It’s tea time . . . green tea for me!
By: Leanne Ely
We’ve been hearing for years that green tea is good for us, but do you know why? And do you know how much good it really does once you’ve consumed it?
Well, let’s take a look.
First of all, why is green tea different than black tea?
Both come from the same tea bush but it’s in the processing where things get a little different.
Green tea is picked, partially withered and then heated almost right away to just about 200 degrees Celsius so that fermentation doesn’t take place. It’s then shaped and heated again.
Black tea is withered and rolled before it’s heated at all, then it’s left to ferment until it turns black and develops flavor before it’s heated again to stop the fermentation process.
So green tea is not fermented and black tea is. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the benefits we can gain from green tea!
Cancer prevention. Green tea is believed to destroy cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Green tea is also shown to reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Weight loss. Green tea revs up your metabolism and aids in weight loss.
Heart health. Scientists believe green tea might prevent clots from forming in arteries, preventing heart attacks. Green tea is also believed to help blood vessels remain relaxed, which leads to healthy blood pressure.
Diabetes. Green tea can help regulate glucose levels in diabetics, preventing insulin spikes.
Cholesterol. Adding green tea to your diet can reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood.
Tooth health. If you drink green tea, you may be killing viruses and bacteria that lead to dental cavities, throat infections and other tooth issues.
Younger skin. If you want to slow down the aging process (who doesn’t?), drink green tea. Put some on your face, too, because it may reduce signs of sun damage.
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. You may be able to slow down the effects of these two diseases by adding green tea to your diet, as it can help to protect brain cells from dying while also restoring those with damage.
Mood boost. Green tea contains an amino acid by the name of Theanine, which can ease feelings of depression, making you feel nice and relaxed.
How much green tea should you drink every day to reap the benefits? The jury’s still out, but somewhere between two and five cups is the general idea. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you might want to limit yourself to one cup a day.
If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you may want to avoid green tea. It contains tannins, which can disrupt the absorption of folic acid and iron which are important minerals for developing babies.
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