Green tea is all the rage these days, but it is by no means a new trend; people have been seeping plant leaves in water for thousands of years. However, it’s popularity has grown over the last few decades as more people have learned the many benefits that green tea has to offer. With all the wonderful things it can do, and celebrities like Oprah singing it’s praises, no wonder green tea has become the go-to health drink.
I Know Green Tea is Good For You…Give Me Details!
Where do I start? Green tea is beneficial in just about every way. It’s packed with antioxidants; in fact, about ten times the amount found in fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in green tea are called polyphenols, which are anti-aging, and have been shown to support cardiovascular health, immune system health, and combat many diseases. Green tea also helps burn the fat by boosting the metabolism. Now, what woman doesn’t want that boosted?
Green tea can help reduce pollen allergies, can aid in lowering cholesterol levels, and even improve skin health. It can also help reduce inflammation in those suffering from irritable bowel disease or Crohns disease. Plus, green tea also has cancer fighting capabilities; the antioxidant EGCG has been shown to weaken and even kill off some cancer cells .
Green tea may be all kinds of awesome, but some people still disagree with the taste. And many convenient, sweetened green tea drinks, such as Starbucks green tea latte, are loaded with calories. Luckily, there are options out there to avoid actually drinking green tea, but still get the green tea benefits, and that is with green tea extracts. These can be found in tablets, powder, and even in liquid drop form.
The Rise of Green Tea Extracts
Extracts are a great thing to add to a daily health or weight loss routine. The potency of extracts are much greater than in a simple cup of green tea. People can enjoy all the benefits of green tea on a higher level, aiding to their overall good health and sense of well being, without committing to drinking multiple cups a day.
There are mental benefits with extracts, as well; they can heighten alertness and focus. tThey can create a sense of calm energy, so they are a good idea for hardworking students or those who may struggle with staying awake at work.
But what about caffeine sensitivities? Don’t worry; there are decaffeinated options available for green tea extracts.
Green powdered tea extract is also known as matcha. With green powdered tea, the leaves themselves are dried and ground into powder, instead of put into a teabag for steeping. There are more vitamins and minerals in the whole leaves, and also a huge amount of antioxidants compared to green tea in a cup.
Remember those EGCG’s that kill cancer? Well, matcha has been found to contain levels of EGCG at 137 times higher than what was found in a cup of traditionally brewed China Green Tips tea (Weiss and Anderton). Those numbers make me want to switch from the tea bag to the scoop!
Of course, the powder mix is still going to have a taste that may not please many. And it still needs to be prepared, therefore taking time that is precious to busy people like me. This is where extracts in tablet form are a great idea.
Like green tea powder, tablets offer a higher potency option for reaping the green tea benefits. Tablets are also the most convenient choice; you can just add this supplement to your daily vitamin regimen and forget about it.
Green tea liquid drops have the same benefits as other extracts, but with a higher concentration, so just a few drops can be added to a glass of water. The liquid drops are also used for skincare, and can be added to a range of DIY skincare recipes, as well as sunscreen.
When it comes to buying extracts,there is a huge variety supplements to choose from. They can be bought over the counter at Wal-Mart or ordered through Amazon. Tablet form seems to be the most popular. Major tablet supplement brands are NOW Foods and Life Extension Mega Greens, which are both found in numerous places online. Major matcha brands are Teavana and The Republic of Tea. There are thousands of brands to choose from, ranging from cheap, low quality extracts to expensive, high quality, organic options.
Always Be Smart
Of course, there are some things to be aware of with green tea extracts. An extract has much higher potency, so one serving of a supplement could be equal to five cups of green tea in liquid form. If it’s caffeinated, that would be in addition to any other caffeine ingested throughout the day.
There are potential side effects from high doses of extracts, including mild headaches, nausea, or dizziness. It is also advised that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid extracts. Those with hear, liver, and kidney problems are also advised to take precaution. According to a National Library of Medicine case study, there have been some rare cases of liver failure linked to excessive green tea consumption.
Of course, its always wise to follow directions, take what is recommended, and stop immediately if side effects occur.
I know there are always risks with excessive use of just about anything. But the benefits of green tea are too good to be ignored. I know I won’t stop getting my green tea fix anytime soon.
Have you tried green tea extracts? Let us know in the comments section below.