Healthy Living


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Green tea is one of my favorite things to drink, though a good dark beer is definitely up there. :D You almost can’t beat it when it comes to health benefits, simplicity, or low-cost. I mean, I love Starbucks as much as the next person, but a couple of  bucks a day just to make the mornings bearable can add up pretty quickly. Amirite?

What Is The Difference Between Different Types of Tea?

The three main types of tea – Black, Oolong, and Green – all start their lives as leaves on the same shrub (Camellia sinensis if you’re ever on Jeopardy). A few times a year these tender, young leaves are picked and are allowed to dry on large racks, but they’re not ready for the teapot just yet.

First, they must go through varying amounts of fermentation which breaks down some of the natural chemicals found in the leaves. The darker the tea, the longer it’s been allowed to ferment before being heated to stop the process. Since the green tea has only been allowed to lightly ferment, it has a milder flavor and higher concentration of polyphenols called catechins (CAT-uh-kins).

These plants don’t produce these chemicals because they want you and I to live disease-free for a long time. Since these catechins are very potent antioxidants, they help protect the plant from various environmental hazards and help provide us the same protection from free radicals, which damage your cells and can speed aging and trigger disease .

Some Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea:

  • Green tea consists of about 30 to 42 percent catechins, while black tea has approximately 3 to 10 percent and oolong being in the middle between black and green tea.
  • In many studies, green tea catechins (which consists largely of EGCG) have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
  • It can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to many diseases from MS to ulcers.
  • These polyphenols, especially EGCG, have been show to promote a higher metabolism and weight loss.
  • They can lower blood pressure and cholesterol which can help prevent heart disease.
  • They have also been show to help lower blood sugar, which could help in preventing diabetes and weight gain due to overeating.

Probably the best part is you can make it for less than a couple dollars per gallon! A couple times a week I brew a gallon of green tea to keep in the refrigerator or better yet, make a batch of homemade kombucha.

I recommend that most people drink 3 cups of green tea per day, since each cup contains about 90mg of EGCG and only 50mg of caffeine. Studies have shown that green tea won’t potentially raise blood pressure despite its caffeine content, but it would be smart to consult your doctor if you have any concerns  or restrictions with regards to caffeine consumption.

The ease, cost, and health benefits of green tea makes it a simple, yet powerful, choice that anyone can make to do something positive for their well-being. After all, some of the healthiest cultures in the world have been drinking it for thousands of years which is a pretty strong track record in anyone’s book.

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