In the last few years, tea has picked up significantly in popularity across the world, as scientists and the general public are learning more about the beverage’s benefits. Among all teas, green tea is the second most widely consumed. What makes this tea appeal to so many consumers in different regions of the world? Does it really have any benefits? This is just what we’re going to explore today.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis sinensis plant, an evergreen shrub native to China with bright green, shiny, narrow leaves. Once the tea leaves are harvested, they are quickly heated and dried to prevent excessive oxidation, which would turn the green leaves brown and even negatively impact the flavor. When brewed properly, green tea is unsurprisingly a light green, yellow, or brown in color. It has a mildly acidic and earthy, somewhat toasted flavor. Though it is native to China, green tea is produced in many places, including Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and even South Carolina and Hawaii.
Green tea was first cultivated 4,000 years ago in ancient China, and has since been used for medicinal purposes, for chewing, and even as a pickle! In terms of medicine, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of illnesses, as an astringent lotion, as a cure for digestive problems, and to reduce the symptoms of fevers.
Today, the western world has come to realize the innumerable benefits of green tea. First, green tea contains high levels of polyphenols, naturally occurring compounds that act as antioxidants for disease prevention, in particular coronary artery disease. This significant quantity of polyphenols exists because, as we mentioned earlier, green tea is unoxidized, leaving those compounds unaltered.
Clinical research has shown that drinking green tea can effectively reduce total cholesterol, while raising good cholesterol in animals and humans. Several studies have suggested that green tea does help in protecting different types of cancer, such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, skin cancer, and more. It has also shown to fight fatigue, combat aging skin, and promote oral health by preventing cavities. Some clinical studies have also further suggested that green tea may boost metabolism and help burn fat. In addition, research also shows that consumption of green tea may even help regulate glucose in the body, so it can be effective in helping manage diabetes.
There are actually many more scientifically proven health benefits of drinking green tea. But, part of green tea’s popularity is on a social level. Science has confirmed that the art of slowing down and taking time to prepare the tea has a calming effect that helps reduce your stress level. Also, as people associate physical warmth with emotional warmth, a cup of green tea in hand gives you feelings of positive energy. Tea consumption in general fosters a sense of community, as it brings people together to appreciate and share this warmth, and in turn, good conversation.
It’s clear that drinking a cup of green tea is not just soothing at the end of a hard day, but it is truly an experience from which you can reap tremendous benefits. Find out for yourself today by choosing from our wide selection of green teas at Parker’s Cup.