Which Green Tea is most healthy ?
What can be more perfect than having a cup of healthy beverage like green tea when you are totally exhausted? Green tea is considered as the best health elixir with many proven benefits against obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc. The best brands of green tea has loads of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins, which has the ability to neutralize the free radicals while protecting some of the cells and molecules from getting damaged.
Many of us are simply not aware of the fact that picking the right product of green tea is also as much important as enjoying its true benefits because some of the brands have potential contamination with pesticide residues and heavy metals.
Let us see what needs to be considered while picking the green tea –
Should it be brewed or bottled ?
Regardless of the type or flavor, bottled ready to drink green teas have 10 to 100 times lower levels of polyphenols and antioxidant activity than the brewed ones. To get maximum health benefit out of it, it is wise to make your own tea with tea bags or loose leaves than going for bottled varieties. Even with the most ideal processing methods during manufacturing, bottled green teas will definitely loose some of its antioxidants and may not contain the same benefits as the brewed ones. Moreover, almost 99% of the bottled teas that are available in the market have sugars or artificial sweeteners, and finding a plain drink without sweeteners is quite difficult. So by choosing the brewed tea, you can not only retain maximum health benefits but also control the amount of sugar that you might want to put in it.
Will the country of origin really matter ?
Country of origin definitely matters while selecting the best brands of green tea. Some of the brands from specific countries are not strict with their quality metrics and contain higher levels of contamination than the other popular brands. Most of the Chinese green tea products are said to have higher levels of aluminum, cadmium and lead when compared to those from India, Sri Lanka and Japan. The main reason behind it is the contamination of soil which directly effects the impurity levels of various tea products from different countries. So, next time when you are out shopping for green tea, make sure you check for the country of origin and the percentages of harmful metal ingredients.
Standard vs Organic:
Many people prefer organic products when it comes to food stuff because of the less usage of pesticides and harmful chemicals. But in case of choosing green tea, organic designation might not be so relevant, because even the most popular organic brands from some countries contain harmful ingredients that are not healthy for human body. If we consider the green tea versions from China, both conventional and organic contain high aluminum levels and the percentage of lead in organic brands is even more. The popular organic green tea brands from Sri Lanka and Japan are much safer to consume with low levels of harmful contamination. If you are a first time green tea consumer, check the quality metrics of various tea brands, read the reviews and then go with the safe organic brands within your budget limit.
Should it be Caffeinated Vs Decaffeinated
A regular cup of green tea contains caffeine ranging between fifteen to thirty mg unless it is processed to remove the bitterness of taste. Some of the decaffeinated green tea brands have less amounts of flavanols, a type of polyphenol antioxidant which is specially beneficial for lowering certain types of cancers. Even though both forms of green tea possess enormous health benefits, a caffeinated product is more recommended than decaffeinated brands because of their enhanced nutritional values.
In India, we will find many well established and popular green tea brands like Tetley, Red Label, Taj Mahal, Brooke Bond etc that deliver health benefits along with the exceptional taste.