Health-conscious adults often enjoy cups of green tea to detoxify their bodies, feel light and fresh, and to keep obesity and other lifestyle diseases at bay. However, whether green tea is suitable for children or not is an entirely different question. Green tea is derived from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, and its production mainly involves steaming and pan-frying of these leaves. The leaves are then dried to obtain green tea. The soothing scent of this tea is also believed to increase mental alertness. So, to find out whether you should give your kid green tea, read on.
Benefits of green tea:-
- It prevent clogging of arteries and improves cardiovascular health, which can be useful in later years
- Green tea is known for its powerful antioxidant properties which can reduce the risks of some cancers
- It helps to keep high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol at bay
Is green tea safe for kids?
Although green tea is generally preferred by adults, if you decide to give it to your kids, make sure you give in moderation. A child should have no more than a small cup in a day, as more than that can have some negative effects. If taken in excessive amounts, green tea can potentially lead to a stomach-upset, constipation and liver damage in kids.
Like any other caffeine-based product, green tea can lead to insomnia, lowered concentration, irritability or hyperactivity in children, when taken in large amounts. Green tea, however, contains less caffeine as compared to other teas and coffees.
Advantages of green tea for kids-
- If kids feel tired or low on energy, green tea can be given in moderation as it contains caffeine, which is a natural stimulant.
- Green tea is antioxidant-rich and contains catechin and the amino acid theanine. Thus, it helps to fight off influenza.
- It can also improve concentration in children due to the presence of L-theanine, which is an active ingredient found in Japanese green tea. It reduces stress as well.
- The antioxidant properties of green tea are good for your child’s hair and skin. This tea contains polyphenols too, which further enhance hair strength.
- Green tea increases immunity in children as well.
- Catechin is believed to fight oral odour and dental cavities in children.
- Green tea helps in fighting childhood obesity, and Japanese green tea increases metabolism in children.
Some negative effects of green tea, if consumed excessively:
- Excessive consumption of green tea can cause hyperactivity in some kids, along with dizziness, sleep issues, diarrhoea, vomiting, irritability, and heartburn.
- Caffeine can interfere with iron absorption in your child’s body, leading to anaemia in the long run.
- Green tea can also affect bone density in kids, if consumed in excess, as it flushes out calcium from the body via urine.
- Some kids might be allergic to green tea, and it can cause rashes.
- Green tea is rich in oxalic acids, and can increase the risk of kidney stones in future.
These days, different varieties of green tea are available in the market, which makes it easy to choose one that has low caffeine content. All you have to do is read the labels carefully for that. While green tea has plenty of benefits, especially when your child becomes an adult, it is a stimulating drink which should not be consumed in excess. However, moderate amounts of green tea can help him fight cold and flu symptoms, and give him energy and focus.