Articles on green tea

Green Tea- It's Not as Healthy as You Think!

Dr. Dt. Souvick Dey, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Green tea has been promoted as one of the healthiest beverages around. It is made from the same kind of leaves (camellia sinensis) as generic black tea or oolong tea. The primary difference is that while processing the leaves for green tea, the withering and fermentation procedures are avoided, which helps the leaves retain more nutrients. However, green tea comes with quite a few side effects just like ordinary tea or coffee. They are:1. Digestive problemsSince green tea is not put through the oxidation or fermentation process, the tannins present in the leaves are not removed. Tannins, can cause nausea and constipation by producing more gastric acid. Adding a little milk to your tea might help with this problem.2. Reduced absorption of ironGreen tea contains catechins- antioxidants, which can block the absorption of iron from food. Iron deficiency has a number of negative impacts, the most threatening one being anemia where red blood cell formation is hindered. Anemia causes fatigue because sufficient oxygen is not circulated throughout the body due to low haemoglobin levels.3. Problems with the nervous systemGreen tea contains caffeine, just like tea or coffee, though its caffeine content is lower. Excessive consumption can lead to insomnia-like tendencies, heightened anxiety, frequent urination, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps etc.4. Risks during pregnancyCaffeine decreases calcium content in the body, leading to weaker bones, which is an alarming symptom in an expecting mother. Also, caffeine, catechins and tannins are individually related to increased risks of miscarriage and other negative effects. Tannins and catechins passed on to breast milk can also block absorption of nutrients like proteins and fats in an infant's system.5. Reactions with medicationSeveral chemical drugs are extremely reactive to the polyphenols in green tea, especially stimulant drugs like nicotine, ephedrin and amphetamine. Green tea reduces the functioning of lithium and dipyridamole. The polyphenols may also block the healing properties of the anti-cancer drug name bortezomib. Any kind of interference with your regular medication may impact your health adversely.6. Negative impact on patients with glaucomaThe disease impairs the optic nerve and green tea increases the pressure on the eye within minutes of drinking it because caffeine accelerates intraocular pressure. The effects take more than an hour to subside.

Green Tea for Happy Smiles :)

Dr. Gaurav Dinesh Jain, Dentist
Did you know, that green-tea has dental advantages, too, besides the obvious health benefits like weight-loss, healthy heart etc.?! How? Read on ..Cavity prevention: Green tea prevents tooth decay by controlling the number of bacteria, bringing down the acidity of saliva & minimize plaque build-up.Stronger Gums: The anti-inflammatory action of green tea prevents bleeding, swelling and recession of gums. This makes them stronger.Good-bye Bad-Breath: Green tea is even more effective than chewing gum & mint for breath control!Cancer-Control: The antioxidant (Catechin) found in green tea has been shown to slow down, stop, or even reverse many early/pre-cancerous lesions inside the mouth.So how much green tea is good for you? 1-3 cups a day is great. But there are studies which show benefits upto 5 cups/day, too. Still, moderation is best, we feel!Recipe for green tea:  Bring fresh, clean water to a boil. Let it cool for 3 min. Pour this water over green tea leaves/ teabag and let them stay steeped for 3 min. Do not add sugar/honey/sweetener! Your green-tea is ready!!Side-effect of green tea : Mild to moderate staining of teeth has been observed if too much green tea is consumed on a daily basis. This is reversible (by dental polishing), and can be prevented by rinsing mouth with water immediately after consuming tea, using dental-floss and 6-monthly dental check-ups.To sum-up - The advantages of Green Tea are many. Include this in your daily routine for HAPPY SMILES.Keep smiling. :)

