I am a tea lover. To me; the flavour, aromatic and the taste, is out of this world. I am a tea enthusiast who “oohs” over an oolong and cherish every drop of my Hibiscus.
Tea, especially green tea, is often said to be good for your health, but if tea is good for you, how good and why?
Green Tea’s health benefits are largely due to its high content of Catechins — plant-derived compounds that are high flavonoid. Flavonoids are plant-based compounds with powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are believed to help protect the body from free-radical* damage.
Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins.
It is said that catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E which are meant to protect the body against the destructive effects of free radicals*.
Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder.
In green-tea drinking cultures, the usual amount is three cups per day. Allow tea to steep for three to five minutes to bring out its catechins. The longer you steep the tea, the more catechins you’ll get in a cup.
The best way to get the flavonoids in tea is to drink it freshly brewed. Tea can impede the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables. Adding lemon or milk or drinking tea between meals will counteract this problem.
Additional benefits for regular consumption of green tea include a reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green tea can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumption of green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.
Green Tea and weight loss
Be wary of weight-loss claims. Some claim that tea can speed weight loss, but research on the effects of green tea and fat reduction have shown little promise of weight loss benefits.
*Free radicals are created by oxidation. In excess they will accelerate your aging and lead to all sorts of negative health problems. They are simple molecules with an electron missing. In an effort to become ‘whole’ again they seek out other chemical structures in our bodies from where they can steal an electron. After they ‘acquire’ an electron the chemical structure/tissue from where they ‘stole’ that electron is left seriously damaged!
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