Most of us probably know the kind of health benefits we get from drinking tea, especially if it is green tea. Since its emergence, green tea has been known to be an anti-aging elixir for many cultures. The green tea trend began in Okinawa, Japan, since drinking it is considered an essential regular habit.
Green tea has long been known in many practices its association with longevity and prevents many types of diseases. Nowadays, many commercial coffee shops and beverage stalls have included green tea in their menu. However, the question remains when it comes to green tea: what are the benefits you gain from drinking it?
Green Tea – What is it?
The leaves of green tea is obtained from the Camellia sinensis plant, just like black and oolong tea as well. However, green tea is known to have higher contents in antioxidants because their leaves have not been fermented yet. The antioxidant and healing properties contained in green tea leaves are catechins, polyphenols and many different types of flavonoids. These flavonoids are anti-aging compounds that you can also find in blueberries, red wine, as well as dark chocolate.
Although green tea contains some amounts of caffeine, its consumption is still considered the healthiest of all foods that are usually available. Several researchers have found that drinking green tea provides all the health benefits that we need because it contains more healing properties than other spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. All this makes green tea truly a healthy superfood.
What are the types of green tea?
Green tea is made up of different varieties globally. One of the most common that you find being added to many popular drinks is Matcha. The type that is easiest to find is Sencha. Other varieties include:
What are the major benefits of drinking green tea?
Health experts have attested to the powerful antioxidant compounds that bring about good health to people who drink green tea regularly. Aside from these benefits, what makes green tea the number one choice for many people is that it is naturally processed. These benefits include:
- Protection of the heart from illnesses
In several studies, they have shown the properties of green tea that helps pump more blood into our heart and reduces levels of blood pressure. The evidence that shows this is the ten beta-blocking compounds contained in green tea as well as calcium channel blockers and diuretics.
- Protects from free radical damage to brain cells
A certain type of flavonoid called epicatechin usually found in cocoa, blueberries, and grapes are beneficial to brain health. Fortunately, this flavonoid is also found in green tea, therefore, boosting brain cells and protecting them from the damages of free radicals.
- Helps lower the risk of diabetes and the body’s resistance to insulin
Green tea also contains compounds that help control glucose production and blood sugar and bringing them back to normal levels. So, it is not a surprise that green tea is also the ideal drink for people who are suffering from pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2.
- Helps suppress appetite and control cravings
For a lot of people who are trying to lose weight, their first choice would be to drink green tea. A few scientific findings have shown that drinking green tea can help speed up metabolism and preventing the body from gaining weight.
- Helps lower risk of eye diseases and increase vision
The antioxidant properties in green tea have been found to help reduce the risk of developing eye problems. It is because it keeps the eyes protected from oxidative damage as well as blindness.
- Promotes healthy bones and teeth
The flavonoids in green tea have also shown to strengthen bone mass and boosts healthy bone growth.
How do you prepare a green tea drink?
In many countries and cultures, the most practiced way of drinking green tea is by placing high-quality tea leaves or bag in a pot of water. Bring it to a boil, without overly heating it as it can lose its beneficial compounds. Once it is boiled, steep the leaves for about 3 minutes. Pour the tea as little as possible once it is brewed to gain the strength of the tea. You can also include honey or lemon for flavor in your tea.
Additionally, there are other ways to prepare a green tea drink, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold, whatever your preference. Here are five recipes you can try to spice up your green tea drink:
- Matcha Green Tea Latte
For this recipe, you only need low-fat milk and honey, and fresh matcha powder. For recipe preparations, click here.
- Iced Mint Green Tea
This recipe is perfect for a summer quencher. You only need fresh mint leaves, green tea bags, and lemongrass. You can also mix sake wine for an added kick to your drink. For the full recipe, click here.
- Ginger-Lemon Tea
Calm your sense with this green tea recipe and feel yourself easing away from daily tension. You will need lemon peels, fresh ginger and green tea bags for this recipe. For the drink preparation, click here.
- Raspberry Iced Tea
You can enjoy a colorful and vibrant blend with this green tea recipe with hints of fruity and tart flavor. You only need some fresh raspberries and serve the drink with lime slices. For the full recipe, click here.
- Strawberry-Peach Green Tea Smoothie
Add fresh strawberries and peaches for a healthy fruit green tea smoothie. This recipe is great for pick-me-up fuel boosters for the day. For the drink preparation, click here.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
For people who want to shed off their excess weight, this tonic is one of many great solutions to achieve weight loss. Apple cider vinegar has the ability to suppress appetite and control cravings. Add ginger and maple syrup for added natural sweetness to the drink. For the full recipe, click here.
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