Wonder brew

The health benefits of green tea are remarkable and researchers believe that the key to a long and healthy life may just be brewing in your cup. And, no surprise because the Chinese have been using it for over 4,000 years to treat problems like headaches and infections and it is now being tested and proven for its strong healing properties as well.

It is believed to help people who are suffering from heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, infections, impaired immune functions and cardiovascular diseases. The benefits of green tea also involve treating high cholesterol and improving the cholesterol rate in the body.

“By drinking recommended amounts of green tea, the body is cleansed from toxins and this improves your health and lifestyle as well. You will feel relaxed, full of energy, and even develop a good outlook in life once you drink a good cup of green tea,” says yoga instructor Jayapriya Rajendran.

“There’s never a bad time to have green tea. It can be had at any time of the day and even with meals. It’s also a great idea to substitute colas that you may have with meals, with green tea,” says Prakash Jayadevan, director, food and beverage manager at one of Chennai’s leading star hotels.

Green tea is rich in EGCG or epigallocatechil gallate which is a powerful anti-oxidant. This element helps in lowering cholesterol levels, balances them, and prevents the abnormal formation of blood clots in wounds. This problem of blood clotting, also known as thrombosis, usually leads to heart attacks and stroke.

The ingredients of this beverage are found in the highest concentration in undiluted tea without any added sugar. “Green tea is very mild and low in calories. Adding sugar and milk adds to calories and negates its benefits. Use honey instead of sugar, it’s an invert sugar and a natural product,” Prakash suggests.

Black tea, jasmine tea and other have their own healing properties. “Jasmine tea has a beautiful aroma and can be had along with meals; it cleanses the palate,” Prakash says. What makes green tea so special is its manufacturing process. Green tea leaves are steamed, to prevent the epigallocatechil gallate from becoming oxidised unlike black tea.“Green tea is natural, so you can expect very few side effects or maybe none at all, even when drunk regularly,” says Jayapriya.

Other benefits that have been discovered recently include effective burning of calories when mixed with caffeine and the prevention of tooth decay and food poisoning because of its ability to destroy bacteria. Even skin-care products contain green tea extracts.

Preparing Tea

Boil water and wait for it to cool slightly. Place tea leaves and hot water in pot for a few minutes. Pour equal measures of brewed tea into cups until the last drop is poured. It is the last drop of tea that decides its taste on the whole.

Unlike serving coffee, tea needs to be served from a pot by pouring a little into each cup once. Pour some from the last cup to the first to make the amount and density the same. Do not leave water in the pot after pouring the first brew.

You can enjoy the second brew by adding some more hot water to the pot. 

Milk wrecks the health benefits of green tea

It was found that tea relaxed the rings of the aorta. But when the tea had 10% of skimmed milk in it, these effects were absent.

Researchers found that the casein proteins in milk blocked the health effect of tea.

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