Green tea has long been known for its soothing effects and medicinal properties. Though did you know that green tea calories are few, and that potassium levels in green tea are high? Here are the green tea nutrition facts.
Green tea contains 2.45 calories per cup, says the USDA.
Green Tea Nutrition Facts
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, green tea is made from lightly steamed fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Along with its many benefits, the popular beverage is not highly caloric. In fact green tea calories amount to 2.45 calories per cup, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
You can expect 1 cup of green tea to contain 245 grams of water and .539 grams of protein per cup, explains the USDA. You'll also find 2.45 milligrams of magnesium, 19.6 milligrams of potassium and 2.45 milligrams of sodium.
Those very sensitive to caffeine may want to steer clear of green tea. However, at 29.4 milligrams of caffeine, green tea has about half the amount of caffeine in 1 cup of coffee, says Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Health Publishing also points out that green tea is a good source of catechins and epicatechins, flavonoids that are responsible for many of green tea's health benefits.
Benefits of Green Tea
You can count on green tea for myriad health benefits. For starters, the flavonoids in green tea can help lessen inflammation, which may reduce plaque buildup in arteries, says Harvard Health Publishing. That said, you should avoid green tea supplements with a "concentrated dose of flavonoids" as there's not enough evidence to back their effectiveness and safety.
Other benefits according to Harvard Health Publishing: Green tea can improve how well your blood vessels respond to stress (physical or emotional), and it may lower harmful cholesterol levels. There's also some evidence green tea may slightly lower blood pressure, though this has not been confirmed.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that green tea has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. However, few of its health benefits have been confirmed. One of its known health benefits is that it can enhance mental alertness, as it contains caffeine. Contrary to what some may believe, it's not recommended to lower the risk of cancer or promote weight loss (with a green tea diet).
Read more: What is the Best Green Tea?
Green Tea and Side Effects
Green tea side effects are uncommon when the beverage is consumed in moderation. Harvard Health Publishing says that too much tea can potentially harm the kidneys. Moreover, there are side effects to consuming large quantities of caffeine.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, too much caffeine can lead to an upset stomach or heartburn due to an increase in stomach acid. Furthermore, it may increase blood pressure and restrict the absorption of calcium in the body. Consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day can trigger insomnia, headaches, dizziness, dehydration, anxiety, rapid heart rhythm and restlessness.
Too much caffeine is not advised for anyone, though there are certain individuals who should be especially careful in the amount they consume. If you're pregnant, breastfeeding, have sleep disorders, high blood pressure, ulcers, anxiety, are taking certain medications or supplements or are a child or teen, you should limit your caffeine intake or avoid it altogether, says the U.S. National Library of Medicine.