Health

What are The Health Benefits of Green Tea?

Green Tea

The many health benefits of drinking green tea on a daily basis are good reason for it to be called a superfood. Its medicinal benefits have been known since 1046 B.C., when it was consumed as medicine by the Chinese. In order to reap the nutritional advantages, you need to consume anywhere between 2 and 10 cups of green tea per day. Luckily, not only is it good for your health, but it also helps with burning fat and losing weight, so the more you drink, the better.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Weight Loss

One of its best known health benefits of green tea is literally famous for its role in fat reduction and weight loss. Studies conducted have shown that drinking green tea combined with regular exercise not only helps reduce overall body fat, but also increases your metabolism and helps create lean muscle. Furthermore, participants in these studies lost almost double the amount of abdominal fat when combining green tea and exercise when compared to those who simply exercised but without drinking the tea. So if it’s a perfect bikini body that you’re after, then consider substituting water with ice green tea as your go-to sports drink.

Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory

The catechins present in green tea can help reduce the effects of aging, such as sun damage and wrinkles. They also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help prevent certain types of cancer and melanoma.

Blood Sugar

Not only does green tea help regulate your blood sugar levels, but this in turn helps prevent type 2 diabetes. EGCG, one of the ingredients found in green tea, is able to lower blood sugar by inhibiting glucose production in the liver. It’s even better if you drink green tea along with your meal, as it can help prevent sugar absorption, which leads to an increase in blood sugar after eating.

Breast Cancer Prevention

Green tea has been proven to shrink tumors caused by breast cancer by up to 70 percent. It also helps prevent these cells from diving and metastasizing to surrounding tissue. It might even be able to help prevent inflammatory breast cancer. Studies have shown that drinking more than
3 cups of green tea a day reduces your chance of getting breast cancer up to 20 percent.

A healthy heart

Green tea can help prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries, which can result in heart disease. It is also a diuretic, which lowers your blood pressure, keeping your heart healthy.

How to Find and Buy Green Tea

Green tea is very easy to find; thanks to its growing popularity, you can now find it in pretty much any supermarket or health food store. However if you want the good stuff, you should aim for a store that sells tea in bulk, as your chances of finding fresh, high quality green tea are much higher in a specialized store. You can also find rarer varieties of green tea online, with the added benefit of getting it delivered straight to your door step.

You can buy the tea either pre-packaged in tea bags, or the loose leaves in bulk. If you buy just the tea leaves, then you should make sure that you have a teapot as well as a tea strainer or tea-egg in order to filter the tea leaves once they are done steeping.

How to Store Green Tea

Storing green tea is very easy. If you buy tea bags, it’s a good idea to transfer them from their original packaging, which is most likely made out of paper or carton, to an airtight container that you can seal properly. Any container made of glass or ceramic is ideal. This helps keep your tea fresher for longer, because tea that is constantly exposed to air continues to oxidize, resulting in a loss of flavor and nutrients. A good way to test if tea bags are still fresh is to cut open a tea bag, throw away the tea leaves inside, and pour boiling water on top of the bag. If after a couple of minutes, the water tastes just like simple hot water, then you know that the tea is still fresh. If however the water tastes like tea, then you know that the tea is old because the bag itself has absorbed the flavor of the tea. But in any case, you should never store tea in the refrigerator as the cold temperatures will dry it out and actually reduce its shelf life. The best is to buy the loose tea leaves in small quantities so that you have time to finish it before it becomes stale.

If you want to store already brewed green tea, you can either leave it at room temperature and drink it throughout the day, or put it in the refrigerator and drink it iced for no more than a couple of days.

Tips on Preparation

Unlike black tea, to brew a good cup of green tea you don’t need to bring the water to a full boil. As the tannins that are naturally found in green tea account for its bitter flavor, you can avoid your tea from becoming too bitter by keeping the water under 175 degrees. The ideal water temperature range is between 140 and 180 degrees. Different types of green tea taste better at different temperatures, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice from the person who sold you the tea. In terms of brewing times the same also applies, with times varying between 1 to 3 minutes. Anything longer than this and your tea will be overpowering and bitter in taste.

If you feel like experimenting with green tea, you can try adding sugar, lemon, honey, ginger or fresh mint to enhance its flavor. You can also try serving it hot or cold; iced green tea is particularly refreshing in the summer and is also great if you’re trying to lose weight. Chai green tea is also easy to make: just brew green tea as you normally would and then add hot soy milk (you can experiment with different flavors like vanilla) and sugar, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and ground ginger. The iced version of this is also delicious.

