Catechin: The Secret Ingredient in Green Tea That Makes It Even Healthier

In every office, there are often two groups of people: one who’s so addicted to coffee that they can’t start work without a dose of expresso in the morning, and the other who’s obsessed with tea.

But there’s a third group that some of us might not have noticed: the green tea drinkers. For some inexplicit reason, they seem healthier, more energetic and seemingly perform better in work.

Well, I’m saying that because I’m a green tea drinker, but anyways.

Image: DONOT6_STUDIO / Shutterstock.com

Most, if not all, Singaporeans know that green tea is healthier than coffee, and it can keep a person awake as well. But have you ever wondered why?

Is it because anything green is good?

Or because it’s usually more expensive than coffee?

Wells.

Reasons Why Green Tea is Healthy

In a WebMD article, a research scientist in nutrition has this to say: “(Green Tea) is the healthiest thing I can think of to drink.”

Who are we to argue with someone who has a PhD?

Now, before I move on to a science lesson, here are some facts derived from various studies (not just one hor!) to further convince you:

  • It improves your blood flow and lower cholesterol
  • It prevents a range of health-related issues, from high-blood pressure to congestive heart failure
  • It improves your memory
  • It lowers the risk of some types of cancer
  • It blocks the formation of plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease
  • It keeps blood sugar stable in people with diabetes
  • It even helps to reduce bad breath!

To some extent, it helps in weight loss, as drinking green tea regularly would boost the metabolic rate. But of course, to really lose weight, we have to burn those extra calories: while green tea won’t burn them, they help you burn more.

But What’s the Secret to this Super Drink?

Green tea, technically, is made from leaves by a tree known as Camellia sinensis. The tea contains numerous compounds, one of which is caffeine, the same compound that stops my colleagues from zombifying.

But what sets green tea apart from coffee, and any other teas, is the large presence of catechins.

In a typical cup of green tea, about 30% of it is catechins. They are the natural antioxidants that provide a bulk of its benefits.

Catechins are also present in fruits such as apples and guava, though it’s most commonly consumed through green tea.

Before delving into catechins, here’s something that you’d need to know: the way green tea is brewed can affect the amount of catechins that are retained in the drink. To hold the maximum amount of catechins, it should be brewed with tea leaves directly in boiling water for three to four minutes.

But moving on: What is a catechin and how does this super compound help us?

Catechin, The Hidden Gem of Green Tea

If you’re a science guy, here’s a catechin.

Image: Wikipedia.org

Okay, you’re not a science guy, so here’s catechin in its simplest form: it’s essentially a natural antioxidant.

According to a 2005 study, having 690 mg of catechins daily for twelve weeks reduced the body fats in men. While this seems magical, do note that a cup of green tea has about 50 to 100 mg of catechins, so you’ll need to drink a lot to look like Pierre Png from Crazy Rich Asians.

But hey: at least you know the science behind the benefits.

If there’s anything to take away from this, it’s the cardiovascular benefits.

Cardio…WHAT?

We’re more familiar with the word “cardio”: it’s the exercise that makes some of us breathless, and its BFF is weightlifting.

But do you know that “cardio” is actually the short form for cardiovascular, and that is related to the heart?

Yeah, when you’re running, your heart beats faster. You’re literally making yourself healthier by having a faster heartbeat, as blood moves along your body faster (and more).

Think of your heart as a car engine: if you don’t start it regularly and have the oil moving, it’ll become weaker.

This is precisely why your doctor, your Government, your NS CO and your wife always tells you to move more: the more you move, the more your heart would work, and the healthier you become.

So, what does catechin has to do with this?

Catechins and Cardiovascular Health Are BFF

A study in Japan shows that regular green tea drinkers have a lower risk of death from heart disease by 22% in men and 31% in women.

The science part of how it works is…quite chim, but one of the key aspects is that it scavenges free radicals, and can create effects that are antioxidative, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-thrombogenic, and it also lowers lipid.

But do note, of course, that the best-est way to stay healthy is still regular exercise. You should be acutely aware of that, right?

Green Tea in a Bottle

Do you know that there are apparently green tea supplements that come in capsules? Its benefits are so overwhelming, businesses are compressing an entire cup of green tea into a capsule.

But seriously, why do that when you can just drink one of these?

If brewing an authentic cup of green tea is too time-consuming for you (remember, tea-bag ones that are brewed at a different temperature does not retain the maximum amount of catechins), then consider POKKA Jasmine Green Tea.

100% brewed from real premium tea leaves, it’s the No. 1 brand in Singapore for over ten years based on Nielsen Market Track, and it’s for a good reason: just like regular green tea, it contains natural antioxidants (yeah, the catechins we’ve been going gaga over) with no preservatives and colouring.

I won’t need to tell you about its taste, do I? We all have tried it at least once in our life before.

If you’re looking to opt for an even healthier version, go for the no-sugar version.

Image: pokka.co

You see, even our Ah Jie (IMO she’s my forever Ah Jie) Vivian Lai agrees.

You can get POKKA Green Tea from…well, just everywhere. In fact, I got mine from the vending machine in our office #healthystuffareactuallynotfar

This article was first published on goodyfeed.com and written in collaboration with POKKA Singapore.

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