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10 Nov 2007

Green Tea, Health in a Cup

For over 4,000 years the people in the East have looked on Green Tea as a miracle drink due to it's countless medicinal and health benefits. In the West, both alternative health practitioners and scientists are discovering these benefits and the general public no longer looks on it as just a drink to round off a Chinese meal.

Green, black and oolong tea all come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Black tea and oolong tea are rolled, fermented and dried where as green tea is heat-treated and rapidly dried and then rolled. It is not fermented. This different process is said to preserve all the antioxidant and other properties in the green tea.

The tea contains catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is said to be the reason why green tea has so many health benefits. Green tea also contains the amino acid theanine, chlorophyll, and lignin. Research has shown that these excellent properties help to: increase metabolism and optimize weight loss, inhibit growth of cancer cells without harming healthy cells, lower cholesterol levels, stops abnormal clots forming and therefore helps prevent strokes and heart attacks, and promote cell regeneration. Green tea also has bacteria destroying properties.

On going studies are being done on it, as it is said that the tea's powerful antioxidants can fight the free-radical damage to brain nerves, as seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Warning: Pregnant and feeding mothers should only drink green tea in moderation and it should never been drunk by people on MAO inhibitors and blood thinning medication.

Do not throw away left over tea and the tea leaves. Left over tea is excellent for the skin due to it's antioxidant content and being an anti-inflammatory. It also has an inhibitory action on collagenase in which the collagen is broken down, results show firmer, more elastic skin. Wonderful on your hair as well as it make it shine and improves the strength of hair.The tea leaves can be dried and used to deodorize the fridge and also deodorize the cat-box when mixed with the sand.

There are very many different views on how many cups of green tea should be drunk, but on average they say a minimum of three cups daily. For those you do not like to drink green tea there are concentrate capsules available. Although this shouldn't be a problem as green tea can be purchased with many added fruit and herb flavors and you should be able to find one you like. My personal favorite is green tea and mint.

And don't forget always buy organic!

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There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. Bernard-Paul Heroux

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Green Tea Cooler
By kind permission of the CatTeaCorner (Copyright The Cat-Tea Corner)
The next time you need a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or when the kids come home from school and you want to give them something nutritious that's light yet filling, try whipping up this fruity cooler. Please note that the cup of tea refers to an eight-ounce measuring cup, not a teacupful. Most teacups hold about six ounces.

1 8oz/227mls cup green tea, steeped at regular strength, at room temperature or chilled
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
2 cups diced honeydew melon, fresh or frozen
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp sweetener of choice (optional if fruit is very ripe and sweet)
6 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, breaking the banana into three or four pieces. Blend or process until smooth. Serve immediately in tall glasses. About 2 servings.

Variations: Replace part or all of the honeydew with another variety of melon. Make sure it's ripe! For a breakfast smoothie, add 2 tbsps soy protein powder and another ice cube. Try different types of green teas: a plain gunpowder, sencha, or gyokuro, or maybe one of the many fruit-flavoured green teas that are readily available. Looking to try a new tea? For a list of online tea vendors, see our Tea Links. Add some fresh ginger: Place a 1/2"/1cm piece of (peeled) ginger root into a garlic press, hold it over the blender or food processor bowl, and squeeze out the pulp and juice, scraping the pulp off the press if necessary.

Mango and Green Tea Sorbet Recipe
From About HomeCooking

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup loose green tea leaves
1/2 cup sugar
3 ripe mangoes
3 tbsps fresh lemon juice

Combine water and tea leaves in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil, remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes. Strain, discarding the leaves. (Do not press leaves to extract liquid, this makes the liquid bitter.) Return tea to clean saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil. Boil until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool about 30 minutes. Peel mangoes and cut fruit from pit. In a food processor or blender, puree mangoes with lemon juice. Add tea and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass 9-inch baking dish and freeze about 3 hours. Transfer mango mixture to a food processor. Pulse until smooth, 30 to 40 seconds. Serve at once or store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Soften 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings

The Empress's Secret Beauty Soup
From MarthaStewart
It is rumored that this soup was a favorite with a Chinese empress and the concubines in the Forbidden City.

1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat berries
1/4 cup barley
1/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup buckwheat kasha
1 pound watermelon rind, cut into 4"/2cm long strips (about 3 cups of watermelon rind)
7 1/2 cups spring water
1/2 cup rock sugar, broken into small pieces
2 green tea bags

In a large saucepan, combine the five grains, watermelon rind, and 6 cups of spring water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 4 cups, about 50 minutes. In a small saucepan, combine the rock sugar, tea bags, and 1 1/2 cups of spring water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then simmer for 2 minutes, then remove tea bags. Continue to simmer the mixture until the rock sugar dissolves. Discard rind. Ladle soup into serving bowls, flavor with sugar and green-tea mixture. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 servings.

Green Tea Concentrate
From TripleLeafTea

Make green tea concentrate ahead of time to prepare hot or iced tea at a moments notice. Pour one cup of boiling water over three tea bags, let steep for 3 to 5 minutes (5 to 10 minutes or longer for the Decaf Green Tea with Ginseng or Ginkgo & Decaf Green Tea). Remove and squeeze out the tea bags. Refrigerate until ready to use. Add 2/3 cup of water to every 1/3 cup of concentrate to reconstitute your tea; heat just until hot for hot tea, or add ice for iced tea.

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13 comments:

Marsha said...

Very interesting article. I did not know that all those teas came from the same plant, very interesting. Or that black tea is fermented. I enjoy green tea.

urban vegan said...

I sip on gren tea all day at work, since I'm always cold.

I alwso adore it in soy ice cream and in Isa and Terry's Gren Tea Cupcakes (From "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World")--not exactly healthy, but oh-so-tasty!

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

The green tea cooler sounds AMAZING!

kristinaQ said...

I'll have to try those recipes!

Cherry said...

I enjoy green tea too, particularly cold green tea. I also love to drink Ocha and eat many Japanese bean ice cream. Your cooler recipe sounds very appealing :D.

bazu said...

Mmmm, what a tasty reminder to have my daily green tea! And I don't care if the forecast calls for snow in a few days, that green tea cooler sounds fabulous!

Sheila said...

Interesting. Jackie, you always have such great research and I learn so much when I visit.

Sharon Lynne said...

After reading this, I think I'll go have some green tea right now!

I'm wondering how it is used to make skin more elastic. Do we wash our face with it?

Naomi said...

Great post Jackie. I love green tea. My favourite is Dr Stuart's Green Tea Chi. I never knew it was good for your skin too. I always learn so much when I come to visit your blog Jackie. Thank you for an interesting read.

Kilroy_60 said...

Love the mango and green tea sorbet! Will definitely be trying that one.

8-)

Thought I'd start off your new month with a Blog Village out click.

Look forward to seeing what you have to share at Villagers go...GONZO!

dreamy said...

Thanks for the recipes, it opened my mind up to how versatile green tea is especially the fruit blend.

Dirty Butter said...

I drink various herbal teas all day long. Thank you for all the great research you pull together on each and every topic you discuss!

Green Tea said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea Weight Loss