Often referred to as ‘Miracle Herb’, Green tea is the second most popular beverage on the planet. This power-drink is touted for its weight loss properties, health benefits and therapeutic effects, especially some serious disease-curing properties like cancer, heart diseases etc. But its excessive and long term intake can have adverse impact on the health.
Some of its common side effects are:-
Green tea contains tannins and catechins which decreases and even blocks the absorption of iron from food and supplements. It also reduces the bioavailability of non-heme iron by about 25%. Non-heme iron is the primary type of iron present in eggs, milk, beans etc. This can lead to anemia and other iron-deficiency linked disease. Hence it’s best to avoid drinking green tea with meals and can be consumed in between. Further its best to intake diet rich in iron and vitamin C to balance the effect.
Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
Green tea contains caffeine, catechins and tannic acids, all of which are linked to pregnancy risks. During pregnancy, about 2 cups of green tea per day which is equivalent to 200mg of caffeine is recommended. Higher intake than this can trigger miscarriage and other negative effects like birth defects in the new born. While breast feeding, the caffeine often blends with the breast milk which causes adverse effects on the new born.
The green tea tannins increase the stomach acid which in turn causes indigestion, stomach ache, nauseous feeling and even constipation. Because of this, it is not advisable to drink green tea on an empty stomach. People suffering from peptic ulcers or acid reflux are generally cautioned to consume green tea in moderate amount.
Caffeine Content Caution
The caffeine content of green tea is about half of that of a cup of coffee. Too much of green tea increases the caffeine consumption which can lead to variety of problems like: increased anxiety, nervousness, Irritability and more. High intake of caffeine can also obstruct calcium absorption and cause bone disease like osteoporosis.
Interaction with some Medications
Green Tea is known to interact with many drugs like Adenosine, Atropine, Antibiotics, Chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners etc and hence is not advised for persons on medications.
One should realize that despite all health benefits and high nutrients, it should be consumed in limited quantity like a balanced meal. It should be consumed in moderation like a medicine and not a refreshing drink, preferably under medical supervision.