Tea is unarguably one of the most popular hot beverages enjoyed around the world. If you’re making the choice to drink green tea for the health benefits, then, with so many varieties, flavours and ways of making it, it’s often difficult to know what the best options are. All green tea is derived from a plant and is a fantastic source of antioxidants, not to mention many other nutritious properties.
There is such a massive selection of green tea brands to choose from and different companies often place emphasis on various health benefits. The most popular beliefs of drinking this kind of tea are firstly, that the high levels of antioxidants will help protect the body against many different forms of cancer. In addition to this, it is also suggested that green tea can reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack and improve cardiovascular health in general. Also, research has suggested that regularly drinking green tea will help keep many degenerative diseases at bay.
It has also been suggested that green tea can improve your body’s capabilities of burning fat for fuel during exercise which inevitably leads to increased endurance. To some extent, it is also possible that green tea can also help protect against ultraviolet rays by aiding your body’s natural protection.
Different versions of the drink obviously vary in nutritional value depending on the ingredients they contain. Here are a few of the best to look out for!
Lotus root is traditionally used more in tea in Eastern countries and in fact is also used in many meals as well. It is an herbaceous, perennial plant that grows in special ponds and is rich in multiple minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. It is also a great source of fibre which, as you may already know, can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as relieving constipation. Drinking green tea with lotus in it is an excellent idea if you’re looking for a simple way to boost your vitamin C levels. Just 100g of lotus root contains over 70% of your recommended daily allowance of this vitamin! Iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese can also be found in lotus and including this type of green tea in your daily diet will be of great benefit to your body.
Sencha is the favourite hot beverage of green tea drinkers in Japan. Sencha tea is made with young leaves from the Camellia Sinesis plant, those of which are steamed prior to use to reduce the bitter flavour and retain the green colour. Sencha tea has a sweet aroma and can often have a grassy or seaweed-like taste. As with other types of green tea, sencha has high antioxidant properties and is generally thought to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst aiding the production of good cholesterol.
The health benefits of matcha are thought to be comparatively much greater than many other green teas. It is revered by many as a fat-burning, cancer combatant that is jam packed full of essential minerals and antioxidants. To feel the full fantastic effects of matcha, you can also eat the entire leaf! When you make a cup of any kind of green tea, only a fraction of the nutrition is infused into the water; with so much goodness in a cup already, imagine the benefits of consuming the whole thing! Studies suggest that drinking one cup of matcha tea is approximately ten times better nutritionally than drinking any other type of green tea so, for a real health kick, this is the hot drink for you! With such an impressive amount of naturally occurring health boosters, your immune system, brain function and overall general health could soon start to experience the positive effects.
As well as these amazing specialised types of tea, there are also the more commercially available types that are flavoured with things like nettle, lemongrass and violet. These kinds of hot beverages are still great for your body and the effects of consuming the added flavourings will still be apparent. For example, nettle tea has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a brilliant source of calcium, phosphates and several vitamins. Sufferers of arthritis may find relief in drinking nettle tea and it can also be useful in treating allergies.
Similarly, lemongrass has mild sedative effects when used in tea and can therefore be very relaxing. There has been extensive testing into the cancer fighting properties of lemongrass and it is proposed that the component within it that creates the aroma actually kills cancerous cells. Lemongrass green tea is frequently used as a remedy for digestion problems and to relieve the symptoms of a cold.
Hopefully by now you can see why green tea should be regularly guzzled! Experiment with different flavours and brands to find your favourites and try not to limit yourself to just one or two! Remember though, drinking hot beverages can occasionally encourage the occurrence of esophageal cancer, so give your tea a few minutes to cool down before you enjoy both the taste and health benefits.
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