Benefits of hojicha
Hojicha is a roasted green tea originating in Kyoto, Japan. As a roasted green tea, hojicha offers many of the benefits of traditional Japanese green tea while being virtually caffeine free. Some of the benefits of green tea include improving oral health, lowering the risk of cancer, relieving stress, and protecting against heart disease. Learn more about the nutritional components of hojicha below.
Strengthens immune system
Green tea strengthens the immune system by helping it protect the body against diseases. Polyphenols, which include catechins, theaflavins, tannins, and flavonoids, possess antiviral properties. More specifically, the antimicrobial catechins in green tea help kill bacteria. Hojicha also contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E which are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin A regulates the immune system’s response, while Vitamin C prevents scurvy and reduces the severity of colds. Finally, Vitamin E reverses the decline of the immune system.
Improves oral health
Hojicha improves oral health through its polyphenols, specifically the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). The disinfecting qualities of EGCG help prevent tooth decay (cavities) and halitosis (bad breath). The antioxidants in hojicha, including catechins, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, are all anti-inflammatory and therefore can help prevent gingivitis which typically precedes periodontal disease (gum disease).
Lowers risk of cancer
The antioxidants in hojicha, mainly Vitamin E and Epigallocatechin (EGC), lower the risk of cancer by fighting hazardous free radicals. Hojicha also has more fiber than other green teas, which in turn produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFA are anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents. Hojicha inhibits the growth of cancer cells, and therefore prevents the formation of tumors. Those already diagnosed with cancer benefit from the Vitamin C in hojicha, as it alleviates the side effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatment.
Hojicha harvested in the spring has increased levels of L-Theanine, which relieve mental and physical stress. L-Theanine is an amino acid which gives hojicha its umami taste as well as negates the effects of the little caffeine left in the roasted tea. L-Theanine relaxes the brain by promoting alpha wave generation. The increased alpha waves reduces stress, and the anxiety and depression it often causes.
L-Theanine also decreases the levels of cortisol produced as part of the body’s stress response. Elevated cortisol levels result in high blood sugar and blood pressure, inhibit the immune system, and decreases bone formation. Pyrazines, which account for the pleasant aroma of roasted green tea, also lower blood pressure by relaxing smooth muscle cells and therefore increasing blood flow circulation. The rich fragrance of hojicha encourages tea drinkers to breathe more deeply, as it provides the same stress relief benefits as essential oil aromatherapy.
Lowers blood pressure
The catechins in hojicha control blood pressure, while its Theanine content acts as a antihypertensive. Theanine reduces elevated blood pressure, only until it reaches healthy levels. Preventing high blood pressure is crucial to preventing coronary heart disease and stroke.
The catechins in hojicha also reduce cholesterol, by preventing the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (known as the bad cholesterol). These antioxidants lower the risk of heart diseases and inflammation, typically caused by high levels of cholesterol.
Protects against heart disease
In addition to protecting against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol, hojicha prevents free radicals from damaging cells and accelerating the progression of cardiovascular diseases. Roasted green tea, containing Vitamin E, also prevents blood clots from forming which may lead to heart attacks. Finally, the Niacin found in hojicha significantly decreases major coronary events.
Keeps skin healthy and clear
The Vitamin C in hojicha is responsible for helping keep skin healthy and clear. Vitamin C helps lighten dark areas of the skin caused from age spots and acne scars. Vitamin C also prevents wrinkles, and restores skin elasticity by stimulating collagen production.
Boosts weight loss
Hojicha boosts weight loss, as its catechins help decrease body weight and body fat percentage. As a green tea, hojicha promotes fat oxidation by increasing energy expenditure. Finally, hojicha antioxidants help increase the body’s metabolism.
The green tea polyphenols in hojicha alleviate arthritis by reducing the inflammation in the joints. In addition to easing pain, this also delays further damage to the joints. Finally, suppressing inflammation will result in significantly fewer incidences of arthritis.
Information on this site is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should talk to a doctor.