I have this ritual…. Around 2:00 each day, the girls go to their rooms for naps and quiet time. This is when I either blog or catch up with the dvr. What I try not to do is eat. Because this is my down time, I feel like I deserve to eat but let me tell you, I have been known to camp out with a bag of honey mustard pretzels at this time everyday and 5lbs. later wonder what happened! So, what do I do? I eat if I really want to, usually portion controlled but I also brew a pot of hot tea. It quiets that voice in my head that urges me to find something unhealthy to eat. I prefer to drink THIS tea because it tastes so good but really what I try to drink is green tea. Before researching this post, I drank green tea because everyone knows it’s healthy for you. That’s about where my knowledge ended….
I love when the divine powers of the blogger gods anoint me with post ideas. To be really honest, half of these ideas require a lot of research because I really don’t claim to be an expert on much of anything. Because I have a hunger for being healthy, I love to dive in and find out things I think are useful about a particular subject, put it in action in my life and then relay it to you all. This being said, I learned A LOT about green tea and I’m even more pumped then before to incorporate green tea in my daily routine!
So, digging right in-Green tea is RICH in antioxidants. As we all know by now, antioxidants combat free radicals. Free radicals are pesky little bastards that are trying to steal all your pretty. They are. Among other things they like to steal is your over all health. Antioxidants are what you need for your health as well as your youth. EGCG is the most powerful antioxidant that green tea is rich in. So what we need to find out is how to get the most EGCG in each cup of green tea. Just for reference, Teavana contains 250 mg of EGCG per serving and that is good.
3 Factors to consider when choosing green tea…
- Green tea needs to originate in Japan not China. Because tea plants absorb everything around them, their soil needs to be free of pollutants as much as possible. Led and fluoride are a problem in Chinese soil. Brands like Bigelow (which is what I’ve been drinking) and Lipton both source their green tea leaves from China. Teavana on the other hand sources from Japan.
- Organic is best. This will help you avoid pesticides in your tea.
- Most tea bags contain a chemical called epichlorohydrin. When it comes into contact with water it becomes a carcinogen associated with infertility and immune suppression. So, loose tea is really the best way to go. Plus, antioxidants are more abundant in loose tea.
Benefits of Green Tea
- Improves blood flow
- Lowers cholesterol
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Lowers blood pressure
- Aids healthy cells
- Relaxes your mind
- Aids in memory
- Protects and restores brain cells
- Tooth and gum health
- Antibacterial and antiviral-Supports the immune system
- Antioxidant and anti inflammatory
- Supports a healthy liver
- Lemon-Boost your vitamin C which significantly increases the amount of antioxidants available for your body to absorb!
- Fresh Mint-Refreshing!
- Fresh Ginger-Huge health benefits, not to mention tummy support!
- Dash of Cinnamon-Stabilizes blood sugar
- Raw Honey (just a bit, you don’t want to load up on sugar!)
So, what is Matcha Tea?
I have not tried Matcha Tea (mainly because the price is daunting) but you better believe I have ordered mine after finding out what I have!
Basically matcha tea is a form of green tea but it contains the whole tea leaf and can contain over 100x the EGCG when compared to regular green tea! Because you are consuming the whole leaf, you are getting a good dose of chlorophyll which is helpful in detoxing. Chlorophyll helps eliminate heavy metals and toxins from the body.
I think my favorite thing about Matcha green tea is that it contains L-theanine.
According to domatcha.com:
“L-theanine is an amino acid found almost exclusively in the tea plant and can induce alpha waves typically only achieved by meditation. In this state of mind, calmness occurs along with mental clarity and alertness, but in an overall state of relaxation. L-theanine counteracts caffeine’s stimulating effects, and helps lower blood pressure, improve memory, reduce PMS symptoms and reduce stress. The effects of L-theanine usually begin a half hour after one cup of Matcha tea is consumed and can last for eight to 12 hours.”
As with regular green tea-Matcha should come from Japan and be steamed not roasted.
I might add that green tea and matcha tea have been known to help with weight control. I couldn’t find any legit studies or info. on this but it’s widely stated that drinking this tea does boost metabolism and actually block fat.
You might be wondering how much tea you should be consuming daily to reap the benefits? The jury is out on that but I read in several places that 3 cups a day is a great amount. You must remember though, green tea actually contains caffeine but the caffeine in green tea is different then in coffee. It’s actually released into the blood stream over a longer amount of time. You don’t get that jittery jolt coffee gives, followed by a drop in energy. It’s much more subtle with green tea because it’s basically time released. This is awesome news for those of you relying on coffee to get energy!
So I guess the main thing I took away from the research that I did on green tea is that I need to be choosing the right brand in order to get the health benefits. I read several articles from Dr. Mercola and over and over he suggests Teavana. Another point I’m taking away is that loose leaf tea is the way to go. I’m ditching my tea bags (unless stated that they do not contain epichlorohydrin). Also, I can’t wait to try Matcha Tea. Hopefully it’s as good as people say it is and I’ll create a latte recipe to try soon! Have you all tried Matcha??? If so, please comment your thoughts!
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