The green concoction that has been known to possess some amazing health benefits is a profusely discussed topic all over the world.

Green tea comes from Camellia Sinensis, the same plant from where you get other tea varieties like black tea and oolong tea.

The leaves of green tea are not fermented unlike its counterparts and therefore have a distinct green color along with a huge amount of antioxidants present in them.

Sipping on a cup of warm green tea is an integral part of Asian culture. Both China and Japan are well known as the leading green tea producing countries in the world.

Today, the western world has warmly embraced green tea and it has found its way into the lives of so many people who want to stay healthy and live life to the fullest.

Health benefits of green tea

The reason why green tea is a rage among most people is the fact that it has tons of health benefits to offer and one of them is losing excess weight.

Here are the health benefits of drinking green tea,

1. Keeps your heart healthy

The antioxidants present in green tea are helpful in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. They protect from heart disease by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and artery blockage.

It has been found that those who consume 1-2 cups of green tea in a day have 46% fewer chances of developing narrow arteries.

Drinking 3 cups of the tea also tremendously lower the risk of a heart attack.

2. Boosts brain function

As per studies carried out on green tea, the compounds present in it - L-theanine and caffeine help in boosting brain function. They improve alertness and attention.

It has been found in another study that upon consuming a cup of green tea daily, individuals aged above 55 are less likely to suffer from a mental decline.

3. Helps prevent diabetes

Green tea is known to help in keeping the levels of blood sugar in the body normal.

Additionally, its anti-inflammatory nature is a boon for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes or are having chances of developing the condition.

The catechins in green tea are found to prevent diabetes as well as obesity.

4. Helps in weight loss

Studies reveal that antioxidants in green tea such mainly catechins and EGCG help in promoting metabolism and prevent individuals from gaining weight.

By drinking green tea along with other positive lifestyle changes, you can lose weight in a healthy manner.

Possible Side Effects of Green Tea

The side effects of drinking green tea are little but it is always good to know about them,

1. Caffeine sensitivity: Those who are sensitive to caffeine can have irritability, anxiety, nausea, sleeplessness and even an upset stomach.

2. With stimulants: When consumed with other stimulant drugs, green tea may increase heart rate and blood pressure.

3. With blood thinners: You need to consume green tea cautiously if you are already consuming blood thinners. It is better to avoid green tea when you have been prescribed drugs like aspirin.

There are plenty of green tea supplements that are often not regulated by the FDA and are therefore not safe for you.

Lactating moms, pregnant women, and individuals with high BP, heart issues, kidney disease, liver disease, anxiety disorders, and stomach ulcers should stay away from green tea extracts and supplements.

How does green tea taste like?

To actually know the taste of green tea, you need to steep it right. If the method of preparation is not right you will end up with a cup of bitter tea that is by no means alluring to the senses.

The taste of green tea is also based on the geographical location of the tea farm it is from.

Generally, premium quality green tea has the following flavor notes:

  • Vegetal
  • Sweet
  • Bittersweet
  • Nutty
  • Fruity
  • Floral
  • Swampy

How to make good tasting green tea?

When the tea has been prepared correctly it will taste really good. Most often people use boiling hot water to prepare the green tea just like how they prepare black tea.

The point is that to make green tea you are not supposed to use boiling hot water as it will make the brew bitter.

You need to use simmering hot water for your green tea.

Apart from the temperature of the water, how long you steep the green tea for also matters. Steeping the leaves for too long can make the tea bitter.

While some varieties of the tea leaves should be steeped for 20-30 seconds only, there are ones that taste good after 4 minutes of steeping.

The best way out is to check the instructions mentioned on the outer packaging of the green tea leaves.

Is green tea good or bad for you?

Green tea contains plant compounds that are highly beneficial for the body. It is even seen as a beverage that helps in weight loss over a long period of time.

It is great for the heart and brain and helps prevent diabetes as already mentioned.

However, the compounds in it that are healthy can result in side effects when consumed in large quantities. Caffeine in excess causes undesirable side effects in certain people and consuming catechins (antioxidants in green tea) in excess can lead to iron deficiency.

Green tea can also interfere with certain medicines.

However, these toxic effects are seen mostly when individuals consume green tea supplements that have high doses of compounds like catechins when compared to actual green tea.

What you need to understand is that green tea is healthy and by consuming it every day as a part of a healthy lifestyle, you can prevent several diseases.

To enjoy the health benefits, you can drink 3-5 cups a day.

Though very high quantities of the tea can cause trouble, the positive effects of the tea outweigh the cons.

So, it boils down to the fact that drinking green tea within limits can let you reap its benefits but an excess of it can cause harm.

Author's Bio: 

Nisha Garg is an internet marketer and a GREEN TEA LOVER to some extent. Obesity and stress have been her main concern in the past, but the regular intake of green tea has changed her life.

She lost 18 KGs in 6 months by just drinking the tea and doing 30-45 minutes walk daily.

She says her friends have benefited from it too in terms of fighting cancer, anti-aging and controlling blood pressure.