Green Tea Side Effects and Who Must Avoid It

Dr. Richa Garg, Ayurveda
Green tea is one of the oldest herbal teas known to man. It gained quick prominence in India after its purported health benefits, the most popular of them- as an effective tool for weight loss. Some of these health benefits have many studies backing them while some do not. Due to the positive spotlight, green tea has enjoyed, some green tea side effects are often overlooked. But it’s important to understand that Green Tea also has some limitations and a few of them are highlighted below.The tannins present in the green tea increase the stomach acid which may cause stomach ache, nauseous feeling, or cause constipation. Thus, green tea is not consumed on an empty stomach..Green tea is mostly safe for adults when consumed in moderation. Green tea extract is also considered to be generally safe for most people when taken orally or while being applied topically on the skin for a short period of time. However, drinking too much green tea, more than 3 cups a day is considered to be unsafe. The side effects of green tea are due to the caffeine present in it, which may include some or all of these symptoms:Side Effects of Green TeaMild to serious headachesNervousnessSleep problemsVomitingDiarrhoeaIrritabilityIrregular heartbeatTremorHeartburnDizzinessRinging in the earsConvulsionsConfusionWho Must Not Consume Green Tea?Green Tea has been found to cause certain problems when taken excessively or cause problems to some people who suffer with certain ailments:1. Stomach Problems:The tannins present in the green tea increase the stomach acid which may cause stomach ache, nauseous feeling, or cause constipation. Thus, green tea is not consumed on an empty stomach . It is best to drink green tea after a meal or in-between meals. People with peptic ulcers or acid reflux should not consume green tea excessively. A 1984 study concluded that tea is a potent stimulant of gastric acid, which can be reduced by adding milk and sugar.2. Iron Deficiency:Green tea seems to reduce the absorption of iron from food. Drinking very high doses can actually be fatal. The fatal dose of caffeine in green tea is estimated to be 10-14 grams (150-200 mg per kilogram). Green tea can also reduce the bioavailability of non-heme iron. A 2001 study reports that green tea extract reduces the absorption of non-heme iron by 25%. Non-heme iron is the primary type of iron in eggs, dairy and plant foods such as beans, so drinking green tea with these foods may lead to reduced iron absorption. However, Vitamin C increases non-heme iron absorption, so you can squeeze lemon into your tea or consume other vitamin-C rich foods, such as broccoli, with your meal. In addition, drinking tea between meals seems to have little effect on iron absorption, according to the National Cancer Institute.3. Caffeine Caution:Like all teas, green tea contains caffeine and excessive caffeine intake can lead to nervousness, anxiety, abnormal heart rhythm and shakiness. Some people have a natural low tolerance for caffeine, and they will suffer these symptoms even when ingesting small amounts. High caffeine consumption can also hinder calcium absorption, affecting your bone health and increasing the risk of osteoporosis. To help prevent caffeine-related problems, limit green tea intake to 5 or fewer cups per day4. Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding:Green tea contains caffeine, catechins and tannic acids. All three substances have been linked to pregnancy risks. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, green tea in small amounts, about 2 cups per day safe. This amount of green tea provides about 200 mg of caffeine. However, drinking more than 2 cups of green tea per day is unsafe and has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and other negative effects. Also, caffeine passes into breast milk and can affect a nursing infant. In addition, drinking a large amount may cause neural tube birth defect in babies.5. Anaemia:Green tea catechins can cause a decrease in the absorption of iron from food. If you have iron-deficiency like anaemia, the National Cancer Institute recommends consuming tea between meals. If you like to drink green tea with your meal, then studies show you should eat foods that enhance iron absorption. Foods high in iron include meats such as red meat and foods high in Vitamin C, such as lemons.6. Anxiety Disorders:The caffeine in green tea might is said to make anxiety worse.7. Bleeding Disorders:Caffeine in green tea might increase the risk of bleeding.8. Heart Conditions:Caffeine in green tea might cause irregular heartbeat.9. Diabetes:Caffeine in green tea might affect blood sugar control. If you drink green tea and have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.10. Diarrhea and IBS:The caffeine in green tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and symptoms of IBS.11. Glaucoma:Drinking green tea increases pressure inside the eye. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes.12. Should not be given to Children:The tannins in green tea may block nutrients absorption such as protein and fats in children. It may also lead to over stimulation because of the caffeine present in the green tea.13. Liver DiseaseGreen tea extract supplements have been linked to several cases of liver damage. Green tea extracts might make liver disease worse. Severe liver disease, as the level of caffeine in the blood may build up and last longer.14. Osteoporosis:Drinking green tea can increase the amount of calcium that is flushed out in the urine. Caffeine should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (approximately 2-3 cups of green tea). It is possible to make up for some calcium loss caused by caffeine by taking calcium supplements.Can People On Medication Drink Green Tea?Green tea must not be taken along with these medications as it is known to cause negative reactions.Highly Interactive:Stimulant drugs like Amphetamines, Nicotine, Cocaine and Ephedrine.How to Consume Green Tea?Do not exceed your green tea intake more than 3 cups in a day. For the best health benefits, 2 to 3 cups is recommended. However, doses of green tea vary significantly, but usually range between 1-3 cups daily is considered safe. To make tea, people typically use 1 tsp of tea leaves in 240 ml of boiling water. Drink green tea when it’s freshly made but slightly cooled. Scalding tea can damage your digestive system. Moreover, recent studies suggest that too much hot tea can promote throat cancer.

