Green tea contains antioxidants properties, polyphenols, theanine, as well as a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. To understand green tea benefits for one's health, all you have to do is take a closer look at the compounds...


Polyphenols are a class of phytochemicals found in high concentrations in green tea, and have been associated with heart disease and cancer prevention. The slight astringent, bitter taste of green tea is attributed to polyphenols.


A group of simple and complex phenol, polyphenols, and flavonoid compounds. Produced by plants, all of the tannins are relatively resistant to digestion or fermentation.


Catechins are a category of polyphenols. In green tea, catechins are present in significant quantities, more specifically; epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG makes up about 10-50% of the total catechin content and appears to be the most powerful of the catechins, with antioxidant activity about 25-100 times more potent than vitamins C and E. A cup of green tea may provide 10-40mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant activity greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries.


Flavonoids are plant pigments, and are the brightly colored chemical constituents found in most fresh fruits and vegetables. They may aid in protecting against infection.


An amino acid that produces tranquilizing effects in the brain, theanine is a unique amino acid found in the leaves sencha. Theanine is quite different from the polyphenols and catechin antioxidants for which green tea is typically consumed. Three to four cups of sencha are expected to contain 100-200 mg of theanine.

In the following chart, we compare the antioxidant properties of several different types of green teas

Grade Polyphenols
Free Amino Acids
Total N
Gyokuro Medium 13.4 3.1 1,480 2,730 5.48
Matcha High 6.5 3.85 2,260 5,800 6.36
Medium 6.2 3.51 1,790 4,610 5.85
Low 6.5 3.23 1,170 3,400 5.38
Sencha High 14.7 2.87 1,280 2,700 5.48
Medium 13.3 2.8 1,210 2,180 5.35
Low 14.5 2.77 612 1,460 4.45


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Iwaki-City, Fukushima
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