Cancer Care Guide: 9 Green Tea Benefits, Types, How to Brew


Green tea is one of the world’s healthiest drinks. So here, let's take a look at the numerous health benefits of green tea and how to brew the tea to get the best results. Then, on to my favorite part - let’s talk about how the different types of green tea smell and taste so you can really enjoy the tea.When I was going through health issues I was so obsessed about getting everything just right to maximize health benefits that I was super stressed. And that’s not what it’s about.My hope is that you can find a tea you can love so that you can bring it into your daily routine.

9 Potential Benefits of Green Tea

Again, green tea is considered one of the world’s healthiest drinks. Natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea have a lot of antioxidants and provide anti-inflammatory effects. Green tea is 20-45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60-80 percent are potent antioxidants called catechins “cat-ah-kins”. This means that green tea contains one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any tea. And the catechins… well, they’re the star of the show. They help prevent cell damage, and in research they’ve been shown to do a lot of things.

So here are 9 potential health benefits of green tea.

  1. It enhances your working memory. In one study, MRI scans showed that people who drank green tea had greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains. Working memory is what allows us to hold information without losing track of what we're doing, so this means green tea can help us do our everyday tasks better.
  2. It protects against a whole host of diseases. Green tea protects against Alzhimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases by blocking the formation of plaques. It prevents cancer because the antioxidants protect against environmental effects. It prevents type 2 diabetes by promoting sugar metabolism and lowing blood sugar levels. And it prevents heart disease and stroke by lowering the level of cholesterol and improving blood flood. These are some of the top diseases out there, which means….
  3. It can increase your life span. You heard me right, green tea might just help you to live longer, precisely because the antioxidants prevents diseases. And not just the diseases I was listing. In one study, participants who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day had a significantly lower risk of dying than those who drank less than one cup of tea per day. That’s all cause mortality, so dying from all causes. Crazy huh?
  4. It increases bone marrow density. The bioactive components in green tea helps maintain higher bone mineral density and reduces the risk of fractures. Which means, green tea can help prevent osteoporosis in older folk. It’s estimated that more than 200M people are living with osteoporosis worldwide nowadays, so this is super important.
  5. It boosts the immune system. Green tea can increase the number of "regulatory T cells" that play a key role in immune function and suppression of autoimmune disease. Researchers gave mice green tea catechins, and guess what they found? The catechins significantly increased the numbers and frequencies of regulatory T cells found in spleen and lymph nodes, and in that process, helped to control immune response. This means that green tea can make us stronger in fighting against infection.
  6. It supports anti-aging. Who doesn’t want to look young?! Antioxidants in green tea protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals that cause skin aging. This means that green tea delays the signs of sun damage, slack skin, age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. In one study, researchers put green tea filled cotton pads onto skin every day before treating with light diodes, and guess what happened next? In one month, the green tea rejuvenated the skin and reduced wrinkles to levels that used to take 10 months. Pretty sweet!It increase your life span. 3-5 cups of tea a day have lower all cause mortality.
  7. It helps you keep weight off. Green tea boosts your metabolism and helps you to burn fat. Some studies have shown that people who drink green tea can average 0.2 to 3.5 kg more weight loss than non drinkers. And other research has suggested that green tea can help you burn 75-100 calories per day. That’s a whole slice of bread’s worth of calories!
  8. It prevents bad breath. Green tea literally kills off the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. In one study, researchers gave young women mouthwashes made from extracted green tea tannins, and found a 64% reduction in aerobic mouth bacteria. What’s more, a green tea mouth wash is herbal and safe, even for children and pregnant women. Sweet!
  9. It relaxes you....
Loose leaf green kukicha


... now wait, you say, there’s caffeine! So how can green tea relax you!? Turns out, there are two beneficial components in green tea: catechins, which are a powerful antioxident, and L-theanine, an amino acid. Both lessen the impact of caffeine. When green tea is brewed, its caffeine combines with catechins in the water, reducing the caffeine's activity compared with that of coffee or cocoa. L-theanine, which is only found in tea plants and some mushrooms, directly stimulates the production of alfa brain waves, calming the body while promoting a state of relaxed awareness.

Isn't that so cool?!

Other Health Benefits and THE Catch

Those are just a few of the big health benefits. If you look deeper there are many studies on other benefits of green tea, such as:

  • Being useful for insect stings because the anti-inflammatory properties stop bleeding
  • Helping with hangovers and preventing liver damage when you drink too much alcohol
  • Preventing kidney stones
  • Helps fight off flu

Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Well there is a big catch. And that’s the fact that many of these benefits have only been shown in studies done on cells or animals. Or they used amounts of green tea extract way beyond what you or I could ever consume on a regular basis. And unfortunately, in human studies, the health benefits just haven’t been proven out. In fact, many scientists still seem to say that the benefits of green tea in humans is “uncertain” and that more research is needed.

My take: it’s just super hard to prove anything in us humans. There’s too many confounding factors that affect our health - our food, exercise, social connections, lifestyle in general that make it really tough to prove anything out. Meanwhile, we have loads of studies showing there’s a lot going for green tea, and very little against it, so why not take advantage of it? (like all things you need moderation, and be careful of interactions with certain drugs). And just taking that tea break is an immediate benefit that you can get! So I say, go for it!

How to Make It, When To Take It

So how to get the most benefits out of your tea? It’s all about maximizing those catechins. Your cup can have many catechins or not a lot, all depending on how you make your tea. Here are some tips.

