Green tea: what it is, properties and nutritional values, benefits, how much to drink per day, side effects

Green tea: what it is, properties and nutritional values, benefits, how much to drink per day, side effects

Good both cold and hot, green tea is a concentrate of beneficial and healing properties. In fact, it is rich in antioxidants (flavonoids and polyphenols), vitamins (especially A and group B) and minerals (fluorine, zinc, manganese). Hence, it helps your body stay healthy, young and fit. It improves brain function and helps to ward off the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, thanks to its ability to regulate blood cholesterol levels.

Many studies have shown that it also has the power to stimulate the metabolism. Thus, drinking green tea would limit the absorption of fats and help burn them. An ally of your well-being, it is also a beauty companion for your skin and hair, preventing hair loss.

Green tea is known to have more polyphenols than black tea and less caffeine. Polyphenols (flavonoids, catechins) are antioxidant molecules including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Lately, it has also become famous as a food for “healthy” recipes, such as cupcakes, muffins, milkshakes but also ice creams. Find out how much green tea to drink a day because despite its beneficial properties, excessive use of green tea can cause irritability, insomnia and promote ulcers.

Green tea: what is it?

Green tea, before being the second most consumed drink in the world after water, is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries in China and Japan. On the other hand, green tea is part of the remedies of traditional Asian and above all Chinese medicine.

Like all other types of tea (black, red and white) the green one comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, also known under the name of tea tree, originally from China.

But green tea is the most famous for its health benefits. Indeed, it is the tea that undergoes the least transformations and therefore retains the greatest virtues, because it is not fermented.


There are different price ranges, depending on the flavors and fame of the different teas, but it is possible to find good Japanese green tea at a reasonable price.

Main types of green tea and properties

  • Shinsha: Spring green tea.
  • Sensha: the king of green teas.
  • Gyokuro: rich in amino acids.
  • Genmaicha: soothes and warms.
  • Bancha: has little caffeine.
  • Kukicha and Karigane: rich in amino acids and with little caffeine.
  • Benifuuki: anti allergic and cleanses the liver.
  • Matcha: detox and anti-oxidant.

Green tea: properties and nutritional values

Infusions, and among them green tea, exploit the high temperatures of the water to transfer many nutrients and molecules that play a protective role for our cells.

Among these substances, the main ones are flavonoids and polyphenols, of which green tea is rich.


Flavanols and flavonoids, also including anthocyanins, are recognized as having protective physiological actions for the organism. Among the main actions associated with them, the most important is the antioxidant one.

This action is due to their ability to inhibit chemical reactions known as oxidative, i.e. reactions in which our molecules exchange electrons with each other, generating charged molecules.

In fact, a charged molecule easily reacts with others, progressively generating damage often extensive to the point of preventing cells from managing it, causing mutations that can contribute to the onset of even serious pathologies.

Epicatechina (EC) e l’epigallocatechina (EGC)

Among the best-known polyphenols it contains, green tea has a family of catechins among which epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) and the better known epigallocatechin- 3-gallate (EGCG).

Sodium (mg)45
Potassium (mg)2160
Calcium (mg)30
Phosphorus (mg)630
Ferro (mg)15.2
Vitamin C (mg)0

Chemical composition

Green tea
Water (g)9.3
Energy (kcal)108
Protein (g)19.6
Lipids (g)2.0
Cholesterol (mg)0
Available carbohydrates (g)3.0
Soluble sugars (g)3.0

Green tea: health benefits

Several studies have shown a reduced risk of developing certain chronic diseases in green tea drinkers. Thus, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006 demonstrated that the consumption of green tea is associated with a reduction in the mortality rate. In this study, 40,000 Japanese between the ages of 40 and 79 were observed over 11 years.

Those who drank more than 3 cups a day were found to be less at risk of terminal disease, especially from cardiovascular causes.


EGCG is the most active of all catechins and performs another very important function, namely liver support.

