Tea & China are indelibly linked. The infused leaves of the tea plant have been the main drink consumed by the Chinese for generations, both for refreshment and as a medicine. In Japan, the process of tea-making has been elevated to near mystical height in the rituals of the tea ceremony. Tradition aside, modern research has confirmed that tea has a significant number of therapeutic properties and may increase resistance to certain types of cancer.
Tea makes up a substantial part of the European diet, and many Americans are now turning to tea as a healthier alternative to coffee, which contains a lot of caffeine. Tea also contains caffeine, but at much lower levels than coffee. People who are sensitive to caffeine are unlikely to have a problem with tea, especially if it is lightly infused.
Naturally, the Chinese have never added milk or sugar to hot tea, and if these two additions are left out, regular tea consumption can provide substantial health benefits. There are a great many kinds of tea available, and the common ones are white, green, oolong , red and black. The 2 main types are black tea and green tea. In recent search, both have been shown to exert an antioxidant action on free radicals, the cells that can be responsible for cancer. This action is stronger in green tea, and only occurs when at least two or three cups a day are consumed. Black tea contains a higher level of tannins than green tea, and tannins have their own associated problems. According to some Chinese traditions, black tea is preferred for use in cold weather and is said to be warming, while green tea is cooler and therefore more suitable for hot days.
The difference between green and black tea is fermentation. All tea is green until it is put through a curing or fermenting process, at which point most of the tannic acid and caffeine is produced. Green tea, like all teas, comes in many grades which can vary in price from almost nothing to hundreds of pounds a kilo. There is as much complexity and variety in the range of teas available as there is in fine wines. Experienced tea-tasters are rated as highly as “nose” professionals in the wine trade. Luckily, even the cheaper grades of green tea are rich in properties that are beneficial to health.
Drinking Green Tea
Green tea is the most suitable for daily drinking, and is best made with only a small amount of leaves, or even by pouring boiling water through tea held in a strainer. Mild green, jasmine or other black teas have a stimulating effect on the digestion if sipped while eating. Stronger preparations can be made by cooking tea for half an hour or more: this type of decoction can be used for conditions such as acute diarrhoea or chronic indigestion. Drinking mild tea without milk or sugar is a taste that requires a little time to acquire, as some people find it slightly bitter to begin with. However, given its obvious health maintenance properties, it is clearly a habit worth acquiring.
10 Proven Benefits Of Green Tea
(ref article: “authority nutrition”, by Kris Gunnar)
- Green tea contains bioactive compounds that improve health
- Compounds in green tea can improve brain function and make you smarter
- Green tea increases fat burning and improves physical performance
- Antioxidants in green tea may lower your risk of various types of cancer
- Green tea may protect your brain in old age, lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Green tea can kill bacteria, which improves dental health and lowers your risk of infection
- Green tea may lower your risk of type II diabetes
- Green tea may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Green tea can help you lose weight and lower your risk of becoming obese
- Green tea may decrease your risk of dying and help you live longer.