Green tea has always been recognized as being the ‘healthier alternative’ and sometimes even the healthiest option of teas and beverages, aside from water, of course, as that is always the recommended beverage of choice. However, many of you are tea drinkers and may be wondering if green tea is Paleo. Again, if you are a Paleo purist, the answer would be no. Technically, cavemen and cavewomen did not have green tea. However, it truly comes down to the benefits that it has – if any. Of course, it is unhealthy, then it would not be Paleo, whether you’re a purist or a modern Paleoist. The debate is definitely there and some say caffeine is a big no-no, while others say that moderation is key with such consumption. Needless to say, there is an abundance of confusion.
What is Tea Exactly?
Camellia Sinensis, a plant species, is the only thing that makes tea, whether it’s white, green, oolong or black. If it’s tea – it comes from camellia sinensis. However, white tea is 100% unprocessed and hasn’t been modified. As a result, it has the highest levels of antioxidants, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the other version are bad. They are simply flavored with other natural herbs, flowers, fruits and spices. You can purchase white tea and add in your own spices, or purchase your tea already flavored and it would essentially be the same thing.
What is Green Tea Exactly?
The difference from tea and green tea is that it is slightly processed because it has dried, rolled and then been heated to prevent oxidation. There are many varieties of green teas as well, which come from different ingredients added to change the flavor.
The problem and concerns are based around modernized versions of green teas. If you look at the back of some big brand name’s box of flavored green tea, you would quickly see that the ingredient list isn’t very Paleo, or healthy at all. Soy lecithin, the emulsifier, gluten, cornstarch and citric acid are common ingredients that are added. However, there are more natural-focused brands that offer more natural versions of green tea. As a result, they offer less processed additives and chemicals, so that you can truly benefit from the beverage.
Some brands to try for include; Revolution Tea,The Loose Leaf, Guayaki, and Yogi Teas.
So, is It Paleo?
It depends on where you are purchasing your green tea. If it is from those companies that place importance on keeping green tea healthy and beneficial, then yes – it is certainly Paleo. It is when you get into the modernized versions that have a ton of unhealthy elements and ingredients added into it that make it no longer ‘natural’. Some also argue about the caffeine that can be found in herbal teas, and moderation seems to be key as caffeine does have benefits when consumed in small amounts.