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Cancer Prevention & Health Benefits of Green Tea

It’s a typical Monday morning devoted to being productive and listing down to-dos on the notepad, somewhere around 7 o’clock.

Drew offers you a fresh cup of high-quality green tea and you very politely decline the offer saying, “No Thanks, it’s bitter.”

I myself am very fond of sweet tea but the secret ingredients that go in a perfect cup of green tea, bitter in taste can’t always be 3 large tablespoons of sugar.

It’s startling to see that there is so much written about the best green tea brands and its health-promoting benefits yet a maximum chunk of people say no to it because it’s bitter in taste.

Of course, there are multiple ways by which you can tweak your cup of strong green tea into a super delicious one- we’ll come to this part a little later in the article.

But, it’s crucial to know the factors that add to the bitterness of the Green Tea:

Chemistry of the Biomolecules:

The two major biomolecules that contribute to the bitterness of loose leaf green tea are Caffeine and Tannin.

Since the oxidation of Tannin doesn’t happen in green tea, it maximizes the bitter impact by staying in the mouth for long.

 

Growing Conditions:

It is more than just the genotype of the plant that comprises a flavour.

Just as top-quality rice of one region is different from another, a leaf of one vegetation surrounding will have different flavours from another.

 It has more to do with the growing conditions- weather and regions that instil the aroma, texture or the bitterness in the green tea variety than the genetic makeup.

And, here’s where the concept of terroir in tea comes into the picture.

 

Tea Processing:

This is one whole new zone for the tea makers to explore.

As a kid, I had much lesser options in tea but now one can bring out a completely different flavour by either heavily processing the leaves or lightly rolling/drying the leaves.

These processing techniques also give green tea extracts- floral, sweet, or bitter.

Few more factors are Bad Quality Tea Leaves, Too Hot Water, Long Steeping time, and Proper Storage.

Before you hack your way through the bitter taste of green tea and turn it into a refreshing one, it’s important to know about the love affair that people have garnered around green tea.

The love has everything to do with green tea benefits and it's extremely medicinal compounds which are–

  • Catechin Polyphenols that gives the bitter taste to the tea
  • Catechin, Epicatechin, Epicatechin Gallate (ECG), Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), and other Pro-Anthocyanidins, which are some of the other subcategories
  • Amino Acids such as Theanine, Butyric Acid & Lignin; Xanthine Alkaloids such as Adenine and,
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E

 AND,

the perks of drinking green tea which are:

Reduces Memory Loss or Alzheimer's:

Green tea contains a compound called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate that helps to reduce memory impairment and prevents the formation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.

Regular drinking of green tea has the potential to protect and improve cognitive function.

This surprising benefit of green tea makes it a popular beverage among the older age-group, who is more prone to the disease.

Delays Ageing:

Antioxidants, one of the primary compounds of green tea drain out the free radicals from the body.

The regular consumption of green tea hence is highly effective in delaying the symptoms of ageing.

Combats Diabetes:

From many observational studies, it’s found that there is a correlation between lifestyle behaviours and health outcomes.

Diabetes, being one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases among individuals can be taken under control with the befitting qualities of green tea.

Fights Cancer:

In Cancer, the body loses its ability to respond to the signals that control cell behaviour thus, leading to abnormal cell growth.

Also, the different therapies that cure cancer make it difficult for the body to stay hydrated.

Green tea consumption has shown great results in restoring both the cancer-fighting enzymes that control the tumour cell growth and the hydration levels of the body.

According to cancer.gov, green tea does magic for cancer patients of both sexes.

Burns Calories:

The obsession with fitness in the Western World has been the major reason in popularizing the green tea consumption.

Its thermogenic properties enhance the rate of metabolism leading to faster consumption of the stored body fat.

While still there’s a lot of research that needs to be done in this area, green tea so far has proven effective in burning out those extra inches.

Hack your way through the bitterness:

It’s really astonishing to know how that 1 smart ingredient can turn your bitter green tea into a super awesome one.

I learnt it the bitter way and with time but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to go through that as well.

The ingredients mentioned below come from our kitchen chores but again, it’s important to know because a right ingredient can’t be just anything-

Mint:

This herb when added perfectly blends its calming properties in the tea and gives a fresh and a soothing flavour that energizes your spirits and reduces the bitter effect from your ideal cup of green tea

Cinnamon:

This spice comes up with its own medicinal properties and aroma.

And, the important thing that it can be replaced with sugar because it has beneficial sweetening properties unlike the artificial sweeteners and conventional sugars.

Lemon:

A drop of lemon can give a whole new twist to your cup by taking that bitterness away and adding a tangy flavour.

Of course, it does wonders in restoring the polyphenols that otherwise gets broken down when the polyphenols pass through the bloodstream but lemons restore them.

Honey:

Honey, specifically if consumed in the raw form provides a protective barrier to prevent infection, further enhancing the medicinal properties of green tea.

It contains around 70-80% of sugar and hence, can be taken by people who are trying to cut down their calories by reducing the sugar intake.

Let us know in the comments below how you have hacked your way through Green Tea!