A Green Beverage Worth Celebrating

Get your daily sips of green tea.

Get your daily sips of green tea.

I’m sure a lot of green beverages (or should I say beverages in green bottles) will be consumed today in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. That’s why I thought it would be the perfect time to write about a green tea. After all, tea is the beverage most enjoyed by centenarians around the world. Even my 97-year-old grandmother drank green tea as part of her daily routine for decades, (Read “Growing Up Like Grandma” to learn more about what kept her young).

Even though non-herbal tea comes in different colors, it all comes from one plant—Camellia sinensis, which is actually a relative of the ornamental camellia shrub. The color difference is primarily due to how the tea leaves are processed. All teas have health benefits because of the high concentration of protective compounds in the leaves. However, the process of oxidation, which deepens the color and flavor complexity of black and oolong tea, also decreases polyphenol levels. Green (and white) tea is not oxidized, but rather the fresh-cut leaf is lightly steamed, protecting the polyphenol concentration.

It’s this high polyphenol content that makes green tea worth celebrating. Especially a certain group of polyphenols called catechins. These compounds are powerful anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory & anti-viral properties. Green tea has been shown to protect us against heart disease and certain cancers—primarily of the gastrointestinal tract (esophageal, stomach, colon), as well as breast, prostate and bladder cancer. It also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Some studies have shown that it can even stimulate metabolism. Another anti-oxidant in green tea called theanine improves mood and increases relaxation. And, one more plus, green tea tends to have less caffeine than its darker counterparts (black & oolong).

So, what else do you need to know before getting your daily sips of green tea? There are many factors that influence the quality of this healthy beverage, primarily the grade of leaves and how it’s brewed & stored. I’d like to point you to inpursuitoftea.com for their great tips and premium teas. And, just in case you’re ready to start celebrating now, here’s a little recipe for Green Tea Punch.

Green Tea Punch

(Can be served hot or cold.)

Heat 6 cups of water to almost boiling. Remove from heat and add 6 tablespoons of high quality green tea (in bags or tea holder), along with 2 cinnamon sticks and 8 whole cloves. Steep for 2 minutes, then remove tea. Add 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice and 1½ cups fresh orange juice. Mix well and return to heat to serve hot or pour over ice.

 

About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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