Green Tea Ingredients, The Promoters Of A Better Health

leaves of camellia sinensisThere are over 200 bioactive compounds in green tea; these ingredients are responsible for the numerous benefits that green tea has been proven to offer health, from fighting against free radicals to boosting metabolism.

Though the chemical composition of various brands may vary depending on the location of the tea plantation, the harvesting season, the age of the leaf and the processing method; the main ingredients of green tea are always the same.

Here is a list of the main green tea ingredients:

1. Polyphenols

Polyphenols are natural compounds present in various plant foods that contribute to the beneficial effects of vegetables and fruit. Powerful antioxidants, they are a source of biologically active compounds vital for human health. The polyphenols’ contribution to the antioxidant capacity of our diets is above that of vitamins.

Polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, as they neutralize free radicals and limit the damage caused by them to healthy cells. They can boost the immune system which helps maintain an overall good health. Studies have also proven that these compounds improve blood circulation and heart health, decreasing the risk of heart diseases.

2. Flavonoids

They are a subclass of polyphenols. Quite sensitive to cooking conditions and oxidative enzymes, flavonoids are well preserved in non-fermented teas. Flavonoids, like all antioxidants, attack the cell-damaging free radicals and metallic ions. Moreover, they reduce the risk of asthma, stroke, heart disease or cancer. Recent studies have shown that some flavonoids have antimicrobial, antihistamine, mood and memory enhancing properties.

3. Catechins

A catechin is a polyphenol that is water soluble and an antioxidant that is easily oxidized. Catechins (also called tea flavonoids) also have strong antioxidant qualities. Among teas, green tea has the highest amount of this anti-bacterial compound, usually around 25%. Among the hundred types of catechins identified, the following five types are the most renowned; they are all present in Camella Sinesis tea varieties:

  • Epicatechin (EC)
  • Epigallocatechin (EGC)
  • Epicatechin gallate (ECg)
  • Gallocatechin (GC)
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

Scientists seem to agree that EGCG has the highest level and widest spectrum of  anti-cancer effects. It has many therapeutic applications and it is used in the treatment of other disorders.

Catechin in Green Tea Infusion Catechin Concentration
mg/L mg/8 fl oz
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) 117–442 25–106
Epigallocatechin (EGC) 203–471 49–113
Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) 17–150 4–36
Epicatechin (EC) 25–81 6–19

mg = milligram; L = liter; fl oz = fluid ounce (source)

The catechin content of different types of green tea vary depending on the harvesting location and the manufacturing process; processes such as decaffeination or turning the leaves into powered can lead to a lowering of the catechin levels.

4. Theanine

Is an amino acid that gives the tea its mellow taste. It reduces stress and anxiety but does not have the tranquilizing effect in other calming agents. Studies show that theanine stimulates the production of brain alpha waves, relaxing people, but keeping them alert. Dried tea extract contains about 4 – 6% theanine.

5. Caffeine

Caffeine is also one of the ingredients. 8oz of green tea contain about 25 mg of caffeine. The caffeine in tea does not have the same effect as that in coffee, since it is combined with the relaxing effect of theanine. You get none of the side-effects of drinking coffee, no tremors, no headaches, no insomnia.

6. Vitamins and minerals

Because the leaves are not heavily processed, the vitamins and minerals they contain are well preserved. Green tea contains, among others:

  • Vitamin C – used in the production of collagen that is used to strengthen cells and tissues such as blood vessels, bones and tendons.
  • Vitamin K – that improves blood coagulation.
  • Vitamin E – an essential nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body against free radicals.
  • Several B vitamins – a group that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, helps maintain healthy skin and hair and enhance the function of the nervous and immune system.
  • Minerals such as aluminum, manganese, zinc, iron and fluoride. Minerals are essential for cells, forming the greater part of bones, nails and teeth; they are vital for the body as the regulate water balance.  Fluoride works wonders for your teeth, keeping them spotless white. This drink helps you better assimilate iron.

Ingredients in green tea, or better said, the constituents and chemical composition of this all natural drink, are the ones that give it its numerous health benefits. From preventing or curing various diseases, to weight loss, this is one tea you should drink on a regular basis, to fell and look better.

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