Green tea has a reputation for having tremendous positive effects on your health but what are the reasons behind it? This article will help explain the reasons. What are the compounds included in green tea that makes it so good for you? Below is a list of what the most significant ingredients are, and how they benefit your health:
Polyphenols - a powerful-acting antioxidant, which is naturally occurring and most responsible for the color, flavor, and taste in fruits, vegetables, seeds and types of plants. The benefits include lowering the risk of heart disease, cancer and other types of diseases. The properties in polyphenol can be such that they serve as an anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic.
Catechins - a class of polyphenol, commonly in high doses in green tea. Benefits include anti-carcinogenic, lowering of cholesterol and LDL levels, prevention of high blood pressure, prevention of red blood cell clots, prevention of allergies, anti-biotic acting functionality, and improvement of digestion and elimination of body odor.
Flavonols - another class of polyphenol with anti-oxidant properties. Benefits include the trapping of free radicals and peroxides, and the prevention of destruction of body tissue. Works in conjunction with vitamin C, helping to strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
Glycosides - complex sugar. Prevents blood sugar increase.
Carotene - compound which is organic and found in most orange and yellow vegetables and fruits. Helps to make body produce vitamin A. Benefits include prevention of oxidation, improves immunity and has anti-carcinogenic properties.
Flouride - mineral which helps strengthen tooth enamel, thereby preventing tooth decay.
Caffeine - diuretic. Benefits include speeding of nervous system, prevention of asthma, increase in metabolism.
Vitamin C - vitamin which helps fight against infections and helps the immune system.
Vitamin E - vitamin which helps in prevention of breakdown of body tissues. Also helps with infertility and is anti-carcinogenic.
Vitamin B - vitamin which helps in metabolism, maintenance of healthy skin and muscle tone, enhancement of immune and nervous system, promotion of cell growth, and reduction of certain cancers.
Zinc - mineral which helps in prevention of skin inflammation and helps in maintenance of immunity level.
Selenium - mineral which helps in prevention of oxidation and heart muscle deterioration.
Magnesium - mineral which helps in prevention of oxidation, prevention of heart-related diseases, and maintenance of bodily nerves, muscles, and bones. Also helps in the synthesis of protein and cellular metabolism.
Due to the variety of minerals, vitamins and other elements contained in tea, this drink improves health, relieves fatigue, strengthens the immune system and has an overall tonic effect on the body.
Mineral substances contain in green tea leaf and in finished products, it constitutes about 5-6% of dry matter. Among them are the following: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, fluoride and others. With the aging of the plant total number of minerals increases, while the most valuable part of the soluble reduces. Only the components of relatively small molecular weights which are infused with hot water give a specific accent to the tea infusion. Between the quality of tea and the content therein of soluble mineral substances there is a direct link.
The potassium content in the tea leaf is 50-60% of all mineral substances and depends on the mineral nutrition of plants. This compound plays a very important role in the livelihood of tea tree; it is given a great importance in the synthesis of carbohydrates and proteins, and in the general metabolism. Potassium is very important to the human body; it prevents muscle cramps and regulates fluid and electrolyte balance.
Another important mineral is located in the tea - phosphorus. Its content ranges from 15-20% of weight of all mineral substances in tea. The properties of the finished product depend on its quantity. The two top leaves and a bud have higher content of phosphorus compare to the lower coarse tea leaves and stems. It is known fact that phosphorus is needed for the human body for normal functioning, as part of the nervous, brain tissue and bones.
Despite the slight content, copper and iron play an important role in plant’s life. They are part of some physiologically important organic compounds, such as enzymes. Another, small in content, but necessary for redox processes, is manganese. Its share is approximately 1-4%. Due to the iron content, tea has a beneficial effect on the human blood, as well as a good means for the prevention of various vascular diseases. In addition, the body needs iron to transport oxygen.
The complex experiments revealed effects of the duration of brewing tea and the quantity of the tea leaves on the degree of content in the drinks of various trace elements. Adding citric acid increased the yield of all elements, except copper. In the end, it was found that a tea drink satisfies the daily requirement of zinc, copper and manganese at 1, 2 and 50% respectively.
