Green tea has been called everything from the Asian miracle elixir to the new cure for cancer. While not all these claims are founded, green tea has certainly garnered a lot of media attention in the US lately.
Much like white tea, green tea does not undergo any fermentation, so a cup of green tea has about half the caffeine found in a cup of black tea.2 Like its name, green tea has a golden yellowish-green color when brewed and has an earthier, milder taste than oolong and black. Green tea is often infused with fruit flavors such as peach or mango to make for a more flavorful brew, but be wary of bottled green teas; they are often made with powders and do not contain the health benefits of a real cup of tea.
Green tea's secret lies in the fact that it is rich in catechins, a substance that is believed to be a powerhouse of cancer-fighting chemicals. Specifically, epigallocatechin gallate, known as EGCG, both inhibits and kills cancer cells and is abundant in green tea. Even still, green tea may be the reason that the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is really low, even though as much as 75 percent are smokers; EGCG is believed to limit the negative effects of smoking and unhealthy diets.9
Also, much like various herbal teas, green tea has been found to destroy bacteria within the body, which makes for less dental decay and healthier skin, hair and nails. Though not as directly as oolong tea, green tea extract may also help dieters; it is believed to boost metabolism to burn more calories. 9