Centenarian Juanita Black, age 105, said the key to her longevity was green tea. I believe that for most people, simply moving from coffee to green tea is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your long-term health.
Doesn’t green tea have caffeine in it?
Green tea does technically contain caffeine, but in very low levels and it is in its natural state. To put this into perspective, you would need to drink 50 litres of green tea within an hour to receive a fatal one-gram dose of caffeine. This tiny amount of caffeine in green tea behaves quite differently in the body because green tea contains L-theanine, which buffers the effect of caffeine, making you calmer and more focused. L-theanine contains strong antioxidant properties, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to prevent stroke and obesity, and has psychoactive benefits promoting a restful, relaxed, low-stress state, while increasing cognitive brain function and alertness. The benefits of drinking green tea are regularly proven many times over and include lowered heart disease, cancer-fighting properties and strengthening the liver.
Black tea versus green tea
Black, green, white and oolong teas all derive their leaves from the same Camellia sinensis plant. However, where green tea differs is that it involves a process of mild steaming of the young leaves, avoids oxidation damage, preserves the polyphenols, and produces a green tea with the chlorophyll intact. Black and oolong teas are dried and crushed until the leaves oxidise and turn brown. White tea is derived from young silvery leaves and contains no chlorophyll (hence, not green).
Green tea nutrition
Green tea contains an incredible 30–40% of powerful health-enhancing water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea barely contains 3–10%. The unique green tea components are flavonols and catechins such as epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Green tea is traditionally consumed in its pure state with just hot water added. Black tea is usually consumed with milk and sugar. The few polyphenols left in black tea then bind to the milk and pass through the system.
Ever wonder why you feel a little unwell, uncomfortably wired and foggy in the head from a cup of black tea, but not from green tea?
“My 97 year old grandma in Belgium always drank Kukicha (Japanese green tea), which is very high in minerals especially calcium, that’s probably why she never had osteoporosis, she walked everywhere, made the best soups ever”
Hilde, May 2012.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.