As a fan of Art of Tea, I have always enjoyed the taste of green tea, both warm in the morning and evening, and iced during the day. I began drinking 8 to 10 cups a day after New Years’, 2007 when I had resolved myself to promoting better health practices for me and my family.
I increased my green tea intake as a result of an article I had read that linked green tea consumption to a boost in weight loss and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it, especially since I like green tea anyway and normally drink a lot of it. My children enjoy the taste of iced tea, and so increasing their intake was simple. I knew that there were other health benefits from drinking green tea, and had heard about its antioxidant properties, but I wasn’t aware of all of the amazing ways that it increases health until I started doing some research.
I learned that white tea, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea all come from the leaves of the same plant, the Camellia sinensis. Green tea is often baked or steamed immediately after harvesting, Oolong tea is from partially oxidized leaves, and black tea is fully oxidized and cooked. I also learned that the majority of green tea is grown in Japan and China and from what I have experienced so far there is a difference between the two country’s teas. When processed, high-quality Chinese Green Tea is generally pan-fried while Japanese Green Tea is quickly deep steamed, giving them very different tastes and qualities. Chinese green tea is most often brewed by placing the leaves in my favorite teapot, mesh bag or just letting them float in a cup and placing it into freshly drawn hot water. We also explored matcha Japanese green tea, the leaves are most often ground into a powder and whisked with a small amount of hot water.
Green tea achieves superfood status because of its polyphenols. Polyphenols are stronger antioxidants than vitamin C. Antioxidants travel through the body and clean up free radicals, which are charged particles that damage cells and DNA. These free radicals are a result of normal metabolism but are also accrued from environmental toxins, like ultraviolet rays from the sun, air pollution, radiation, and cigarette smoke. Polyphenols in green tea have been found to reduce the occurrence of diseases caused by free radicals, including heart disease and cancer, and to reverse the aging process.
Green tea has been found to assist diabetics by helping to regulate glucose in the bloodstream and stimulate the proper function of the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for releasing the hormone, insulin, which is underproduced in diabetes. Green tea has also been found to assist in the treatment of arteriosclerosis by helping to flush plaque attached to veinous walls.
This information was enough to make me feel great about drinking green tea. Then yesterday, I read an article about the results of some research conducted in Egypt from the University of Alexandria where they tested green tea in combination with antibiotics against 28 disease-causing microbes. In every case, they found that the green tea decreased the drug resistance of the microbes and increased the drug’s effectiveness. They found that this was true for even antibiotic-resistant microbes.
According to this research, longevity is greater in countries where green tea is regularly consumed, yet we are only now considering that the consumption of tea may be one of the explanations. As my family and I enjoy the light, fresh flavor of our now favorite beverage, it makes me feel good to know that we are also taking care of our health.