Wonder Of The Day:

Why is Green Tea "Good" For You?

Have You Ever Wondered...

-What is green tea? How do I prepare it?

-How is green tea processed?

-What are the health benefits of green tea?

What Is Green Tea? How Do I Prepare It?

Green tea is considered to have originated in China, but has become popular in many countries within East Asia. Green tea leaves come from the Camellia sinensis plant, which can either be prepared as a drink or as an "extract" to use in medicine.

To prepare, you brew the tea leaves until the water turns a green, yellow, or light brown color -- usually for 1-3 minutes. If prepared correctly, the green tea should result in a lighter color and have a slightly bitter flavor. I like mine with a little bit of honey and lemon!

How is Green Tea Processed?

Green tea is one of the least processed teas, thus, allowing it to contain many antioxidants and healthy polyphenols.

1. After the plant is picked, it is quickly heated through pan firing or steaming.

2. The tea leaves are dried immediately to hamper fermentation, which prevents oxidation from occurring, which may change the green color of the leaves. In China, the tea is usually pan-fried in very large woks over an open flame. For uniform drying, the tea leaves must be constantly stirred.

Because it is one of the least processed teas, it contains many antioxidants and healthy polyphenols.

3. Rolling/shaping of green tea leaves is usually done using machinery. The machinery rolls the leaves into a round shape, which controls the release of natural substances/flavors when it is brewed. The leaves must be removed at the same moisture level each time.

4. Final Drying: the tea leaves are spread out and dried slowly until a moisture content of 5% or less. At this point, the half-processed tea is called "aracha,"still containing stems and dust. Aracha, then, is shipped off to tea merchants/wholesalers for the final process, which prepares it for final sale.

Read more about the process:


What are the Health Benefits of Green Tea?

1. ANTI-ALLERGENIC: Do you dread pollen season? Quit rubbing your eyes and sneezing and make yourself a cup of tea. Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known to block the IgE receptor (the main receptor involved in an allergenic response. This compound is very strong in green tea.

2. BETTERS EYESIGHT: How many carrots can you eat, exactly? Stop chomping and annoying everybody around you, and start sipping on some Green Tea. The antioxidant Catechins, an antioxidant, are present in green tea and can be absorbed into eye tissues.

3. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL: We know it's hard to put down the junk food, but a cup of green tea in your hand instead can help moderate your cholesterol level. The powerful antioxidant EGCG prevents cholesterol from being absorbed from the large intestine. According to research, 5 cups of green tea daily would reduce cholesterol tremendously.

4. LOWERS RISK OF CANCER: I will not provide a semi-witty opener about cancer -- just drink some green tea. The antioxidant EGCG in green tea helps kill existent cancer cells by destroying cells' mitochondria, which makes it a contestant for potentially becoming an alternative to debilitating chemotherapy. It has been known to attack pancreatic cancer, in the past, and recently, oral cancer.

5. UV PROTECTION: Brew some green tea, throw a fresh lemon and some ice into it, and throw it in your beach bag (not so fast -- please still bring your sunscreen). Catechins present in green tea are known to make skin less susceptible to the harmful effects of UV rays, and thus, preventing premature skin aging. Additionally, it can also lead to lessened skin redness after periods of UV exposure.

6. WEIGHT LOSS: While you still cannot skip the gym, ECGC is the most active form of catechins in green tea, which gives it its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and metabolic effects. ECGC, synergistically works with the caffeine present in green tea to boost your metabolism. Caffeinated green tea has been known to significantly facilitate a notable reduction in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waistline.

7. NATURAL ENERGY: Does coffee make you feel jittery? Brew yourself a quick cup of green tea for a morning pick-me-up. Theanine and caffeine found in green tea work together to provide your body with energy without overwhelming your nervous system to avoid that jittery feeling. A cup of caffeinated green tea contains approximately 10mg-50mg of caffeine, which is 15-30% less than in coffee, while still making you feel energized.

8. AND MUCH, MUCH MORE: Improved of brain function, Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes, Reduced risk of heart disease.....to name a few more important benefits.