Green Tea for a Healthy Diet
Green tea comes from China where it’s been known since ancient times. Traditional medicine thought that green tea cures almost every illness, from headache and toothache to mental problems like depression. Today, medicinal properties of green tea have been largely confirmed by science, so it’s recommended to drink it regularly.
The secret of green tea
There are over 300 substances which can be found in green tea. Their mixture is what gives efficient results on health improvement. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, especially EGCG which is a strong antioxidant. It also contains caffeine which stimulates digestion. The amount of caffeine is smaller than that found in coffee, which is good, because that means it can be drunk several times a day without fear of consuming too much caffeine. Here are the properties of green teas which give it the title of “tea for healthy weight loss”:
1. strengthening of heart and blood vessels
2. lowering of bad (LDL) cholesterol
3. acceleration of metabolism
4. regulation of blood sugar level
5. inducing feeling of being well fed without excess calories
Many famous diets recommend consumption of green tea: Atkinson’s, “The zone” and others.
Other medicinal properties are:
1. Green tea decelerates cancer development and can even prevent it (in one study conducted on women, those who regularly drank green tea had lower chance of developing breast cancer than those women who didn’t drink it regularly)
2. Green tea improves cognitive capabilities and capability to study so it’s thought of as “brain protector”. It can prevent development of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Green tea strengthens immunity.
4. Green tea prevents caries.
5. Green tea has a positive effect on skin complexion and reduces presence of acne
One study has shown that drinking green tea before physical activity is good because it stimulates additional calorie burning. What’s important to add is that green tea doesn’t have unwanted side effects. The only recorded one is insomnia, and that’s only in case of tea consumption recently before going to sleep.
Ancient Chinese proverb: “It’s better to be three days without food than one day without tea.”
How to prepare green tea
Preparation is very important because if it’s not done in the right way tea can lose its beneficial effects. Never put the teabag in boiling water, it will destroy its medicinal properties. Water should have temperature of around 75 degrees Celsius. Also, don’t keep the teabag in the water for too long. That won’t make the tea lose its beneficial properties, but it will make its taste bitter. Two to three minutes are enough.
1. use one teabag (from two to four grams) per cup
2. boil the water
3. since it’s not good to put the teabag in boiling water, either let the water cool for around three minutes or add some cold water
4. place the teabag inside the hot water and let it stay there for two to three minutes
5. take the teabag out and add honey or lemon if you wish so (but don’t add too much sugar, green tea shouldn’t be too sweet)
Ice tea – green tea is drank either warm or as ice tea which is very convenient during summer. When you want ice tea, make it in large quantities and keep it in the fridge. It can be served with ice and menthe leaves as decoration.
How much of it should be consumed daily?
Green tea cannot be consumed too much. One study has shown that men who drank ten cups a day (that’s around 300 milligrams of polyphenols) got cancer three years later than men who didn’t drink green tea. How much of it will you drink depends on your personal preference. It’s good to be drunk after meals because it improves digestion. It’s good to be drunk instead of coffee and before physical activity. Convince yourself to drink at least one cup of green tea daily and you will do yourself a favor.
Difference between green and black teas:
Both are made from tea trees. The difference is that green tea is made by processing fresh leaves and black tea is made by processing fermented leaves. Fermentation leads to loss of medicinal properties of polyphenols which is why black tea isn’t as effective as green tea.
Lastly, where to buy green tea?
Green tea is acquired in form of powder or teabags. It can be purchased in almost any supermarket. Almost everywhere in the world you can find high quality green tea so you shouldn’t worry too much which manufacturer should you choose.