Green tea is a popular beverage that originated almost 4,000 years ago. This tea is consumed in many parts of the world due to its taste and various health benefits. Native to China, green tea has gradually grown to become one of the most popular beverages (hot and cold) and consumed by many around the world. Nonetheless, like other teas, green tea is also made of the leaves of ‘Camellia sinensis’, although the latter has medicinal properties. This is because; green tea is not fermented - unlike most other teas, the antioxidant, epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), remains intact in the tea dust or leaves. This is the main constituent that gives green tea its health benefits. The benefits of green tea are varied—right from treating a person suffering from a headache to that of curing someone suffering from depression. To know more about the health benefits of drinking green tea, go through the following lines.
Nutritional Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea
- Green tea is helpful in lowering LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol. As a result, no blood clots are formed in the body, thereby reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- The greatest benefit of drinking green tea is that it assists the body in burning extra calories. It supplements energy in the body, thereby helping in the oxidization of fats.
- A decrease in the inflammation across blood vessel walls is observed when a person drinks green tea regularly. This is mainly because of its antioxidant properties, which, in turn, helps prevent arthritis.
- The advantages of drinking green tea include combating cancer, especially lung cancer.
- Green tea prevents the formation of substances that lead to the narrowing of arteries, thereby, easing blood flow and pressure.
- For those suffering from diabetes, consuming green tea proves to be very useful, as it helps in controlling the production of the enzyme ‘amylase’. This reduces the rate of conversion of starch to sugar. Green tea improves glucose and lipid metabolism and prevents in the extreme rise of blood sugar level in the body.
- Green tea works as an antibacterial and antiviral agent and also helps in treating influenza and diarrhea.
- Drinking green tea on a regular basis, is helpful in relieving a person from stress and tautness.
- Consumption of green tea helps in delaying the onset of osteoporosis and also improves bone structure.
- In the case of smokers and alcoholics, the antioxidants present in green tea protect the liver against toxins.
- Prevention of dental plaque and tooth decay is another important benefit of green tea and its extracts.
- Drinking green tea has been proven advantageous time and again, in treating impaired immune functions.
Buying & Storing Tips
- Good quality green tea is yellow-green or pale green in color.
- Green tea is considered fresh if the aroma is slightly sweet, with a grassy scent.
- Purchase green tea in small amounts to ensure that only fresh tea is consumed.
- Store green tea in tight opaque containers to protect it from moisture, food odors and sunlight. You can use ceramic containers or dark glass containers for storing green tea.
- Avoid using tins for storing green tea.
- Make sure to store green tea in a container perfect for its size. The container must not be half-empty. This way the contents will be protected from oxidation.
- Place green tea in a cool, dry and dark place, such as cupboards. Green tea is susceptible to odors from other foods and moisture when stored in refrigerators.
- Green tea that is frozen loses its taste and fragrance upon condensation.
- Infuse green tea in spring water or filtered water. Avoid using distilled water for making green tea. This is because the minerals in spring or filtered water will help the green tea release its flavor. However, distilled water only makes the green tea taste bland. You can prepare green tea in small teapots using 3 ounces of tea and 6 ounces of water. Likewise, you can brew 4 ounces of tea in 8 ounces of water for more people.
- If you are preparing loose tea using green tea leaves, remember that a teaspoon of small, dense leaves will possess a stronger flavor than a teaspoon of large leaves. Thus, you might require more teaspoons of large leaves to brew green tea when compared to a teaspoon of small, dense leaves.
How To Enjoy
- Consume green tea with ginger, lemon or mint and add honey before serving.
- You can prepare green tea with hot vanilla soy milk, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger or any other spice.
- You can cook Japanese Udon noodles in green tea and then dress the noodles in soy sauce and sesame oil. Add mushrooms, scallions, tofu and cilantro for added flavor.
- You can mix green tea with fruit juices such as papaya, pineapple or peach along with a spoon of honey.