How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Eat something and then burn calories because you consumed it. Sounds perfect or what? Jump start your day by drinking a cup of green tea which refreshes your mind and day as it is packed with important nutrients.Green tea leaves are steamed, not fermented, hence preserve more polyphenols. They are low in calories with no fat, trans-fat, cholesterol and saturated fat in it. The components of green tea includes catechins, caffeine, Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, Gamma Acid Butyric Acid (GABA), Flavonoids, Polysaccharides, Fluoride and Theanins (amino acid). Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG, one of six catechins in green tea and the most abundant. One cup of green tea contains approximately 100-200 milligrams of EGCG.Green Tea packed with antioxidantGreen tea is packed with antioxidants. All the wear and tear of our body along with our meat consumption releases free radicals in the body. Many of these free radicals serve useful physiological functions, but they can be toxic when generated in excess by causing damage to DNA, tissues, etc., possibly creating cancerous cells. Anti-oxidants react with these free radicals and mitigate their effects on our body.Green tea increases the antibiotic effectiveness. Antioxidants includes Vitamin E, Vitamin C, or beta carotene,which protects the body from the damaging effects of oxidation.Read to know more about antioxidant rich foods. Research has indicated one of the main antioxidants, EGCG, is found in green tea. EGCG has been found to be more powerful than both Vitamin E and C. EGCG protects cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses.Green tea helps to lose weightEGCG is also known to stimulate brown fat, which is even extracted and used as a weight loss supplement.The other active ingredient in green tea is catechin that helps you lose weight by influencing intestinal and cell metabolism in several ways. When green tea is consumed the catechin inhibits the intestinal lipases which in turn decreases the fat absorption and increases the fat excretion. Due to which the thermogenic process occurs which decreases the lipogenic enzymes and hence suppresses the appetite.Green tea extract resulted in a significant (4%) increase in energy expenditure. Green tea linked with lower risk of heart diseaseThe polyphenols in green tea helps prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This inhibits the formation of the atherosclerotic plaques. Therefore, the consumption of green tea is believed to be linked to a lower risk of heart disease. It also helps improves glucose tolerance as it increases insulin sensitivity. EGCG is the most active catechin that is reponsible for glucose uptake.So, green tea benefits weight loss & positively affects your health. Drinking green tea helps to live longer(reduces your cancerous cells), live healthier (reduces your bad cholesterol), be fitter (helps you burn more calories) and prevent bad breath (tooth decay). And are you still wondering whether you should start drinking green tea?But do remember that moderation is the key, so you might can have 1 to 2 cups a day as it also contains caffeine in it.Read to know Can too much of green tea harm your health?How to prepare Green teaTo prepare green tea, boil a cup of hot water. Pour the hot water into tea cup. Dip a green tea bag in a cup of hot water, for 30-60 seconds. If you must, add a bit sugar or honey. If you want maximal weight loss benefits of green tea, then skip the sugar or the honey. Do not add milk to green tea as this might limit the absorption of antioxidants in the green tea. This the easiest way to prepare this wonder weight loss drink!

The Weight Loss Benefits of Tea

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Tea is common drink which can be readily available in domestic household in India. However, taste and ingredients can differ depending on personal choice and area surrounding. Many people like to add sugar, milk, cardamom, lemon or any other spice like cinnamon. But do you know tea have many health benefits which also include weight loss. Let us find out more about it.1. Tea and weight lossNaturally tea is high in Polyphenols, which are antioxidants and are known to protect your body from free radical reactions, which could be the reason for diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc. In fact, polyphenols are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. They also help in regulating the immune system of the body. Now according to the articles from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition it has been found that polyphenols in tea along with the caffeine content, increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation, which resulted in weight loss and helped, maintain a healthy body weight. The study also concluded that regular tea drinkers have lower body mass indexes (BMIs), waist-to-hip ratios and less body fat as compared with non-tea drinkers.2. Reduce cardiovascular risksAs compared to any other tea, green tea is much higher in antioxidants and contain lesser amount of caffeine. A set of researchers found that the polyphenols in green tea may help to stop the progression of certain cancers which include cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, lung, breast and skin.3. Improves bone strength, alertness and problem solvingAnother benefit of Polyphenols in tea include strengthening bones and improving bone quality. In one study drinking tea was associated with a 30% reduced risk of hip fractures in men and women aged 50 years or older. Researchers note that the amino acid theanine and caffeine in tea are thought to confer psychological benefits to drinkers, strengthening attention, mood and performance.Excess of anything can be bad for your health. Therefore, include tea in your day but restrict the amount to 2-3 cups in a day to get the maximum benefits.

