Green tea has most likely been a part of the human diet for thousands and thousands of years; dating to prehistoric times. While it has traditionally been enjoyed by people in Asia, it is becoming more and more popular in the West. There is little question that one of the reasons for this boost in popularity is due to the health effects of green tea.
Herbalists and those practicing alternative medicine have long held that green tea is healthy. However, it is only recently that scientific and medical studies have been able to show verifiable health benefits of green tea.
Even though it is good for your health, not everybody likes to take their green tea the same way. We aren’t just talking about adding a dash of honey or a splash of milk. Here are three different forms of green tea.
Tea leaves. This is the way most people take their green tea. You take some green tea leaves (stems are okay, too) and steep them in hot water. The longer you steep them, the more flavor, and health-giving nutrients you’ll extract from the leaves. Once it is steeped to your liking, strain out the leaves, and sip at your leisure.
Some people are under the mistaken impression that throwing out the green tea leaves is the same as throwing away the health-giving benefits, but this isn’t the case. Yes, there will still be some compounds left in the tea leaves, but the hot water will actually draw a lot of them out. So, you may get more nutrition if you eat the whole plant, but you can still drink green tea and boost your health at the same time. But what if there was a way to ingest the entire plant?
What we are talking about is green tea powder, also known as matcha. This is the entire tea plant, with all of its nutrients left intact, but it is finely ground. This is a high-quality product and it can be a bit pricey. But as it has all parts of the tea plant, it will get the most value for your money.
However, not all powdered green tea is the “good stuff”. There is also processed tea powder (adding preservatives and other chemicals), but it is not the same thing. Make sure the label says “matcha”, or only contains tea as an ingredient. Another clue is if it is really cheap. If so, remember that you will get what you paid for, which isn’t much.
Then we have green tea pills. The claim is that they take all the healthy compounds found in green tea and put them into the form of a pill. This can sound appealing and is convenient as there is no need to wait for the tea to get done brewing, and it can be cheaper than high-quality green tea powder. If you want to try these pills, be sure to get them from a supplement maker that you trust. This will help ensure you are really getting what they say you’re getting.