Green tea is a type of tea made from the unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis, which undergoes minimal oxidation at the time of processing. It originates from China and has become popular in other parts of the world like Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, etc. There are different varieties of green tea available in the market which differ as per their varying growing conditions, and processing and reaping time.
Being a rich source of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, it has been observed that green tea drinkers have less chances of developing heart diseases or any type of cancer. It is also beneficial for weight loss management.
In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, it has been used as a stimulant, diuretic, and astringent, which controls bleeding and helps cure wounds. It also reduces the risk of esophageal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, and cardiovascular disease. It improves the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol and an impaired immune system. The herbal tea even prevents tooth decay by killing the bacteria that cause dental plaque.
- Each cup of green tea contains nearly 40 milligrams of caffeine. Hence, green tea drinkers who are sensitive to caffeine may suffer from sleeping disorders like the loss of sleep (even for an entire night), hypertension, anxiety, irritability, heart palpitations, frequent urination, nausea, loss of appetite, stomach upset, tremors, and skin rashes.
- Another side effect of green tea consumption is iron malabsorption. The herbal tea extract reduces the absorption of certain nutrients and non-heme iron by 25% and may cause an iron deficiency in the body.
- Green tea comprises caffeine, catechins, and tannic acids, which have been linked to pregnancy risks. Excessive intake of green tea can cause neural tube birth defect in babies. Therefore, it should be avoided during the periods of early pregnancy.
- It is not advisable for kids to drink green tea as it contains tannic acids, which obstructs the absorption of nutrients, such as proteins and fats in the body. This further leads to weak bones, bad teeth, and some allergies in children.
- The tea reduces the absorption of thiamine (vitamin B1), thereby causing beriberi. Beriberi is a nervous system disorder which causes weight loss, impaired sensory perception, weakness, and pain in limbs, edema (swelling of bodily tissues), and irregular heart rate.
- It is also believed that since green tea is rich in oxalic acid, it may be responsible for kidney stones in the body. Kidney stones are mineral deposits formed by calcium, uric acid, or amino acid cysteine, in combination with phosphate or oxalic acid.
- Too much intake of green tea may cause skeletal fluorosis, especially in middle-aged people.
- The tea may not get along well with some medications like adenosine, blood thinners, some antibiotics, antipsychotics, sedatives, beta blockers, MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors), some cold, cough, and weight loss products.
People suffering from kidney diseases, heart problems, psychological disorders, or stomach ulcers should be careful before consuming green tea. In fact, its consumption in moderate quantities is beneficial for the body as it is effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.