Originating in China (like most things in the world), green-yellowish in colour, and quite a harsh tasting beverage… But consequently many health benefits linked to it. Green tea is definitely a buzz word these days. Health fanatics are exploring this amazing substance and the extracts are featuring in various products around the world.
But why is green tea so beneficial to one’s health? The basic science behind green tea has to do with the processing. Because of this, it contains the highest concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols, in more specific terms a group called catechins, which are presumed to have a multitude of health benefits. And just to add…this is also what gives it its slightly bitter taste.
Like most aspects in life there are always pro’s and con’s. However when it comes to this beverage the benefits far outweighs the negative features of this particular drink.
Many studies have found that the antioxidants in green tea may assist to prevent atherosclerosis, which is basically the term used for describing the thickening of artery walls, by lowering cholesterol levels and increasing HDL (good cholesterol) in the body.
Various metabolic boosting foods exist that assist with the metabolism in the body and aids when wanting to lose weight and green tea is definitely a front runner in this category.
Some research has also found links that regular green tea consumption may protect against certain cancers, and this is due to the high antioxidant levels found in it.
Green tea may also help to regulate glucose in the blood which may prevent the development of insulin resistance, Diabetes.
Now… the very few negatives to mention: As green tea does contain caffeine excessive consumption may affect sleeping patterns and cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability and may cause upset stomach in certain individuals.
The next point is very important and applies to iron deficient anaemia sufferers. Just to briefly give an overview: Iron is very important in maintaining many body functions, including the production of hemoglobin, the molecule in your blood that transports oxygen. Iron is also essential to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails. And green tea like any other tea with the exception of Rooibos affects iron absorption. So green tea should never be consumed in combination with an iron rich meal. In between meals is the best time.
However Vitamin C increases iron absorption, so you can lessen the effect by squeezing lemon into your tea or consuming other vitamin-C rich foods, such as broccoli, tomato with your meal.
Green tea in my own experience is a wonderful guilt free beverage to enjoy and since it is so versatile it can be enjoyed all year round, either as a hot beverage in the colder winter months or as a lovely Ice Tea in summer.
Peach Mint Green Tea Ice tea Recipe:
Ripe peaches give the tea its tangy and sweet flavours. Make it ahead of time and enjoy a little boost of vitamin C
Pour the water into a heat-resistant pitcher.
Add the tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes.
Remove and discard the bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
Add the peaches, mint, and sugar (if using). Strain, if desired. Pour over ice.
Be adventurous and try this amazing, health beverage.