fired or steamed the leaves, retaining the highest level of nutrients. The Japanese will also steam, as well as boil and dry to create powder.

Today, you can purchase green tea in bags for brewing, in loose-leaf form, which is great for steaming, in supplements to include tablet and capsule form, or in powdered form. With powdered green tea, you can use it for baking cookies, cakes, pies, breads, or mixing in with other ingredients to make smoothies. The bottom line is that no matter how you consume this substance, the ingredients of green tea will benefit your life while providing you with a relaxing beverage or delicious food.

Julie Health is a green tea lover who writes about the many and amazing health benefits of drinking green tea at her website benefitsofgreentea.info