The Top 13 Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has long been known for its extensive health benefits, and in recent years many scientific studies have been conducted that back up green tea’s purported beneficial properties. Whether you’re looking to consume green tea to improve your health, or just like the mellow, vegetal taste of a cup of quality green tea, there are plenty of options to choose from.

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What is green tea?

Green tea is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis tea plant. Native to China and India, this plant has been cultivated for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Other types of “true” tea, including black tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and purple tea, are all made from the same plant. Like other types of tea, green tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine. Green tea can be consumed on its own or as an ingredient in flavored tea blends.

While green tea is made from the same tea plant as other types of tea, there are a few key differences between green tea and other types of tea. After green tea leaves are harvested, the leaves are quickly steamed or pan-fired in order to halt the oxidation process. This preserves the tea leaves’ light green color, and is one of the reasons why green tea is especially high in the beneficial properties present in the tea plant.

Japanese vs. Chinese green tea

Green tea is primarily produced in either China or Japan. While teas produced in these countries are similar in some ways, they have a few distinct characteristics that set them apart. Most notably, Chinese green teas are usually pan-fired to halt the oxidation process, while Japanese green teas are typically steamed. As a result of these different processing methods, Chinese green teas tend to be mellower and more floral, while Japanese green teas are richer and more vegetal. Japanese green tea is also sometimes further processed into matcha, which is a finely ground powder produced from shaded green tea leaves.

Green tea benefits

If you’re trying to improve your health, you can’t go wrong with a cup of green tea. Here are a few of the many health benefits of green tea:

1. High in EGCG

Green tea is especially high in a unique component known as EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG is a specific type of catechin that has been studied for its beneficial effects. While other types of tea contain smaller amounts of EGCG, green tea is especially high in it.

2. Boosts energy

Green tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, which can give you a boost of energy to help you power through the day. In general, green tea contains about half as much caffeine as black tea and about a quarter as much as a cup of coffee. However, some green teas, particularly shade-grown Japanese teas like Gyokuro and Kabusecha, may be higher in caffeine.

3. Reduces stress

Green tea also contains a property known as l-theanine, a unique component that can help to reduce stress and anxiety and promote rest and relaxation. A cup of green tea can help you to calm down if you’re feeling anxious, and help you relax and unwind. Just be sure to avoid green tea in the evening if you’re sensitive to caffeine!

4. Improves cognitive function

The caffeine and l-theanine present in green tea work together to help boost your brainpower and improve cognitive function. Caffeine energizes while l-theanine calms, and when combined together they can help you to focus on cognitively demanding tasks, study, and more.

5. Good for your teeth

Trying to protect your pearly whites? Green tea is great for your teeth and overall oral health. Green tea is rich in flavonoids that work to reduce inflammation, maintain healthy gums, and limit the growth of bacteria in your mouth.

6. Boosts metabolism

Green tea has been shown to help boost your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight. According to a 2013 study, drinking four cups of tea a day helped participants to lose weight. If you’re looking to get into better shape, green tea is a great addition to other aspects of a healthy lifestyle like nutritious foods and exercise.

7. High in antioxidants

Like other types of tea, green tea is extremely high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to reduce harmful free radicals within the body and prevent degenerative diseases. Its high antioxidant content is one of the main reasons why green tea is considered so healthy!

8. Good for heart health

Drinking green tea regularly is also good for your heart. Green tea can help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This is because of the beneficial flavanoids present in green tea.

9. Improves longevity

Drinking green tea may help to increase longevity. A 2020 study in China found that habitual tea drinkers live longer than non-tea drinkers. While this may be due to the healthful properties of green tea, scientists suggest that other factors may also play a role in extending longevity, such as being able to take the time out of your day to relax, unwind, and brew up a cup.

10. Good for your skin

Consuming green tea has benefits for your skin, thanks to the presence of EGCG. Green tea has been shown to protect your skin against harmful UV rays. Green tea can also be applied topically, and is a popular ingredient in a variety of skincare products.

11. Boosts your immune system

Green tea contains beneficial polyphenols known as catechins that can help to boost your immune system and ward off illnesses like colds and the flu. Green tea also has antimicrobial properties that can help to prevent infection.

