Green tea is fast becoming one of the hottest ways to look after your health. More and more research is surfacing that suggests that drinking green tea may be one of the simplest things you can do to live a longer and healthier life.
Green tea is special because of the way that it’s processed. Though it comes from the same plant as black tea, it is produced in an entirely different way. During processing, black tea is allowed to oxidize, or ferment. Green tea however, is simply dried and then steamed or fired to prevent the oxidation process from occurring. It sounds like a simple difference, but it causes some very powerful differences between the two types of tea.
The fermentation process that happens to black tea converts the natural anti-oxidants in tea to other compounds. So, while black tea is a healthy beverage, it is not as healthy as green tea, whose anti-oxidants are left in their natural state. In fact, green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), one of the most powerful anti-oxidants.
Anti-oxidants play an important role in protecting our health. The anti-oxidants created by our bodies and those derived from our diet help to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that are created as a by product of converting the food we eat into energy. Left unchecked, these free radicals damage our cells and DNA, leading to aging and disease.
A diet rich in anti-oxidants keeps these free radicals under control. To ensure that you get your daily dose of anti-oxidants it’s important to eat a diet that’s full of plant products, like fruits, vegetables and green tea.
Research has shown that drinking green tea is especially helpful at reducing your risk of disease. Some of the most positive research includes the following findings:
• Long term tea drinkers tend to have a lower body weight and lower percentage of body fat.
• Green tea has been shown to be effective at preventing many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer. In addition, some studies have shown that chemotherapy is more effective when the patient is on a regimen of green tea along with their chemotherapy.
• Green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to lower cholesterol and reduce your chances of a blood clot.
• Green tea has been shown to be an effective weight loss supplement. The anti-oxidants in green tea combined with the caffeine have been shown to speed up the metabolism and promote the oxidation of fat.
• It has been suggested that green tea may be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
• Green tea may be helpful in regulating insulin, so it may be a natural way to help prevent diabetes.
So, as you can see, there are many health reasons for drinking green tea. Most of us in the Western world have grown up on black tea, and may find the flavor of traditional green teas somewhat grassy in comparison. If you find that green tea simply doesn’t taste as good to you as black tea, try drinking a green tea blend. When blended with other flavors, green tea can taste quite different than it does on its own.
There are a wide variety of green tea blends out there. It’s important to choose the best quality of loose green tea, whether you’re choosing a blend or a single tea. Many tea companies will use lesser quality tea leaves when they’re blending the tea with other flavors, because they believe the difference in quality will not be as noticeable.
So, be certain that you choose your blended green tea from a reputable tea company to ensure that you get only the finest quality. If you’re interested in choosing a green tea blend, here are some very good and very popular ones to try.
• Moroccan Mint – Moroccan mint green tea is one of the most popular blends. This is a blend of one or more kinds of mint flavoring with a green tea base. The flavor is light and refreshing and makes a great glass of iced tea as well as hot tea.
• Jasmine Green Tea – Another popular choice in green tea blends, this green tea is scented with the petals of jasmine. You’ll also find Jasmine green tea mixed with vanilla, which makes the tea more flavorful. The combination of the scents of jasmine and vanilla make this jasmine green tea one of the most fragrant you can find.
• Vanilla Mint Green Tea – This is a refreshing green tea blend that will appeal to any tea drinker. Tea artisans mix high quality green tea with mint leaves and pieces of vanilla bean. These two flavors are pleasing to any palate. This makes a great iced tea for the summer as well as an aromatic and flavorful hot tea.
These are just a few of the many blends of green tea available. Experiment with the varieties available to find the ones that you like best. For maximum benefit to your health, experts recommend that you drink at least three cups of green tea each day. So, lift your cup of green tea and drink to the delicious flavor – and to your health!