Green tea has been used in China for thousands of years now. It is often used to treat everything from headaches to depression. Green tea originated in China but has spread throughout the different regions of Asia, especially Japan.
Benefits of Green Tea
Recently, green tea has been a subject of many research studies. Some evidence suggests that green tea contains bioactive compounds reduce the risk of many health conditions.
It contains a mild amount of caffeine, a known stimulant that can improve brain function including improved mood, reaction time and memory.
Aside from caffeine, green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which can protect the brain in old age. Green tea has shown to protect the brain from two of the leading neurodegenerative diseases, namely: Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The catechin in green is known to kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza. A regular consumption of green tea is linked with improved dental health and reduced risk of infections.
One study in Japanese individuals showed that people who had a regular consumption had a 42 percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Green tea is capable of increasing the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, thus promote a healthy heart.
Varieties of Green Tea
The varieties of green tea are classified in the countries where it is grown. Typically, different elements can affect the type of green tea. Its varieties differ because of the growing condition, horticulture, production processing, and harvesting time.
Below are some of the varieties of green tea from China and Japan.
Japanese Green Tea
Matcha – made from skillfully cultivated, shade-grown tea leaves that are meticulously stone-ground into a fine powder.
Sencha – the top few leaves from the shoot are used because they are rich in flavor.
Gyokuro – it is an elaborated form of sencha, while its leaves are shade-grown similar to matcha.
Kabusecha – it is also shade-grown and is similar to gyokuro, the only difference it has a shorter length of time.
Bancha – it is made from more mature leaves than sencha. It is mild in taste and flavor.
Genmaicha – it is a mixture of roasted rice and either sencha or bancha.
Hojicha – it is made of finished tea leaves or stems and then roasted for a few minutes, until it turns dark brown.
Kukicha – it is a tea that is made from stems, called kuki.
Konacha – it is made from fine, powdery tea leaves, and is best served with sushi.
Chinese Green Tea
Gunpowder – it is a common tea in China which look like tiny pellets that opens up during the brewing process.
Long Jing (Dragonwell) – once processed, the leaves tend to be flat and have a jade color.
Pi Lo Chun (Green Snail Spring) – when the leaves are rolled, this tea has a snail-like apperace.
Snowy Mountain Jian – the leaves of this tea are long and are processed differently than other green teas. Its flavor is similar to black tea.
Hyson Lucky Dragon – the leaves has a greenish-yellow color and taste bolder than other green teas.
Kai Hua Long Ding – the leaves of this tea are thick yet very short.
Xin Yang Mao Jian – the leaves of this tea is fine and delicate, yet produces a light and sweet taste.
Hou Kui – also known as the “monkey tea”, it possess the orchid-like flavor.
If you are seriously looking for ways to be fit and healthy, then you might want to include green tea in your daily diet.