This organ presides over the energy management of our body. In synergy with hormones, insulin and glucagon, it makes glucose available when needed or transforms it into fatty acids when it is in excess.

A healthy liver works better and optimizes this function, thus managing to regulate the levels of bad cholesterol (HDL) and triglycerides.

Fat burning properties

This is therefore due to the fat burning properties of this EGCG molecule, which have made green tea a real “divinity” for those looking for quick remedies to lose weight.

Unfortunately, however, this is not the case, as to obtain this benefit from EGCG, it would be necessary to consume a decidedly exaggerated amount of green tea.

However, some studies have shown that drinking 3 cups of green tea a day burns up to 80 more calories!

This is due to the fact that for the properties mentioned above, the consumption of this drink facilitates the physiology of our body, making it work better and consequently stimulating the metabolism.

However, it should be remembered that maximum benefit can be obtained from tea only if it is included in a healthy, varied and balanced diet.

Antitumor action

Green tea is rich in flavonoids. Therefore, taking the right dose of antioxidant molecules, such as to support those that our body is able to produce by itself, performs an important defensive action. First of all, in favor of the circulatory system, to be precise, of the blood microcirculation.

All with the logical consequence of supporting the cardiovascular system and related organs, such as the liver and pancreas, but also of reducing the incidence of damage that can lead to the appearance of neoplasms (antimutagenic and antitumor action).

Protects against brain injuries

According to a study conducted by the University of Maastricht, consuming green tea every day would protect against the risk of cerebral vascular accidents.

It is the catechins, ie the antioxidant substances present in green tea, which create a protective effect as they help to lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation.

Reactivates the metabolism and helps to lose weight in health

It speeds up the metabolism and helps you to dispose of fat, especially abdominal fat, i.e. the one located on the belly, which represents the highest risk because it is more associated with cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders and diabetes, especially in the presence of high cholesterol.

Green tea alone does not have miraculous properties but, within a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, which also have excellent protective properties, it creates a synergy of nutrients that has a positive effect on health in general.

Natural energizer

It has always been drunk for its stimulating and energizing powers. In fact, starting the day with a cup of green tea or drinking it when you’re tired helps fight fatigue.

Green tea: how to consume it

Water and infusion

The water, the boiling temperature and the infusion time significantly change the flavor of the tea. You can consume it, hot, cold, sweetened or not, but you must know that the best choice is to consume it natural.

What kind of tea to choose

There is a large variety of green teas. In the world there are about 1500 types, the Chinese Gunpowder, the Japanese Sencha and Gyokuro are the most famous.

Also, green teas from Japan are of better quality and more carefully packaged. In fact, they are distinguished because the fermentation is blocked at the time of harvest.

Roasting is done with steam and is a very delicate process. In this way, the tea leaf is preserved and retains all its virtues.

Sencha tea is the most common in Japan, its leaves are exposed to the sun. Instead, Gyokuro tea is considered the best Japanese tea and its flavor is slightly perfumed.

In addition to these two teas, there are Bancha, Jabusecha, Tencha, Tamaryokucha, whose composition and flavor vary.

There is also Genmaicha green tea or roasted tea, because it is a mix of tea and puffed rice grains whose flavor is unique.

Instead, Matcha green tea is a very famous green tea powder in Japan. Its traditional preparation is done with a small bamboo whisk. This tea is very tasty and would be the most beneficial for health because it often comes from the latest harvests.

If you are interested in the topic, discover our study on matcha tea.

Organic green tea: a guarantee?

Green tea produced from organic farming comes from a certified plantation which should be an indicator of the quality of the plant, grown without the use of pesticides.

But be careful, the “bio” label does not necessarily guarantee a product without pesticides or pollutants because control is difficult to do.

Guide to buying and consuming: how much green tea to drink a day

Green tea is sold loose, in ready-made sachets and also in powder form. The loose one has undergone less handling and is highly appreciated by lovers of this drink.

You can also find tea-based products on the market…