  • Steep in 85 degree water for at least 3 mins, and ideally 5-8 mins if you’re able to take a stronger taste
  • Drink within the hour, because the catechins don’t last forever
  • To absorb the most catechins, drink away from meals. Also add lemon, because the vitamin C makes the catechins easier to absorb.
  • If you can, drink 3-6 cups a day for maximum benefits. The research doesn't really show results below this amount.
  • And don’t cheap out. Nutrient levels in green tea can vary. Pricier teas usually have more, and canned green-tea drinks generally have less.

Hot green tea cup with lime

This last point is very key! All teas are not made the same. Take matcha, for example. Matcha is made by growing the tea in shade and then grounding it down to a fine powder. In one study, matcha was found to have 3x the number of catechins than the average green tea. Which makes sense. With matcha, you’re not just drinking the infusion, you’re actually eating the tea leaves.

In another study, researchers found that Korean and Japanese green tea generally contained more catechins than green teas from Nepal, India and China.

So if you get the chance, ask your local tea shop about their teas and antioxidant levels. One of my tea suppliers actually sends their teas to be analyzed by the local university to verify the antioxidants, then they rank everything from low to ultra high antioxidant levels. It’s super cool.

Another thing to consider, is how teas interact with each other. In a TED talk back in 2010, Dr. William Li was talking about how teas could prevent cancer through anti-angiogenesis, which is blocking blood supply to tumors. He found that Earl Grey was better for this purpose than Sencha or Dragon Pearl Jasmine. But when he combined the sencha and jasmine, the blend was more potent than either one alone. This type of synergy is something you might want to consider; drinking different teas might be better than sticking to just one type.

But what's very cool is when we combine the two less potent teas together, the combination, the blend, is more potent than either one alone

— William Li

Now, if you’re wondering where I got all this information from: the link to all the references, which are mainly peer reviewed studies and some summaries that I thought were well written, are ALL at the bottom of this article.

Intro to 5 Types of Green Tea

Ok, on to the best part, let’s introduce you to some different teas! The main thing is that you find teas that you like, so you can make it a part of your lifestyle. Otherwise it’ll be like that new years resolution that you only keep for a week or two. Or the pile of weights I have that I never use. 

First, let’s talk quickly about brewing. Because the recommended water temperature is just shy of boiling, either wait for your boiling water to cool a bit, or splash a bit of cold water into your cup to cool things down. The experts I’ve seen also recommend swirling some hot water in the cup first to heat up the cup. 

So I have 5 different teas here, just to highlight how different they can be.

China Beauty Rings

China Beauty Rings Loose Leaf Green Tea


Talk about a more special tea! Creating this tea is a long delicate process. New tea shoots are plucked from end of March to early April. Then the shoots are withered slightly, steamed, and hand rolled. The best leaves are chosen, and curled into these beautiful rings. The sticks that the leaves are curled on are called “beauty sticks” because the favorite consort of a 13th century emperor apparently blessed them with her beauty. The taste of this tea is a little bit toasty.

Fuji Sencha

Japanese Fuji Sencha

Sencha is the most popular tea type in Japan, and makes up 80% of the tea produced there.The name means "new tea", representing the tender new leaves that are plucked in early spring for this tea. Sencha is considered by many to be the most delicious green tea. This tea is bright forest green and has what is a typical green tea taste - fruity, refreshing and clean.

Japanese Genmaicha Yamasaki

Japanese Genmaicha Yamasaki


This tea is a Japanese sencha, just like the Fuji one, but with an added twist: fired rice. The rice pops like popcorn so the nickname of the tea is “popcorn tea”. There’s a really cool legend about this tea. In the 1400s there was a servant named Genamai serving tea to a samurai warlord. While serving the tea, rice that the servant had taken for a snack fell into the hot tea and popped. The samurai was incensed and chopped the poor servant’s head off. But the samurai went on to drink the tea and loved it so much that he ordered the tea served every morning, and named it after the servant. Hence the name "genmaicha". It has a roasted, almost buttery, velvety taste to me.

Japanese Gyokuro



During the first 3 weeks of production, they shade the bushes to force the tea plants to produce more chlorophyll, deepening the flavor of the leaf. Just look at how green it is. About two weeks after the shading has been removed, they pluck the leaves, only taking the leaves that are smaller than one inch in size. Anything larger and the tea will lose its fragrance and tenderness. When you smell this it has a lot of depth. It just envelops you. Makes me feel like I’ve stepped into a bakery. 

Jasmine dragon tears

Jasmine Dragon Tears Loose Leaf Green Tea

Now these are made from plucking the tea leaves in the first 3 weeks of the new season. The jasmine flowers are also blooming then (it’s a different plant), and they take the blossoms and layer with the tea until the fragrances pass on to the tea leaves. It’s smells absolutely amazing. Every sip is very floral and delicate. 

Enjoy It!

I hope this article has helped you to understand the potential benefits of green tea. Now don't forget - take that tea break, that's what it's about!

There’s just one more thing I have to do, and that’s ask why you’re interested in green tea to begin with. If you’re looking for health benefits, the reality is that green tea isn’t the only great thing out there, but it’s really hard to know what’s truth or what’s myth. That’s why I started Amidira. So if you want to learn more about self care topics like sleep or art therapy, subscribe. And tell me in the comments what topics you’d like covered. I’m going to keep publishing articles and videos that cover scientific research as well as practical tips. And if you're looking for high antioxidant green tea but not sure where to get it, check out what we have selling at Amidira


In a world of false information and constantly evolving research, fact finding is important! So here are all the scientific studies and reputable institutions that I've quoted for this blog entry. If I'm missing anything, got anything wrong, or if you have requests on what to look up next, please let me know in the comments below!

Good Summaries of Research

On Green Tea Benefits

On How to Brew Green Tea

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