Green tea originated in China thousands of years ago and was used for medicinal purposes. Botanical studies indicate that India and China were among the first countries to cultivate tea.1 Tea is made from the leaves of a single plant species called Camellia sinensis.2 There are three main varieties of tea—green, black and oolong. The differences between them are the processing techniques. Green tea is the least processed made from non-oxidized leaves whereas black and oolong tea leaves are fermented (oxidized).
Tea, especially green tea, is packed with lots of wonderful benefits such as antioxidants, EGCG—epigallocatechin gallate, that have been known to reduce high blood sugar, lower risks of heart attack, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and to slow cancer growth. Green tea naturally has caffeine that ranges between 30 and 35mg per cup (black tea has about 40 to 60mg per cup) and coffee has 100 to 150mg per cup.2 So as you see, not all caffeine is bad for you! In fact in 2006, The Journal of the American Medical Association published that by drinking green tea you may prolong your life! Now isn’t that worth a cup of tea?!
Studies have shown that women who drank 5 or more daily cups of green tea benefited most, decreasing their heart disease mortality risk by 31% compared with women who drank one cup or less per day. Men who drank the most tea also did well with a 22% risk reduction.
1“Green Tea.” Wikipedia. July 15, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea. July 15, 2009.
2Chappell, Mary Margaret. “What’s Brewing.” Wildoats. January/February., 2007.