Green Tea Health Benefits
Green tea is a tea variety that I have grown to love! I have been drinking tea since I was a child. It was part of our evening meal to finish with a cup of tea. My mother is Irish and a hot cup of orange pekoe at the end of each meal was the norm.Traditionally it was brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar.
I have stopped having tea with dinner but I still do enjoy a cup of tea in the morning with breakfast. I was drinking orange pekoe but after discovering all the benefits of green tea I decided to switch.
My Favorite Green Tea
I now enjoy many brands of green tea. I became accustomed to purchasing the cheap green tea bags at the grocery store, and once in awhile the more expensive brand names when they were on sale. Then one day at a restaurant I ordered a green tea and it was the best green tea I had ever tasted.
I enjoyed that cup of green tea so much that I asked the waitress for the brand name. It was called "Mighty Leaf" and when I arrived home I immediately searched for this brand online.
I soon found their website and ordered myself a box of 100 tea bags. It cost me around 60.00 but it was worth it. Mighty Leaf is a healthy organic brand and well worth the cost.
When I mentioned this price at a family dinner my brother-in-law put it into perspective by pointing out it was only 60 cents per cup. That certainly is cheaper than buying a cup at a restaurant or coffee shop!
Fast forward a year or so and I now find "Mighty Leaf" tea in the health sections of many larger grocery stores in my area. Score!
Are You A Tea Lover?
Do You Enjoy Tea?
Green Tea History
It all started in China
The history of tea is steeped in legends (pardon the pun). There are many stories about how tea drinking was discovered. One of these stories describes how a man ate a leaf; enjoyed the flavor and decided to release this flavor by steeping the leaves in water. Another story is an accidental discovery whereby a flower and its leaf dropped into a cup of water thus flavoring the water. Someone tasted it this flavored water, liked it and tea was born!
The Original Tea
Green tea is the original tea. It is about 5000 years old! All tea was green at one point because it was made from green leaves steeped in water. Historically, it was not processed like it is today. This was the most natural way of enjoying tea and it is still enjoyed this way throughout the world.
Tea Was Created in China
Tea was first discovered by China. And the Chinese take their tea quite seriously. A book was published describing in great detail how to prepare and enjoy a cup of green tea. This book was written in 600 AD and was called Cha Jing or Tea Classic. Tea drinking spread throughout the East. The Japanese had a great influence on the culture of green tea drinking. They produced more varieties and raised the drinking of tea into an art form through "tea ceremonies".
Varieties of Tea
Over the centuries many more varieties of tea were discovered. For example, the black teas that are so popular in the Western hemisphere are a fermented variety of the original green tea. Green tea is now becoming much more popular in the West especially with the discovery of the associated health benefits.
Good For Your Health
Green tea has the reputation of being the healthiest tea to drink. It has been associated with weight loss and for this reason alone it has become very popular. However, there are many benefits to drinking green tea than just this aspect. Here are just a few of the many reasons this tea is better choice than other teas.
- Promotes weight loss by increasing metabolism which helps to burn more fat.
- Contributes to heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Reduces the risk of cancer by helping your body to protect cells from being damaged.
- Stabilizes blood sugar level and is therefore beneficial for diabetes.
- Amino acids in green tea help to combat stress and anxiety.
- It contains antioxidants that fight the free radicals that accelerate aging.
- It destroys bacteria that leads to tooth decay and prevents bad breath.
What is Matcha Green Tea?
Matcha tea is highly concentrated green tea that is made from the entire leaf and ground into a powder. Bascially with matcha you ingest 100 percent of the nutrient value of the leaf, whereas with regular green tea you are only steeping the leaf in hot water and then discarding it.
Matcha Green Tea Benefits
A cup of matcha tea contains the nutritional equivalent of about ten cups of regular green tea and the level of antioxidants in Matcha tea is about 137 times that of regular green tea. That is quite a nutritional powerhouse!
How to Make Matcha Green Tea
Match tea sets can be purchased at most speciality tea stores or health food stores. You can purchase a small sifter with a small bamboo whisk. I use the little screen that fits into my Japanese teapot and press the powder through it into the cup. I also use a little spoon rather than the mini whisk. If you become a Matcha tea enthusiast you may want the speciality items to prepare it but they aren't necessary. Its easy to improvise.
- Sift 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha powder into a cup using a small sifter.
- Add 2 ounces of hot water that is just under the boil
- Whisk the powder vigorously in a zig zag motion bringing the tea to a froth
I find that drinking matcha give me a calm but alert feeling. It is not a tea to drink late in the day as it does contain about as much caffeine as coffee.
The Lead Controversy
Matcha Green tea contains high amounts of lead. The leaves, especially if cultivated in China, absorb lead from the environment and because with Matcha you are consuming the whole leaf you will consume the lead. It is best to limit yourself to no more than one cup a day and children should not drink Matcha. With regular green tea the lead is still there in the leaf but it doesn't leach out when it is steeped and remains in the leaf which is discarded.
Name Your Tea!
What is your Favourite Tea?
Scott, P. (2013, September 13). Green Tea Health Benefits. Retrieved March, 2014 from https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea
Sifferlin, A. (2018, March 08). Health Benefits of Matcha Tea. Retrieved August 2018, from https://time.com/5188377/matcha-tea-benefits/
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Sharon Bellissimo