Drinking To Your Health - The Benefits of Green Tea

Traditionally, North American tea drinkers have long held a preference for drinking black tea. With a move toward healthier food trends, fuelled by lots of press exposure, many people are beginning to experiment with the subtle flavours of green and white teas.

Green and white teas are very close cousins. White tea contains only the buds from the Camellia sinensis shrub. Green tea contains only the leaves. The buds and leaves are processed in the same manner. When picked, they are immediately steamed instead of being left to dry. This steaming process stops fermentation. The unfermented leaves and buds contain large amounts of catechins. White tea contains even more catechins than green tea! Catechins or EGCG, found primarily in green and white teas, are very potent natural antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural disease fighters which help strengthen our immune systems and help fight disease.

The large amounts of antioxidants, contained in green and white teas, are the key ingredient which is creating such an interest. The medicinal use of green tea has been considered common knowledge in the health food industry for many years. And of course, the Chinese people have been drinking these teas for well over 4,000 years!

Catechins are also found in black tea, Chinese Oolong tea, wine, ginko biloba and even in the bark from pine trees! As a comparison, black teas contain approximately 3 to 10% catechins with green and white teas weighing in at 15 to 30%! Introducing green and white teas to your diet is a healthy and delicious way to ingest more antioxidants. If you have decided to give these teas a try, bear in mind they should be brewed a little differently than black teas. Green teas are very heat and time sensitive. Once you have boiled water, let it sit in the kettle for a few minutes before pouring onto the tea leaves. Don’t let your tea steep for an overly long period of time. This method of brewing your tea will preserve those precious antioxidants. Antioxidants are essentially a natural wonder drug. First and foremost, they repair faulty immune functioning and heal infections. They inhibit the growth and destroy existing cancerous cells. They repair clogged arteries and help ward off cardiovascular disease. They are celebrated for lowering our good cholesterol (HDL) and reducing bad cholesterol (LDL). They reduce the abnormal formation of blood clots (thrombosis). They minimalize the ravages of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis and facilitate in bone tissue repair.

Since antioxidants strengthen our immune system, they even help prevent tooth decay! They improve skin texture and reduce acne. Many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies are introducing products containing antioxidants or green and white teas!

The rising mainstream popularity of green and white teas is fueling extensive and exciting research into to the healing properties of antioxidants. Ultimately science will provide the concrete, empirical evidence of what we already know; that drinking green and white teas to improve your health is a great idea!