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Low GI Meals

Benefits of Green Tea

Green Tea

Have you had your green tea today? Popular in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, green tea has been shown to have significant medicinal as well as therapeutic properties. The difference between black and green teas lies in their processing. Black tea is fermented, whereas green tea, which is prepared from steamed, dried leaves, is not allowed to ferment. The minimal processing helps retain the tea’s green color, gives it a flowery aroma and fresh flavour and also preserves the active ingredients that produce the tea’s health benefits. Green tea has lots of antioxidants and many health benefits..

Preparation of the Tea

Place 1 rounded tsp. of tea leaves per cup in a teapot. Heat the water until it is simmering (160 F); cool briefly (vigorously boiling water can destroy the tea’s gentle flavour). Pour the water over the tea leaves; cover the pot. For a mild flavour, let the pot stand 2-3 min.; for a stronger flavour, steep for 4-6 min. Warning: the longer you steep the higher the caffeine content.

Or, you can just buy the green tea already in the bags.

Therapeutic Effect

All tea leaves contain caffeine, tannins, essential oils, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and trace elements (such as fluoride). Green tea has many health benefits. It is an anti-inflammatory, lower blood cholesterol levels, has beneficial effect on the circulation and liver; protects against tooth decay and detoxifies the blood.

The active ingredient caffeine

While green tea is highly touted for its health benefits, it does contain a high level of caffeine. Depending on how long it brews, a 6 oz. cup of green tea has 10-50 mg. of caffeine. While this stimulant improves concentration and boosts alertness, it also increases the heart rate and could keep you form getting a good night’s rest. If you want to decrease the caffeine content , pour a little water over the leaves prior to infusion and strain the water off after 30 seconds. Then prepare the tea as usual.

Giving up coffee

If you are trying to refrain from that daily java, consider switching to green tea. It has a smoky and bitter flavour that coffee drinkers enjoy and the caffeine content, which is less than coffee, will keep away the caffeine-withdrawal headaches.

Cancer Prevention

According to scientific studies, compounds called polyphenols in green tea may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and the development of tumours. The benefit of these compounds is generally attributed to their antioxidant activity. Several cups of green tea per day are needed to enjoy this benefit.

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