What Is Matcha Green Tea?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
With the emergence of a health conscious society, a lot of research is going into the number of health benefits that a particular type of food can provide, giving rise to the term ‘superfood’ which essentially means foods which contain high antioxidant power measured in ORAC units. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorption capacity, which quantifies the antioxidant potency of different foods. Thus superfood is believed to help numerous people get into a healthier and fitter lifestyle. One such superfood discovery is the matcha green tea with an ORAC of 1384 units.A list of superfoods with their ORAC unit is given below:Name of SuperfoodORAC units presentMatcha1384Goji berries253Dark Chocolate227Pecans180Walnuts135Pomegranate105Blueberries93Acai Berries55Broccoli31Spinach26The matcha is not a new discovery; it has been a part of the Japanese tea culture for more than 800 years now. It has been discovered by the western health conscious society only now, after finding out about its miraculous antioxidative properties. Traditionally in Japan, the matcha used to be consumed by the Buddhist Zen monks to build concentration for meditation, from then it went on to serve the royal and scholar communities where due to its focus building properties it helped people concentrate on long intellectual discussions.So the Japanese have always cherished matcha and reaped its benefits over several centuries. We however have just come across the amazing matcha with its great health building properties.  Well as the saying goes, ‘Better late than never’, we too have come to willingly accept the new forms of healthy options which tread our way.In case of other regular green teas you end up drinking the brew and throwing away the leaves but in case of matcha, the drink is not a brew but a solution. So you end up ingesting the leaves as a whole, filling your system up with all the nutrients contained in them.The Matcha actually just means powdered tea. The tea leaves that are used are grown under shade right before harvesting to enhance its chlorophyll content which makes it a powerful detoxifier and helps eliminate harmful chemical and heavy metals from the body and gives it its rich green colour. After harvesting the leaves are steamed, air dried and roasted before going through an extensive process of pulverisation to grind it into a fine powder. This powder is then added to hot water and whisked (preferably in a W or M movement) to obtain a frothy concoction with little bubbles called the matcha green tea.The antioxidant present in matcha is known as catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) which is known for its cancer fighting properties. It basically eliminates the free radicals produced by the body which if left unattended may cause cancer. It also has anti-ageing properties and hence delays the formation of wrinkles on the face. It is known to fight inflammation caused due to various age related diseases like arthritis and auto immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.A basic breakdown of nutrients of matcha vs. nutrients of green tea is given below:Nutrients/servingMatcha green tea (1g/80ml)Regular Green tea (2g/150ml)Calories2.76Kcal2KcalCaffeine34mg30mgPolyphenols99mg14mgCatechin- EGCG70mg68mgAmino acid- L Threanine16.84mg6mgProtein274mg300mgFiber314mg20mgCalcium3.23mg4.5mgIron0.13mg0.3mgPotassium20.5mg40mgVitamin A0.325mgNAVitamin C1.85mg1.2mgORAC units1573520   When regular coffee consumers were given matcha in place of coffee to overcome their caffeine need (one cup of coffee provides around 60mg of caffeine), they found that the kick that matcha provided was that of a ‘calming alertness’ minus the jitters which sometimes accompany a coffee kick. That is because matcha contains an amino acid called L—Threanine which gives a calming and relaxing effect and slows down the release of the tea’s caffeine thereby providing the calm alertness for a longer period of time. L-Threanine is also known to promote the release of several neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin which in turn alleviates mood, improves memory and provides better concentration.Polyphenols present in matcha have a preventive action and helps prevent the risk of coronary heart diseases and various cancers of the lungs, breast, colon, stomach, etc.It is rich in fiber and hence helps in improving digestion and relieving constipation. It also boosts the metabolism of the body thereby helping in losing weight.It also helps in building immunity, thereby preventing various diseases. It also has cholesterol lowering and blood sugar level balancing properties.One cup of matcha green tea is said to be equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea when it comes to providing health benefits.Now that you know all there is to know about the 2015 – health sensation called the matcha green tea. Go ahead and try for yourself.

Iced Tea or Green Tea? Make a Wise Choice

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
You've heard that tea is good for health. So, many people drink tea any its variations instead of carbonated drinks, etc. Now tea variations are like iced tea, green tea, black tea, milk tea, etc. Some are healthy, some are not. We'll tell you which ones to go for between iced tea and green tea.Iced Tea is a popular choice as a daily beverage for refreshment. But most iced tea options contain sugar in them which is not good for your body and weight loss. So, even though it might contain some antioxidants, the sugar content and calorie count would completely counteract any benefits.Multiple studies have shown that Green tea is beneficial for weight loss and reduces stress for better body immunity and helps to curb many health ailments. It also contains 'adaptogenlcs' which helps the body to adapt to stress and anxiety. It is rich in antioxidants which slows down the process of excess oxidation and protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. It can be had in hot water as well as 'iced green tea'. It is available in many flavors like mint, tulsi, ginger and more that can suit your taste buds.Green tea is a healthier option than iced tea due the presence of sugar in it which slows down the fat breakdown, whereas green tea will help you get rid of the fat. To suit your taste for sugar you can add sugar free to your green tea to find a balance. Green tea will keep you away from cold & flu, and make you feel energized. Green tea can be prepared easily as it is available in tea bags too, which is easy to carry and prepare.So, next time you're a restaurant, go for the green tea!