by Valerie Lull
January is National Hot Tea Month, so I thought I’d write about tea. Green tea is a hot topic in the world of tea. It is consumed more than any other beverage except water and possibly coffee. Green tea is full of good things that help with everything from anti-aging to acne.
Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea, and oolong tea, Camellia sinensis. The difference is in how the leaves are processed. For black tea the leaves are oxidized, for green tea they are steamed. Oolong tea is partially oxidized but not for as long as black tea. Green tea is thought to be the healthier of the three, but black tea and oolong tea have health benefits in their own right.
Green tea contains a substance called EGCG (Epicgallocatechin-3-gallate). This is a catechin that has shown promise of relief for numerous illnesses and diseases. Green tea is arguably the most studied of all teas.
Here is a list of some of the things green tea can help.
Reduced risk for Cancer and heart disease
Reduced risk for diabetes
Improve cognitive function
Help joints be limber
The use of green tea for weight loss is popular. It boosts the metabolism so that more fat is burned. Green tea is often an ingredient in weight loss products because of this. There is some evidence that green tea does not work for weight loss with everyone. It may be something that varies with the individual.
Caffeine is a substance that is in green tea. It has half the amount in black tea and black tea has about half the amount in coffee. Green tea also has a substance called theanine. This allows the caffeine to work but keeps you from feeling jittery. Theanine calms and relaxes while the caffeine keeps you awake. If you have issues with caffeine you can always get decaffeinated.
The Japanese have been drinking tea for centuries and they drink it throughout the day. They have the longest lifespan on earth. It is thought that the extensive use of green tea is what is extending their lives. The polyphenol antioxidants in green tea lower inflammation, reduce sun damage and help you to have healthy skin and hair.
Several studies have suggested that drinking three to four cups of green tea a day is the best amount to take. This means that a cup is defined as 8 oz. In Japan they use cups that hold 4 oz. so more cups have to be taken to get the optimum amount. Matcha, from Japan is a type of green tea that is processed differently from regular green tea. The tea leaves are ground into a fine powder and are more potent because the whole leaf is ingested, not a water extract from the leaf. Matcha is used in the Japanese tea ceremony.
Green tea is readily available in most supermarkets, in health food stores, and online. The quality brands are best. You can tell the quality of green tea is good if the tea is green in the cup. If it has a brownish appearance it has been oxidized, probably because of poor packaging or age. As with any health regimen be sure to talk with your health care provider before starting.
About the Author
Valerie B. Lull is an herbalist and wellness coach. At the age of 45 she was diagnosed with Diabetes and staying in good health became her passion. She studied at the American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Oregon. Valerie has always had a passion for staying healthy and for the health benefits of teas and the various ways they can be prepared. Valerie’s passion for tea started in childhood, when she experienced a traditional-style teatime with her Canadian relatives.
Coming soon new book Glorious Garlic! Spring 2019
You can read her “Healthy Life” column on the 4th Monday here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.