I grew up a tea drinker because my mother was a great tea drinker. It almost seemed I was destined to follow and she couldn’t wait for me to be old enough to discover her love of tea. Most of my memories of her involve her holding a cuppa in one hand. She’d start her day with a mug of tea and end it the same way. She’d even take a mug of tea when she went outside to garden or hang the washing out. But she always drank black tea and never got to know the amazing health benefits of green tea.
Back then tea was always black tea varieties. Green tea was served at the local Chinese restaurant, but I never knew anyone who actually drank it. But the health benefits of green tea are now well known and widely touted.
The healing effects of green tea have been recognized by the Chinese for over 5,000 years. In the west we have been slow to recognize these, but widespread research has verified the amazing role that green tea plays in protecting the body against a host of diseases. You too can benefit simply by drinking green tea each day.
Tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are considered the most effective and protective of all the antioxidants. Green tea is particulary rich in one of these called catechins, with between fifteen and thirty percent catechin content. EGCG is the main active component of the polyphenol activity and is highest in green tea.
The Difference Between Green And Black Tea
Green tea differs from black tea in that it is unfermented. It is made by steaming the leaves very quickly just before picking, rolling and drying. This prevents the breakdown, or oxidation, of the catechins.
Black tea undergoes more processing and the leaves are subjected to heat and light where they wither before they are fermented. This results in the EGCG being converted into less effective compounds. Black tea has less far less beneficial properties than green.
I started drinking three cups of green tea on my homeopath’s advice and initially I hated the taste. But I decided to experiment with how I made the tea and learnt some interesting things.
- Strong green tea is very astringent.
- Green tea gets bitter as it cools down.
- Experts advise to not use boiling water in the preparation of green tea as it destroys the flavonoids which give the healing potential.
- Green tea marries well with other herbal and floral flavours.
Once I realized that unlike black teas, the strength and temperature of the green tea brew was far more crucial to drinking pleasure, I quickly came to enjoy it. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I had to careful not to drink too much and this leads to digestive problems. Now I stick to three or four cups a day.
Green tea is often combined with other ingredients. Jasmine is one of the more common ones. Recently I found a wonderful mix of green tea and berries. Not only is it delicious, it is also loaded with antioxidants.
Which brings me to the benefits of drinking green tea, and the good news just keep getting better. It’s difficult for any black tea or coffee lover to see why they should make the change, whether it be a total change to green tea or just to include it alongside their coffee or black tea, but green tea has many reasons why it’s a vastly better choice.
Green tea’s high in antioxidants (EGCG) to protect the cells from damage and inflammation caused by free radicals which leads to many chronic diseases.
Scientific research into the effects of green tea
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
- 11 Benefits of Green Tea That You Didn’t Know About (voyagegroupin.wordpress.com)
- Drink Green Tea for Healthy Heart (medindia.net)
- Can Green Tea Help Digestion? (everydayhealth.com)