Green Tea and Health
Health Benefits of Green Tea
While all of the rumored health benefits of green tea cannot yet be confirmed, such as fighting cancer and heart disease, it is said that this leaf will help to prevent these.
What can be confirmed about green tea, is its antioxidants. These happen to be the same ones found in dark chocolate, red wine, grapes and berries (only without the calories). These are the antioxidants that find the free radicals that damage DNA and contribute to cancer. So, you can see why it is popular opinion to believe green tea can help prevent disease.
As an avid green tea drinker, I like to believe green tea can fix everything and make me Superwoman, but nothing is that easy. I will say, though, on the days that, for whatever reason, I don't drink as much green tea as I typically do on a daily basis (normal for me is 3-5 cups), I do feel different. It could all be my mind playing tricks on me, but I just don't feel as alert, hydrated or motivated. No matter how much water I chug.
And for the record, there are some studies going on that are proving positive results for green tea related to cancer.
The antioxidants in green tea (also found in foods such as pomegranates and blueberries) are said to be heart healthy.
These antioxidants are dilators. They boost the elasticity of blood vessels, making them less susceptible to clogging.
Another thing that is beneficial to your heart health is laughing. No, really. So make a cup of green tea and go visit a friend.
Green Tea Benefits Weight Loss
This is actually very interesting to me, especially considering I am trying to lose weight and get fit. Green tea, and green tea extract, are shown to fight obesity and cholesterol.
There have been Dutch and Japanese studies yielding results of lost fat and weight, lower blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol in those who drank green tea or were given green tea extract. Caffeinated green tea provided a better weight loss result, but even decaffeinated green tea produced weight loss results.
Get chugging that green tea and eating only good, raw foods, and hop on a treadmill. Your mood, skin, heart and weight will thrive.
Green Tea Recipes
You, of course, don't have to just put a plain tea bag in a mug, let it brew, and choke it down if that's not your thing.
For starters, try brewing it with some honey and/or lemon. But there are also some fun recipes to add green tea to.
Green Tea Smoothie
Have you ever tried adding green tea to your smoothies? I know many people, especially lately, have been starting their day out with a fruit smoothie. Definitely healthy and delicious.
In advance, brew some green tea and brew it stronger than you would normally brew it for regular drinking. Pour it into an ice cube tray and make green tea ice cubes. Use this as the base of any smoothie you want, in place of regular ice cubes.
Here are some good suggestions to use them with:
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 peach (sliced)
1/2 cup berries
Blend all that together and give it a try!
1 medium avocado
2 cups (packed) baby spinach
3 cups of grapes (green or white)
Have fun with it. Start adding green tea cubes to smoothies you think it would fit well with.
Try adding green tea to the following:
- Oatmeal. Cook your oats in green tea instead of hot water. Why not?
- Salad dressing. Yeah, you can add it to your vinaigrette.
- Steaming veggies or meats.
- Mix with milk for batters and doughs.
- Fruit salad.
- Hard boiled eggs.
There is also a powdered version of green tea that can be added to just about anything, kind of the same idea as adding flax-seed to things. It still has a lot of antioxidants and therefore health benefits, but the brewed variety is still your best bet.
And don't forget you can always make iced green tea by brewing a pot and sticking it in the fridge.
Try adding mint or lemon or other fresh fruit to it for extra flavor. Also try adding it to soy or almond milk and in smoothies (as can be seen to the right).
Green Tea for Health
While we can't know for sure yet the actual benefits of drinking green tea, it is looking more and more like it has major potential to be a very beneficial beverage. Maybe now is the time for you to start experimenting with brands and flavors.