To name all green tea ingredients would probably bore you out (as it did me) but don’t miss the next overview of the MOST important ingredients!
These very educational names might not ring a bell but what if I told you the first group can be subdivided into tannins, responsible for the characteristic taste of tea?
And what if I told you flavonoids are the ones making green tea as SPECIAL as it is?
Yep, these good old flavonoids can be subdivided into flavonols, flavanols and other “flavas” but also into catechins where EGCG is the one responsible for making us feel a little bit healthier and happier!
Catechins make up the largest part of polyphenols in green tea; up to 30% of the dry leaf weight.
Read all about green tea catechins!
Caffeine makes up approximately 3% of green tea. On average, when we look at the caffeine content of green tea we see it contains 9-50 mg of caffeine per cup depending on the strength of the brew and whether it’s the first serving or not.
In comparison, black tea contains 40-70 mg of caffeine per cup, about half of a freshly brewed cup of coffee (90 mg) and instant coffee has about 60 mg of caffeine.
This green tea ingredient makes you alert while counteracting any feelings of fatigue. Ideal for getting things done but it also raises blood pressure and stimulates the kidneys.
Heck, this stimulant can even help in your fight to lose weight! More on losing weight with caffeine here: Chinese diet tea.
3. Other antioxidants
Another compound of green tea are the group of vitamins, such as:
- Vitamin A – increasing immunity
- Vitamin B complex: B1, B2, B3 and B12 – helping to digest carbohydrates
- Vitamin C – reducing stress, increasing the immune system and blood vessel walls
- Vitamin E – preventing infertility, and
- Vitamins F, K, P and U.
Read more on these here: green tea antioxidant.
Most of these vitamins are left intact during the processing of the leaves because green tea is hardly being processed: what is green tea.
Besides vitamins zinc (increasing immunity), selenium (improving the heart condition), magnesia (increasing immunity) and glycosides (preventing blood sugar increase) can be found in green tea.
For information and inspiration on vitamins and health I recommend Vitamins and Health Facts!
If you ever sat in the dentist’s chair, you must be familiar with fluoride; it prevents cavities through hardening tooth enamel.
Other minerals are aluminum and manganese; together they are responsible for 6-8% of green tea.
In general, the level of each compound depends on the processing of the tea leaves. Again go to: what is green tea for more on the processing methods.
Harold N, Graham PD (1992). Green tea composition, consumption and polyphenol chemistry. Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene. 1992 May;21(3):334-50.