The biggest health benefit of green tea comes from a large amount of catechins – very powerful antioxidants that protect from cell damage.
These antioxidants are believed to be more powerful than vitamins C and E in regards to cell protection plus studies have shown a connection between consuming green tea and a lower risk for a variety of cancers, such as breast, colon, bladder and skin cancer.
On top of the cancer fighting super powers of green tea, it also lowers your risk of heart diseases by lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
Additionally, green tea may help prevent obesity. That’s right! Green tea has a regulatory effect on fat metabolism. Pretty awesome!
However, the caffeine content of different types of green tea varies and the brewing period plays a role in how much caffeine ends up in your tea.
While a cup of coffee contains about 100-150mg caffeine, one cup of green tea merely contains 25mg caffeine on average. Unless you have a strong reaction to caffeine or you are on a caffeine free diet, you won’t have to worry about any side effects.
Tea bags are problematic
Quite a few tea bags are made with plastic such as nylon or PVC which can result in chemical compounds leaching into your tea when steeping them in hot water. Paper bags aren’t always the better choice as they are often chemically treated and bleached; you don’t want any of these toxins in your tea, either!
Quality difference in loose leaves vs. bagged leaves
Tests have shown that loose green tea leaves contain higher amounts of antioxidants so why not get the most out of your tea and opt for loose tea leaves?!
Another consideration is that tea bags mostly contain lower grade tea – dust and small pieces of tea leaves that are broken called “fannings”. Fannings have lost their flavor and oftentimes no longer contain any of the beneficial essential oils. You will notice the difference in taste!
Green tea readily absorbs toxins from the ground; a big concern is lead. Green tea should be grown in a clean, unpolluted environment which excludes most of China - worldwide the biggest source of green tea. Tea brands that source their green tea from China have tested positive for environmental contamination whereas green tea from Japan has shown an insignificant amount of contamination.
Therefore, green tea from Japan is a safer choice!
Green Ice Tea for better health!
This Green Ice Tea is super refreshing and only lightly sweetened with maple syrup.
Even though I have been living in the South for over 3 years, I still don’t drink the classic southern ice tea – mainly because it contains an ungodly amount of sugar and frankly, I prefer my black tea hot with a tad bit of milk.
While I also enjoy a freshly brewed cup of green tea, I do love green tea “on the rocks”. For me, it’s the next best thing to water!
- 1 tablespoon of green tea
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Ice cubes
- Heat water until it comes to a boil, then set aside until it has cooled down to approximately 180F.
- Add tea leaves (or bags) to your tea pot and pour in hot water.
- Steeping time depends on your variety; 1-3 minutes is common.
- Discard tea leaves (if you haven't used a tea egg or bags, pour through a sieve), add maple syrup, stir and let tea cool down completely.
- Once your tea has cooled down, either refrigerate for up to 2 days or serve by adding lemon juice and ice cubes. Enjoy!
Sources: Harvard Health Publications, Mercola.com, Caffein Informer, NYTimes