The Various Green Tea Benefits for a Healthy Digestive System

Discover various green tea benefits for the digestive system and learn different brewing methods for its maximum potential.

Woman in a blue-coloured sweater holding a transparent cup that contains green tea

Many of you start your day by drinking a cup of coffee. However, did you know that a cup of green tea has more benefits? 

Green tea is manufactured differently from other tea varieties. It comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The tea leaves are immediately steamed upon harvest to prevent fermentation. 

Steaming destroys the enzymes that break down the leaves’ colour pigments and enables the tea to maintain its green colour. The leaves are then rolled and dried to preserve polyphenols – a natural compound found in plant-based foods. 

Here are several reasons why you should try consuming green tea to reap different health benefits.

Green Tea Benefits for Your Digestive System

Two glasses of iced green tea with lime and mint leaves displayed alongside lime slices and matcha powder.
Green tea can also be grounded into a fine powder called matcha to create chilled and refreshing beverages. 

“In TCM, green tea is classified as cool in nature and has a sweet and bitter flavour. It influences the heart, lungs and stomach meridians. These indications show that green tea reflects the functions of relieving headaches, toothaches, and irritation. It is also capable of resolving phlegm, enhancing food digestion, treating diuresis, clearing heat and detoxifying the body, exhibiting anti-ageing function, strengthening teeth and fighting cancer,” explains Chu I Ta, the Chief Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician at Real Health Medical. 

Polyphenols, the predominant natural compound in tea leaves, may improve the health of your digestive system and reduce your risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart diseases.

1. Green tea benefits #1: Promotes weight loss

Green tea consumption can help people lose weight by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. A separate study also finds that green tea consumption can help to prevent obesity by increasing good bacteria and lowering bad bacteria in the gut. 

Use the soft infusion method and steep a bag of green tea leaves for approximately 3 minutes in warm water. Alternatively, refrigerate the cup of tea right after you steep it to enjoy it chilled. For a stronger caffeine effect, you may also choose to use 2 teabags.

2. Green tea benefits #2: Helps prevent different digestive system cancers

The polyphenols in green tea also demonstrate antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic activities that can help to protect against cancers caused by environmental agents. These include cancers of the colon, mouth, pancreas, small intestine, and stomach. 

Kombucha green tea is a mildly sweet and sour-flavoured beverage. It is manufactured through a natural process involving the fermentation of green tea in urns without adding ant yeast for 10 to 12 months.

3. Green tea benefits #3: Protects against liver diseases

Similarly, green tea consumption can inhibit the multiplication of fat-storing cells in the liver, which help to prevent liver fibrosis — permanent scarring of liver tissue — in chronic liver diseases.

4. Green tea benefits #4: Has therapeutic effects on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs)

A woman in sports attire holding white cardboard with a smiley face in front of her belly button
The health benefits of green tea for the digestive system are also linked to preventing chronic diseases like cancer. 

The polyphenols in green tea are able to reduce the severity of colitis, an inflammation of the colon. Infection can cause colitis.

In addition, green tea consumption is also able to decrease disease activity and inhibit inflammatory responses for chronic inflammatory disease. It is worth noting that you shouldn’t consume green tea with foods that are yin (cold) or bitter in nature. In the same way, women who are experiencing a heavy menstrual flow should avoid taking green tea as it can increase their risk of iron-deficiency anaemia.

Unique Ways to Brew Green Tea for Maximum Health Benefits

Green tea from a ceramic pot being poured into a ceramic teacup
Green tea leaves can be consumed hot or cold to obtain the health benefits associated with polyphenols intake. 

You may consume green tea as a hot or cold beverage and infuse it into alcoholic beverages. Although, physician Chu advises not to drink green tea more than three times daily. It is worth noting that the amount of green consumed should account for not more than half of your water intake in a day.

Soft infusion

This preparation method involves dipping green tea bags into warm water with a temperature of 75°C to 85°C for 3 to 5 minutes. Chinese people when preparing tea commonly use this method.

Hard infusion

In the hard infusion method, steep green tea bags in distilled warm water with a temperature of 75°C to 85°C for 25 to 30 minutes.

Ambient infusion

Dip green tea bags in distilled water at a room temperature of 25°C to 27°C for 30 to 40 minutes to make an ambient infusion.

Cold infusion

For cold infusion, steep green tea bags in distilled water at room temperature for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, refrigerate the green tea infusion for another hour.

Decoction

A decoction is an extraction method that involves boiling herbal plant material to dissolve its chemical properties. Using this method, place green tea bags or leaves in distilled water and boiled for 3 to 5 minutes.

Chilled

This method involves the infusion of green tea bags in distilled boiling water before refrigerating for another hour.

Chilled cocktail

To make a chilled cocktail, infuse green tea bags in a concoction made up of distilled water and alcohol. Steep the teabags in the alcohol solution for 15 minutes before removing them and refrigerating the infusion for an hour.

Hot cocktail

Creating a hot cocktail involves the infusion of green tea bags in an alcohol solution before heating it to 52°C. Like chilled green tea-infused cocktails, hot green tea cocktails are commonplace in Western and Asian countries.

Pureed

Commonly used in Japan, to make pureed green tea, ground the tea leaves into a fine powder before blending it in warm water for 4 to 5 minutes.

Sun-exposed infusion

The sun-exposed infusion method requires the infusion of green tea bags in distilled water before putting it under direct sunlight for 3 to 4 hours. 

Overall, consuming green tea is beneficial for health in many ways, including the treatment and management of digestive system disorders. However, if you want to avoid caffeine and improve your sleep quality, you can consume other types of herbal teas. For example, Rooibos tea is an alternative that can help alleviate different health problems, such as allergies, headaches, insomnia, physical tension, or stomach cramps. If you haven’t tried herbal teas yet, it’s time to consider incorporating them as part of a healthy diet to improve your general wellness.

References

  1. ResearchGate. 2016. Ten different brewing methods of green tea: comparative antioxidant study. [Accessed 11 July 2021]
  2. US National Library of Medicine. 2010. Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. [Accessed 11 July 2021]
  3. US National Library of Medicine. 2010. Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Green Tea Polyphenols. [Accessed 11 July 2021]
  4. Molecules journal. Green Tea and Its Relation to Human Gut Microbiome. [Accessed 11 July 2021]

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