For years I was loyal to Lipton black tea. Why? Because that’s what my parents bought. It was what I grew up on. I didn’t know anything else.
A few years ago I bought my first package of green tea because it was part of a cleanse I was trying. It tasted slightly different but it was good! Adding a little douse of fresh lemon made it taste just like what I was used to, BUT with added health benefits. I was sold and never turned back to the dark side.
Why is Green Tea a Great Choice?
In general, the best foods and beverages for you are the ones with the least amount of processing. All teas (except herbal) come from the same type of bush (Camellia Sinensis). The level of processing determines the type of tea. Green tea is the least processed type of tea and therefore contains the most antioxidants of all the varieties.
More on Antioxidants
Antioxidants delay or prevent cell damage.
The antioxidants in tea are called polyphenols.
Catechins are a type of polyphenol found in large amounts in tea and are a very powerful antioxidant. (Catechins are also found in much smaller amounts in red wine and chocolate). Catechins are like little warriors that are believed to help fight various cancers, heart disease, diabetes and also help reduce inflammation in the body.
By weight, green tea is 20-45% polyphenols. Of this, 60-80% are in the form of catechins. That’s a lot of natural power fighting for your health!
Considered One of the World’s Healthiest Drinks
There have been numerous studies on green tea over the years which show a multitude of health benefits. Unsweetened, natural brewed tea has zero calories and is packed full of antioxidants. Adding vitamin C in the form of lemon makes the healthy compounds of green tea easier to absorb. (Dairy, on the other hand, makes the good properties harder to absorb).
Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea and far less caffeine than coffee.
There have been many studies on green tea and weight loss, but they don’t all agree. While some studies have shown that green tea helps increase metabolism and fat burning, others don’t show an increase at all. It’s possible the effects may depend on the individual.
In any case, replacing a sugary or processed beverage with green tea is a good thing!
This little list of mine just touches the surface of the health benefits of green tea. I know that not everyone is a tea fan. (Hey, I can’t stomach the taste of coffee. I get it!). But if you’re a tea drinker anyway, why not give it a try?