Wonder Of The Day:
Why is Green Tea "Good" For You?
What Is Green Tea? How Do I Prepare It?
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?
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?
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.
~TO FIND OUT MORE: CHECK THE LINKS BELOW~
TRY IT OUT!!!
Swap Your Usual Morning Coffee for an Entire Month!
Doubting that green tea provides you with natural energy? See for yourself! If you rely on a cup of coffee to get you out of the house in the morning, try slowly weaning off coffee and begin your morning with a cup of green tea at breakfast instead. Do not be discouraged by the potential initial caffeine reduction effects -- keep trying and see how you feel by the end of the month!
Find Fun, Different Ways to Consume Green Tea!
While green tea is delicious on its own, we are all still able to enjoy its benefits in different forms! Include it in your morning smoothie, make it into a latte, pour it in your baked goods batter...the possibilities are endless! Google recipes or create a Pinterest account (if you do not already have one) for some inspiration, book mark them, and have a "tea party" with your friends. Be healthy, while staying creative!
"Perfect Week": Green Tea Style
On your own or with a friend or 2, plan to have a "perfect week" during which you try to drink at least 3 cups of green tea daily. In addition, during this week, try to stick to a healthy diet and exercise! Note down daily any changes with your mood/physical well-being (even if they are slight), see how you feel by the end of the week, and, most importantly, HAVE FUN WITH IT!