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You already know that green tea is a great-tasting and relaxing beverage with numerous health benefits, but can the same be said about eating the tea leaves rather than steeping them into a drink?
Many people wonder if it's safe to eat green tea leaves.
The answer to that question is yes!
Matcha is powdered form of green tea, so if you drink matcha, you are consuming the entire tea leaf.
What Are the Risks of Eating Green Tea Leaves?
There are very few risks associated with eating green tea leaves, but the main risk is excess consumption of caffeine.
Tea leaves contain slightly more caffeine than brewed tea, and it is easier to consume more of it in a shorter amount of time. As always, you should read nutrition labels for serving sizes and caffeine content.
What are the Benefits of Eating Green tea leaves?
Eating green tea leaves has the same benefits as drinking green tea, but in a more concentrated way.
When you eat green tea leaves, you get all of the powerful antioxidants without leaving any behind.
Eating green tea leaves is also more convenient than brewing tea, making them easier to incorporate this super food into your diet.
How Often can I Eat Green Tea Leaves?
It's safe to eat green tea leaves every day as long as you don't overdo it regarding caffeine.
One to three daily servings is ideal, however, eating more won't hurt you. Try to spread your servings of green tea leaves over the day to moderate your caffeine consumption and maximize your body's absorbency of the beneficial compounds.
What Are the Safest Ways to Prepare Green Tea Leaves?
Eating green tea leaves in any recipe is perfectly safe.
You might even be surprised to learn that it is quite tasty to serve them over a salad. Especially when using vinegar dressing, green tea can be a good accent to Asian style salad. Simply sparkle green tea (sencha) over salad and pour over dressing. Moisture from salad dressing gets soaked up in tea leaf making the tea leave soft by the time you serve.
Green Tea Salad
Green tea leaves can also be used as an herb or spice to add an earthy flavor in foods like meatballs and omelets.
A sprinkle of tea leaves is a great way to dress up green tea flavored desserts like cakes, candies and milkshakes. Matcha powder can be used to flavor breads, cookies, and other baked goods. Matcha and green tea leaves can also be blended into smoothies or taken in capsule form.
Is There Anyone Who Should not Eat Green Tea Leaves?
Green tea leaves are safe for most people to consume, however, individuals with certain health conditions should avoid them. If you are allergic to green tea or any other type of tea, avoid consuming the leaves as they may provoke a stronger response than brewed tea.
People who have heart conditions or are sensitive to the effects of caffeine should also avoid green tea leaves. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a physician before eating green tea leaves. If you are currently taking prescription medications, ask a pharmacist if your medication may interact with green tea.