Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Helpful Herbs: Green Tea

I can't start my day without my organic green tea. And it's a good thing because green tea is one of the best things you can drink! Let's take a look at some of the benefits:

Cancer Prevention
Green tea extract found to protect against oral cancers:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24678188

Bone-protective and breast cancer protective effects in animal studies:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24561153

Protection of liver cancer and damage in animal studies:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24511000
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24489859

This study found green tea extracts to slow the growth of lung cancer cells:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24634598

Green tea may protect from breast cancer:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22280355

Healthy Weight
Green tea may help control blood glucose levels, helping to reduce weight gain:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24656388

Green tea may help prevent metabolic syndrome:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19147161

Healthy Skin
Green tea extract is being studied for its possible role in reversing oxidation of skin cells: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24712558

Brain Health
Green tea, along with a blend of vitamins and other natural substances, may help the symptoms of Alzheimer's:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21103342

Compounds found in green tea may have neuroprotective effects:
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/green-tea-may-have-brain-healing-properties

These are just a few of the
studies on green tea. So drink up!  Dr. Mercola advises that the best green tea:

  • Is Organic
  • Comes from Japan, not China because tea can absorb lead. Tea grown in China is likely to be exposed to more environmental pollution. 
  • Is loose-leaf
He also provides tips on brewing. From Mercola.com (source)

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Loose-Leaf Tea

  • Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle (avoid using a non-stick pot, as this can release harmful chemicals when heated)
  • Preheat your teapot or cup to prevent the water from cooling too quickly when transferred. Simply add a small amount of boiling water to the pot or tea up that you’re going to steep the tea in. Ceramic and porcelain retain heat well. Then cover the pot or cup with a lid. Add a tea cozy if you have one, or drape with a towel. Let stand until warm, then pour out the water
  • Put the tea into an infuser, strainer, or add loose into the tea pot. Steeping without an infuser or strainer will produce a more flavorful tea. Start with one heaped teaspoon per cup of tea, or follow the instructions on the tea package. The robustness of the flavor can be tweaked by using more or less tea
  • Add boiling water. Use the correct amount for the amount of tea you added (i.e. for four teaspoons of tea, add four cups of water). The ideal water temperature varies based on the type of tea being steeped:
    • White or green teas (full leaf): Well below boiling (170-185°F or 76-85°C). Once the water has been brought to a boil, remove from heat and let the water cool for about 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea before pouring it over the leaves
    • Oolongs (full leaf): 185-210°F or 85-98°C
    • Black teas (full leaf) and Pu-erhs: Full rolling boil (212°F or 100°C)
  • Cover the pot with a cozy or towel and let steep. Follow steeping instructions on the package. If there are none, here are some general steeping guidelines. Taste frequently as you want it to be flavorful but not bitter:
    • Oolong teas: 4-7 minutes
    • Black teas: 3-5 minutes
    • Green teas: 2-3 minutes
  • Once the desired flavor has been achieved you need to remove the strainer or infuser. If you're using loose leaves, pour the tea through a strainer into your cup and any leftover into another vessel (cover with a cozy to retain the heat)
Of course green tea without any added sugar is best, and brewing at home will typically give you more antioxidants than bottled tea.  

8 comments:

chloe said...

there was a recent study that showed that hibiscus tea has more antioxidants then any other drink, including matcha. I don't know however if it has all the other benefits of green tea.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell us which brand of tea you drink? I need to cut down on coffee and this sounds like a good option to help with that. Thanks for all the info!

Robyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Are there any organic bagged tea brands that you would trust?

Stephanie Greenwood said...

I've had a few questions and am planning a follow-up post soon to cover the topics of Japanese green tea + Fukushima and some specific brand recommendations. :)

Robyn said...

Hi Stephanie! Great and informative post. I have read that red bush (rooibos) tea is actually better than green tea. Do you have any insights on that? Thanks for educating us I do enjoy these posts.

Anonymous said...

Yes please i would like to know what you would recommend

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)