Green tea is claimed to be highly beneficial for health and is advised for daily consumption to lead a healthy lifestyle. It has high contents of naturally occurring antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that helps protect cells and tissues against damage from free radicals – naturally occurring compounds in the body that can damage cells and tissues and also associated with pre-mature ageing and an increased risk of diseases and health problems.
- Researches shows that green tea is naturally rich in powerful antioxidants called polyphenols (catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins).
- Help protect the body from free radicals – naturally occurring compounds in the body that can damage cells and tissues and also associated with pre-mature ageing and an increased risk of diseases and health problems.
- Exposure to pollution, smoking and excess sunlight increases the number of free radicals in the body.
- Potent antioxidants found in green tea helps to scavenge and neutralize these free radicals and promote good health.
- Information from various sources reveal consuming green tea may cut down the risk of cancer, steadies the blood pressure, soothes the skin and helps reduce weight, have many more health benefits.
- Polyphenols contain the phytochemical compound called flavonoids that provide antioxidant activity and tannins that contribute to the flavor of the tea, most particularly its astringency.
- Catechins, a higher level of one type of flavonoids, appears in small amounts in oxidized tea and in substantial amounts in green teas and a little less in white teas.
- Catechins are considered potent antioxidants and hold the most promise for fighting heart disease and cancer.
- Catechins in teas, especially green teas, are divided into different categories: epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), gallocatechin (GC), gallocatechin gallate (GCG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is the most studied polyphenol component in green tea and the most active.
- Green tea also contains alkaloids including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. They provide green tea’s stimulant effects.
- L-theanine, an amino acid compound found in green tea, has been studied for its calming effects on the nervous system.
- Thearubigins are polymeric polyphenols that are formed during the enzymatic oxidation (called fermentation by the tea trade) of tea leaves. Thearubigins are red in colour. Therefore a black (fully oxidized) tea gives reddish liquor while a green or white tea gives a much clearer one.
- The colour of a black tea, however, is affected by many other factors as well, such as the amount of theaflavins, another oxidized form of polyphenols.