Another thing that you can do with green tea instead of just drinking it is incorporating it into your cooking. Simply brew the tea in cold water, letting it steep for about half an hour. This will result in a very flavorful brew that you can then add to different sauces, marinades or even soups. You can even try cooking Asian noodles in green tea to give them a beautiful aroma. There are also many different types of cakes and sweets that contain green tea, so it might be worth doing some research into expanding your cooking repertoire and wowing your friends with original dishes and desserts.

Pacific Halibut in Green Tea Broth

Many cold water fish, including halibut, are rich in Omega-3 an anti-inflammatory and source of nutrients that increase your cognitive function. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain high in fiber and both green tea and basil are rich sources of antioxidants. This is an excellent superfood dish.

Ingredients:

  • Four (4) halibut fillets
  • Salt, coarse
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • One (1) cup of quinoa
  • Two (2) tablespoons of peanut oil
  • One (1) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • One (1) baby bok choy, sliced thinly
  • One (1) cup of frozen edamame, thaw
  • Four (4) oz. of shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Half (1/2) cup of snow peas, sliced thinly
  • One (1) cup of green tea, brewed
  • One (1) tablespoon of soy sauce
  • One (1) teaspoon of pure honey
  • Three (3) scallions, thinly sliced
  • Basil leaves

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 400°F. Put the salt/pepper on the halibut.
  2. Bring two cups of water to a boil and add a sprinkle of salt. Pour in the quinoa and simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat.
  3. Heat up the oil in a pan on medium. Put the fillets in the pan and cook for three minutes on each side. Take the fillets out and place into a baking pan and cook in oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the bok choy, ginger, edamame, snow peas, and shiitakes into the pan. Cook on medium for three minutes. Pour in the soy sauce, honey, and green tea. Cook for another three minutes. Mix in the scallions.
  5. Put broth and vegetables into bowls and serve with fish and basil leaves on top. Add quinoa on the side.

Good Green Tea Smoothie

Another green smoothie, this one is laden with green tea, spinach, grapes, and avocado.

Ingredients:

  • Three (3) cups of white grapes, frozen
  • Two (2) cups baby spinach
  • One (1) and a half (1/2) cups of brewed green tea, cool
  • One (1) avocado, ripe
  • Two (2) teaspoons of pure honey

Method:

  1. Place the green tea, spinach, avocado, honey and grapes into a blender. Puree until creamy. Serve.

Blueberry-Green Tea Slushie

Another shake-style drink but with blueberries. I love making smoothies and slushies with blueberries. I find their slightly citrus flavor really tasty, not to mention that few foods contain more antioxidants.

Ingredients:

  • Two (2) and a half (1/2) cups of water
  • Three (3) bags of green tea
  • One (1) cup of blueberries
  • Two (2) tablespoons of agave syrup

Method:

  1. Boil two cups of water and add the green tea bags. Let it steep for five minutes.
  2. Take out the bags. Put the blueberries into the small compartments of an ice tray. Cover with the tea and place in freezer. Place in a blender and puree with the rest of the tea, agave, and 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Serve with berries for garnish.

Green Tea Poached Salmon with Ginger Lime Sauce

I like to serve this quick and easy dish with brown rice and a salad of mixed greens.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • Ten (10) cups of water
  • Two (2) limes, cut in halves
  • Six (6) tablespoons of pure honey
  • Four (4) pieces of fresh ginger, chopped and peeled
  • Two (2) teaspoons of sea salt
  • Two (2) teaspoons of whole black peppercorns, and some fresh ground black pepper
  • Six (6) tablespoons of loose green tea
  • Four (4) 6 oz. salmon fillets, boneless and skinless

Method:

  1. Place six cups of water into a pot with a cover. Put in 3 of the limes and squeeze in the juice. Add the ginger, five tablespoons of honey, peppercorns and salt. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Take out 1/2 cup of the liquid. Take the pot off the heat and pour in the tea. Let it seep for five minutes. Put the salmon in the water and cover. Cook for six minutes.
  3. Simmer the 1/2 cup of reserved liquid with the rest of the lime zest and the juice. Add in one tablespoon of honey. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Take the fish out with a spoon and lay it onto plates. Serve with sauce poured onto the pieces.

Iced Green Tea

This iced tea is both cool and refreshing but also will provide you with the superfood health benefits of green tea.

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • Four (4) cups of water, boiling
  • Eight (8) green tea bags
  • Two (2) cups of water, cold
  • Half (1/2) cup of granular Splenda

Method:

  1. Pour the hot water on top of the tea bags. Let it steep for five minutes.
  2. Take out the tea bags and stir in two cups of cold water. Add sweetener and stir.
  3. Serve with ice.
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