Drink green tea and be healthy!
By Jayashree Joshi Eashwar
There’s tea and then there’s tea. We could discuss it for hours over a cuppa, but which cuppa? Is green tea better than black? The answer, in short, is yes. There are mainly three kinds of tea. Green, Black and Oolong. A fourth-white tea- is rarer and more expensive. All four come from the same botanical source- Camellia Sinensis (Latin for tea bush). Green tea is steamed and dried. Black or regular tea goes a step further. It is fermented (the process of breaking tea down chemically) before drying, making it the most processed of the three. Oolong is not as processed as black tea and has more anti-oxidants.
Tea has three times less caffeine than coffee. Black tea has twice as much as green. The less the tea is processed, the less the caffeine and the more the anti-oxidants and nutrients. Because the caffeine content in tea is so much less than coffee, it’s perfectly fine to have up to six cups of green tea (about 180 mg) every day. Today, it’s all about boosting anti-oxidant levels. The anti-oxidants in tea strengthen your immune system and elevate your overall state of health. Given the times we live in, a regular onslaught of impurities raid our systems daily. The air we breathe, the smoke we inhale, the water we drink, and pollution, pesticides and stress. Imagine being at war non-stop. That’s what your immune system is doing on your behalf to keep you healthy. You could help with a bit of ammunition once in a while, if not regularly.
The anti-oxidants in green tea fight the free radical molecules created by the body while processing food, air, water and dealing with stress. These molecules damage tissues and cells in our body. Anti-oxidants act as an antidote and control their impact. They also fight the growth of cancer cells, limit tissue damage and rejuvenate after treatments like chemotherapy.
Green tea lowers cholesterol, de-clogs blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. It helps you lose weight by increasing your metabolism. It is good for the teeth and bones and also has nutrients like magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese and Vitamins C and K. No wonder it was called “the dew of heaven” by Lu Yu (China’s Sage of Tea) in 780 AD!
At the end of the day, all tea is good and has anti-oxidants in some measure. Green tea is better and three, four cups a day should keep the doctor away. Jasmine tea which has green tea plus jasmine flowers is also an option. Without sugar or milk. The way the Chinese and Japanese have had it for centuries. Let’s drink to our health!