Now let us turn to vitamins contained in tea. This is mainly vitamins B complex and C. The tea shoot has the following B complex vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3, and B5 (PP), B6, B12 and P. Since these compounds are very stable, in the processing they are almost completely transformed into finished products. Content of vitamin B1 is small - an average of 0.3 - 10 mg per 1 kg of dry tea leaves. In the body this vitamin (B1) regulates metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, has versatile affect on the function of the cardiovascular, endocrine and central nervous system. Vitamin B2 has positive effect on the skin and mucous membranes, the health of the liver. The most important is the presence in tea of vitamin P. One of its most important properties is the strengthening of the capillaries of the plant. During the technological processing of raw material quality and quantity of the vitamin are undergoing significant changes. Its content is reduced from 20-25% in green tea to 8-15% in the final. Along with others, the tea contains vitamin PP that is important for normalizing the higher nervous activity, the functions of the digestive system. It also affects the cardiovascular system, in particular, expanding the small vessels.
Tea leaves are rich in Vitamin C. Gentle leaves contain approximately 2-3 times more of this vitamin than the coarse. In the process of refining its amount is sharply reduced, especially during the fermentation and drying. This vitamin is essential for strengthening the immunity of a person, it reduces the risk of infections, but also useful for the prevention of osteoporosis and periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontal tissue, i.e. tissue surrounding the tooth root). Tea fluoride also provides the beneficial effect on teeth. This element exists in tea leaf as anion. Fluoride anion produces various fluoride compounds and covers the surface of teeth to prevent bacterial attack. Just wanted to point out that tea is very useful for vision, because it contained β-carotene and other elements, strengthens blood vessels.
If you like experimenting with food and drinks and are very fond of tea, or if because of health conditions you are limited in the consumption of black tea and coffee, we recommend you to try Rooibos tea. There is still a lot of controversy regarding its name. Yet it is wise to call this Rooibos or Rooibos tea, because is the closest in sound to Afrikaans - one of the languages, mainly spoken in Southern Africa. In translation, this word means "red bush". This product was popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed all over the world.
Thanks to its healing properties Rooibos is also called the elixir of the Bushmen. This tea is made from young shoots that are cut, finely shredded, and then spread on a flat surface for about eight hours. During this time, Rooibos undergoes a process of natural fermentation that produces reddish -brown color and enhances the flavor. Then, the tea leaves subjected to final drying in a special machine, pasteurized and packaged. Un-oxidized green Rooibos is also produced by method similar to production of green tea, but due to more demanding production process is more expensive than red Rooibos. Good quality Rooibos can be determined by the uniformity and brightness of color. Tea should be light and crumbly, needles are long and even.
Rooibos tea can be excellently improved with most household decorations. For instance, mallow or sunflower blossoms are beautifully set off against the thin, rust-brown needle-like leaf.
Rooibos is becoming very popular in Western countries especially among health-conscious consumers due to its lack of caffeine and tannic acid. Rooibos is safe for people that suffer from high blood pressure. This tea is a healthy beverage choice for the kids. Rooibos contains a high level of antioxidants. Many experts believe that due to these properties Rooibos is quite possible to use even in baby food.
Generally, with regard to the process of brewing, Rooibos tea is completely unpretentious. Unlike many other exotic types of tea, Rooibos steeps with boiling water and drink is ready in 8-10 minutes after brewing. This tea does not become bitter when steeped longer, moreover, tea leaves can be steeped multiply times.
Rooibos Tea - it's just a real storehouse of vitamins (E, R, A, C) and other nutrients (copper, iron, calcium, zinc). Moreover, copper and vitamin C are responsible for the most effective absorption of iron in the human body. Rooibos tea is highly recommended to vegetarians. But of course you should not totally rely on Rooibos, if you want to fully satisfy the needs of your body's iron.
Some doctors advise to use Rooibos as an antidepressant. It assists well with nervous tension, fatigue and headaches, allergies and digestive disorders. Since it contained glucose, tea is not only a great thirst quencher, but also wonderful soother.