If you’re not drinking green tea, then you’re missing out on tons of health benefits. Whether from loose leaves or from tea bags, green tea has been gaining popularity due to its antioxidant properties that are beneficial to your health. There’s a reason that I drink several cups a day and here’s why you should make green tea a part of your health and wellness routine as well.
Tea ceremonies in Japan has its roots dating back to the 9th century when tea was introduced by the Buddhist priests from China. Early trades between Europe and the Far East paved the way for the introduction of tea to Europe, and it came to America by way of the Dutch settlers during the mid-seventeenth century.
True tea comes from Camellia sinensis plant. For example Roobis tea is not actually “tea” in the true sense of the word and actually comes from legumes. The basic types of tea due to different methods of processing of the tea leaves are: black tea, green tea and oolong (red) tea. Among them, the green tea undergoes the least processing and no fermentation, thus it most retains the natural (unoxidized) polyphenols and its natural herbal taste. Green teas are steeped for 3 to 5 minutes in hot water; longer than this will result in bitter taste.
In my experience most people over steep tea and don’t even know it.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Here are the health benefits of green tea :
Teas contain polyphenols which act as antioxidants that prevent free radicals from causing damage to the body. In my opinion, antioxidants are one of the major work horses of health and wellness.
Free radicals – the unstable, highly reactive compounds in the body formed during normal metabolic processes or introduced from the environment – have been linked to atherosclerosis, aging process, cancer and other diseases. An increased intake of antioxidants will minimize the risk of health problems posed by these free radicals. That’s where green tea comes in.
Tea polyphenols consist mostly of catechins, the most powerful of which is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is found only in green tea.
Green tea is rich in fluoride which is good for the teeth by preventing cavities. In addition, green tea kills bacteria that cause dental plaques and halitosis (bad breath).
Don’t fret though, the level of fluoride in instant tea is considered safe for adults.
Other minerals in tea are manganese and potassium.
Green tea extract has fat-burning properties which promote weight loss. This is especially beneficial when combined with increased physical activity and a healthy diet.
Green tea has more essential oils which aid in the digestion process along with the polyphenols.
Tea has caffeine and can be diuretic. Nevertheless, tea has less caffeine than does coffee. To get even less caffeine, use decaffeinated tea or use a cup from a second infusion of tea leaves. Some people add milk, lemon, sugar (or honey) and fruit jams to their tea. However, green tea is meant to be consumed straight, without additives or sugars…so that’s how I drink mine.
Green tea is easily perishable. Unopened green tea has a shelf life of six months. To preserve its freshness, green tea should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place in air-tight container.
Moderate drinking of green tea is considered generally healthy, so bottoms up!
Enjoy your cup of green tea!