Green tea has long been believed by some people to contain powerful flavanols as well as antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants may be a key to eliminating free radicals in the body that could lead to larger diseases over time, such as cancer. Some of the polyphenols, of which there are five types, are also believed to lower bad cholesterol and boost metabolism and mood. Decaffeinated green tea could be one way to get these benefits without the potentially harmful side effects of ingesting too much caffeine. It is important for individuals to note, however, that the decaffeination process could result in lower counts of the active ingredients typically found in green tea.
While many studies have suggested that green tea may have both short- and long-term benefits, researchers often point out that one must drink several cups of green tea per day to see positive results. Green tea is naturally caffeinated, however, and there are many consumers who do not tolerate large amounts of caffeine well. Decaffeinated green tea is one possible way to gain green tea benefits without becoming agitated and ill or feeling any other negative effects caffeine sometimes has on the body.
In this way, decaffeinated green tea might be a safer way to ensure one gets more antioxidants, which could have various possible health benefits. First, free radicals may enter the body in a number of ways and may create various possible health problems. One type of polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is thought to be particularly helpful in eliminating free radicals. Fewer free radicals in a body could translate to a lower risk of cancer and other often fatal illnesses.
Drinking decaffeinated green tea could also lower an individual’s risk of many health problems associated with heart disease. Antioxidants and flavanols may help decrease a body’s levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL is sometimes called good cholesterol. Furthermore, those with existing heart problems are usually told to reduce their intake of caffeine. This is another reason why decaffeinated green tea could be especially beneficial.
Individuals should note that some studies have found that decaffeinated green tea actually has fewer antioxidants and flavanols than naturally caffeinated green tea does. This is possibly a result of the decaffeination process. This does not mean that the decaffeinated version of the tea is unhealthy. One may, however, need to drink more decaffeinated tea to gain the same benefits of caffeinated tea.