If you drink green tea you will instantly become an elder master Shaolin monk.
Or not. Becoming a Shaolin monk requires a bit more than drinking green tea. However, the health benefits of green tea are overwhelming nonetheless, as you soon will learn. Many studies have been made throughout the years on the effects of green tea, and the results have shown to be almost exclusively positive.
Why is green tea so powerful? The leaves on which the tea is brewed contain high concentrations of substances which are sometimes hard to find in the everyday food. Some of these substances are categorized into a group called antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize excess free radicals; chemical substances naturally produced by the body, but harmful to it if produced in too great quantity.
In today’s society, a lot of people have too much free radicals inside their bodies, but not enough antioxidants to neutralize the excess. This is an effect of stressful and unhealthy living as well as external issues such as environmental toxins, medication and radiation – just to mention some. The consumer society of today does not really encourage eating fruits and vegetables either, even though it is in this food antioxidants are found in large enough quantities.
As I mentioned, green tea leaves contain a lot of antioxidants as well. But why is green tea so good for you? What does the neutralization of free radicals really do? See the list below to learn more exactly what green tea does for you.
1. Lowers risk of cancer
If not “taken care of”, the free radicals can initiate different chain reactions which may lead to infections, or in greater quantities, cancer. However, as mentioned above, green tea contains antioxidants which help fight free radicals, consequently lowering the risk of getting cancer.
2. Reduces stress
The amount of free radicals produced in the body may increase with stress. As mentioned above, the antioxidants found in green tea help fight free radicals.This means that drinking green tea may relieve stress.
3. Good for your teeth
Some of the antioxidants in green tea, for example catechin, have been proven to destroy different bacteria and viruses that can damage the teeth or the throat.
4. Slows down aging
Aging is partly a result of free radicals destroying the body. The antioxidants in green tea can therefore make you look and feel younger. But don’t get too excited now; you won’t be able to stay forever young by drinking tea all day long; the body can only process so much substances.
5. Reduces blood pressure
Consuming tea has a positive effect on blood pressure. Repressing something called angiotensin, which causes high blood pressure, green tea will lower your blood pressure if you drink it regularly.
6. Helps defend against flu and cold
Green tea contains Vitamin C, which helps fight flu and recover from cold.
7. Lowers risk of Alzheimers
Studies have shown that a certain catechin found in green tea – EGCG – inhibits the production of a protein called beta amyloid, which may cause memory loss amongst elder people. Drinking green tea will thereby help fight the disease, and lower the risk of acquiring Alzheimers when you get older.
8. Helps burn fat
The EGCG contained in tea have been shown to increase the rate of which fat is burned.
9. Keeps energy levels steady
EGCG helps the body to use insulin more efficiently, preventing blood sugar spikes, which may lead to irritation, fatigue or a desire for high-calorie food.
10. The sensory aspect
Last but definately not least, having a cup of green tea not only tastes good, but it also feels good. Maybe try to find a quiet place where you can be alone for a while, start warming water for the tea, take your time to brew it. Listen to the sounds of the boiling water. Smell the tea leaves. Feel the heat from the tea when you sip it. Simply stop whatever your are doing for a while, contemplate life and enjoy your cup of natural superliquid.
As you can see, tea has a lot of positive effects on your health. But, at least for me, tea also helps me clear my thinking and keeps me more mentally stable. While I’m having my hot cup of tea, I focus my attention in the present moment in order not to get burnt or spill. This inevitably causes me not to think of the past or the future, which are the only places in which stress can manifest. This may be hard to grasp, but if you are interested, re
ad more on the topic of presence here (alright, there is no link yet, but I will fix it when I wrote the article!).
Don’t forget that there are many different types of green tea, so if you don’t like the one you have at home, just go to a tea shop and ask for recommendations. Tea is generally cheap (about $8 for 50 or so cups), so you can buy different types to try out at home. If you don’t like drinking hot liquid, you can look up some recipes on iced tea.
But I don’t know how to brew tea!
It is easy, really. Boil some water, pour it into a cup. If you have tea bags, just put the bag in the tea for a couple of minutes. It is usually written on the bag for how long the tea should be in the water. If you bought the tea leaves in bulk, just put the tea leaves in a filter, and hold them beneath the surface for the appropriate amount of time.
Brewing tea is child’s play, and there are so many benefits to drinking tea. If you are not already drinking green tea, start doing it now!