12. Reduces inflammation

Studies have shown that green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe pain and reduce inflammation. Like many of the other health benefits of green tea, this is again due to the high levels of catechins in green tea.

13. Good for digestion

Green tea is also good for your digestion. Drinking green tea can help to prevent gastrointestinal disorders thanks to its abundant polyphenols. Green tea can also help you to stay hydrated, and a soothing cup of green tea can help you to digest heavy meals and cleanse your palate.

Flavored green tea vs. classic green tea

Green tea comes in a variety of classic types, from bold Gunpowder to mellow Kukicha and everything in between. These green teas contain just one ingredient: high-quality tea leaves harvested from the camellia sinensis plant. But if you don’t like the taste of green tea on its own, or just want to try something different, there are plenty of flavored blends to choose from as well.

Flavored green teas contain green tea as a base, which is then blended with different herbs, spices, fruits, and flowers depending on the tea. Some of our most popular flavored green teas include Moroccan Mint, which is a blend of Gunpowder green tea flavored with spearmint; Vanilla Bean, which is a green tea flavored with vanilla, and Jasmine Yin Cloud, which is a Chinese green tea scented with delicate jasmine blossoms. Flavored green teas contain just as many health benefits as classic green teas, so feel free to pick whichever one strikes your fancy!

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Green tea vs. matcha

While green tea and matcha share many similarities, there are some important differences between the two types of tea. Essentially, green tea is a type of full-leaf tea that is infused in hot water, while matcha is made from green tea leaves that are stone-ground into a fine powder and prepared by whisking together with hot water.

So which one is better for you? When you drink a cup of tea, you’re drinking an infusion of tea leaves in water, while when you drink a bowl of matcha, you’re actually consuming the whole tea leaf. Because matcha is so concentrated, it will contain even more of the beneficial properties present in green tea, along with a stronger flavor. Matcha is also typically much higher in caffeine than a typical green tea, and can be somewhat of an acquired taste until your palate adjusts to it. Whether you go for a cup of green tea or a bowl of matcha is largely a matter of personal preference - they’re both full of beneficial properties that can have a positive impact on your health.

Is green tea healthier than other kinds of tea?

Customers who are new to tea or who are interested in reaping the many benefits of loose leaf tea often ask us what the “healthiest” tea is. The truth is that many different kinds of tea contain beneficial properties, from soothing herbal teas that can help with stress and digestion to caffeinated teas that are high in antioxidants and can help boost brain power and ward off illness.

Like other types of tea produced from the camellia sinensis tea plant, green tea has a wealth of health benefits. Because green tea is processed less than some other types of tea, the beneficial properties inherent in the tea plant may be better preserved in green tea. Green tea has also been studied more extensively than other types of tea, meaning that scientific evidence for the health benefits of green tea is more readily available.

If you’re interested in drinking tea for its many health benefits, you can’t go wrong with a cup of green tea. On the other hand, if you prefer drinking other types of tea, you’ll still be getting plenty of benefits with each cup. Ultimately, we recommend choosing a tea that you enjoy drinking and will consume regularly: the more often you drink good tea, the more benefits you’ll see!

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FAQs about green tea

What is green tea good for?

Green tea is full of health benefits—it can help to boost energy, increase focus, reduce stress, and more.

Is green tea good for your gums?

Green tea is great for your oral health! Not only is green tea a healthier alternative to sugary drinks, but it also helps to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy gums.

Is green tea considered herbal tea?

No, green tea is not considered herbal tea. Like other types of tea, including black tea, oolong tea, and white tea, green tea is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis tea plant.

Does adding honey to green tea reduce its benefits?

Many people enjoy a spoonful of two of honey in their tea. While you should use sweeteners in moderation, adding honey to your tea won't negate the beneficial properties of green tea. We recommend adding honey or other sweeteners to flavored blends like Vanilla Bean Green Tea and Green Tea Chai. For classic, unflavored blends, we recommend enjoying them on their own in order to appreciate their more nuanced flavors.

Does black tea have the same benefits as green tea?

Since both black tea and green tea are made from the same plant, black tea benefits tend to be very similar to green tea benefits. However, the specific processing that green tea undergoes can change its beneficial properties slightly; for example, green teas are often higher in l-theanine.

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