Green Tea – A Refreshing Drink Assuring Health Benefits

Feeling stressed? Need to refresh yourself? Then, have a cup of tea. This is what you suggest your friends generally, right? But, if you are aware of green tea, then you’ll obviously taste it and even recommend others to take green tea. Green tea – a distinct tea variety – is a refreshing drink that also ensures certain health benefits. Though it is most popular in China and Japan, it is being used in many countries of the world today. It is considered a better aid for staying healthy and to stay away from various lifestyle diseases. Let’s know some interesting facts about this green tea and its health benefits.

Green tea – how is it different from other types?

Green tea is different from other types of tea in its flavor and processing. Tea, an aromatic beverage, is prepared from leaves of Camellia sinensis (tea plant). Different types of tea including black, green, oolong, and white tea are available with differences in processing mechanism. Green tea includes least processing – it is just steamed and dried, but not brewed. Hence, the chemical contents of the leaves that are beneficial for health remain intact in green tea.

How is it available?

Green tea is available in bag and loose forms (as dried leaves). It comes in different flavors – elachi, ginger, lemon, honey, and masala.

Selection and storage

Checking the quality when selecting the green tea is very much easy. When checking the freshness of loose green tea, tightly squeeze a small amount and smell the aroma. A sweet and grassy smell indicates that it is the freshest and most flavorful tea.

In order to test the freshness of tea bags, remove the tea from one bag and place the empty bag in a cup. Pour hot water over it and allow it to steep for 2-3 minutes. If it tastes like plain hot water, the tea is likely fresh. But, if it tastes like tea, then it indicates that the tea is old and the paper has absorbed the flavor. Ensure that you purchase high-quality green tea, though expensive. Green tea, either loose or bagged forms, should be stored in a tight opaque container to protect from light, moisture and food odors.

Preparing green tea

Unlike black or oolong teas, green tea doesn’t need fully boiling water. Add green tea (bagged tea or loose green tea) to water that is just about to boil and leave it for 3-4 minutes. Then filter it – it’s ready to serve. If you like, make it tasty by adding sugar or honey.

Health benefits of green tea

Here is the interesting story of green tea. As said, green tea includes various natural chemical compounds that are beneficial for health. It is known from several studies that green tea is rich in catechins (particularly epigallocatechin gallate – EGCG) which are antioxidants avoiding cell damage. Here are some health benefits of green tea:

  • Lowers the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
  • Inhibits abnormal formation of blood clots
  • Reduces risk of heart diseases
  • Increases the metabolic rate
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Lowers the incidence of cancers including breast, stomach, lung and skin cancers – The intact chemicals of green tea are found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and kill them without harming healthy tissue
  • Enhances immunity
  • Reduces symptoms of periodontal diseases (gum diseases) – promotes healthy teeth and gums

Green tea, therefore, avoids damage caused by various issues like pollution, smoking, and other changes in lifestyle that induce stress. Apart from the characteristic catechins, green tea also contains certain vitamins and minerals essential for your health. So, keep in mind these benefits of green tea, and make a habit of having it daily to maintain your health.

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