Green tea is made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. China is the major producer of green tea while Sri Lanka and Indonesia are producing mainly orthodox varieties of tea.
Green tea is consumed primarily in China, Japan, and a few countries in North Africa and the Middle East but is it rapidly gaining popularity across the developed world because of its medicinal benefits. Some of the key benefits of green tea are:
- Has a positive effect on almost every organ in the human body; the antioxidants help to prevent toxins that build up from unnecessary oxygen.
- Helps prevent cancer by blocking compounds with polyphenols. Cancers that may be prevented include: stomach, colon, lung, esophageal and breast.
- Can help in blood pressure reduction and cholesterol reduction and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
- Aids in preventing viral infections such as the flu or a cold.
- Helps slow down the anti aging process.
- Can help to improve your stress tolerance.
- Reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
- Prevents dental cavities.
- Helps in weight loss as it encourages the body to burn fat.
However it is believed that these benefits of green tea are not felt at their maximum level, until green tea is consumed in substantial amout on a daily basis, some sources believe this would amount to around 8 cups per day.
Drinking green tea can also cause some issues, especially in case of some existing disease. People with heart problems, kidney disorders, stomach ulcers, and psychological disorders (particularly anxiety) should not take green tea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid green tea. Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine (including caffeine from green tea) for prolonged periods of time may experience irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, and dizziness. Caffeine overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and loss of appetite.