If you’re searching for something more in a drink, you may want to take another look at green tea. Green tea is one most the most popular teas. While many believe it has cultural ties that date back to the first millennium A.D., the actual steeping of tea may have occurred in 2737 B.C. According to legend Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, known as the Divine Healer, may have accidentally stumbled upon the concoction when a tea leaf fell into his cup containing boiled water.
Green tea is made from the steamed and dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub; a plant native to Asia. It gets its name because the leaves do not undergo a fermentation process, which keeps them a greenish-yellow color when brewed.
Green tea contains a major antioxidant known as EGCG, or Epigallocatechin Gallatte. EGCG is a neutralizer of free radicals, the atom/group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron, making them unstable and reactive. Free radicals can damage cells and may help cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases to progress.
Although it’s considered a supplement by many Western standards (and it’s better than drinking soda or other sugary beverages), some faithful tea drinkers will argue they don’t just drink it for the great taste. They drink it for healing purposes. Most notably, green tea:
- Slows down the aging process
- Prevents heart disease, strokes, and cancers
- Increases exercise endurance
- Contains fat-burning properties
- Helps promote a longer life span
- Helps with re-hydration
- Stimulates alpha brain waves, which helps to relieve stress and calm the nerves
- May reduce high blood pressure
- May prevent and treat diabetes because the properties within the green tea has been found to regulate blood sugar levels, promote glucose metabolism, increase insulin activities, and block glucose absorption
- May help some bacterial infections
- May help overall immune functions
- May slow down bone loss (osteoporosis)
As with drinking any beverage, moderation is the key.
Images: Girl with warm tea and cookies by © Aleksandr Markin; Green tea with cookies by © Tashka2000; Green tea with ice and milk by © Nawin1318; Green tea ice cream cone by © Kozzi2
Disclaimer. Originally released Apr. 6, 2010 in the Examiner.com.