There are many health benefits of green tea, from weight loss to protection from cancer and other diseases. Drinking a few cups of green tea each day can seriously improve your health....
There are some fantastic websites out there with full details of the health claims made and the back-up research. I will just list the health claims made for green tea briefly, and I have made a list of the best websites below if you want more information.
Afternoon tea does not have to be an unhealthy option. A cup of green tea with a healthy snack, or even a full spread of healthy treats, is a great alternative to cakes and sandwiches.
I believe there is balance in everything and I go by how I feel. If I feel like ham sandwiches and fruit cake, then I have that. Chocolate cake once in a while makes me feel good. But I love all kinds of different foods that are perhaps more healthy.
Try brown rice tea with ham sandwiches or roast beef sandwiches with wasabi.
Or Sencha green tea with sushi (great fun and very sociable to make), lemon poppyseed cake or buttered pikelets.
Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies use matcha green tea powder. Make your own special meditative ritual and radically improve your health at the same time! Having an afternoon tea party with a Japan theme is fun and a little bit different.
Learning how to make green tea is an art - it depends on the tea, and if you're a purist, on temperature, the water, and on the choice of tea ware. I've gathered information on how to brew the perfect cup of green tea for you.
Drinking green tea for weight loss is one of the most well-publicised health benefits of green tea. I've written a separate page about this because people find it so interesting.
Weight loss is only one of the health benefits of green tea. Most of these other benefits have been researched in Japan, and western scientists are quick to point out that the diet of Japanese people is different and may have a bearing on the results.
However, I was fascinated by the studies and I have chosen to include green tea in my diet daily since if the studies are right, the results are quite amazing. And it certainly doesn't do any harm.
So, how about these other health benefits of green tea:
Drinking 5 cups of green tea each day has been shown to make people 16% less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease in a study from Japan.
Green tea has been shown to inhibit arthersclerosis and help people with high triglycerides.
It also helps to thin the blood and reduce blood clots.
It can help massively after heart attack to minimize heart cell death and speed recovery.
In women, this can be as much as 62%, and in men it has been shown to be 42%. It also minimizes damage to the brain after a stroke.
A study in 2006 suggests that this could be by as much as 22%. All from drinking green tea!
Drinking just 3 cups a day regularly for at least a year can reduce your risk of high blood pressure by up to 65%.
This is probably because it is high in antioxidants. One particular substance found in green tea (a catechin called EGCG) is a far more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C.
The claimed health benefits of green tea in respect of cancer are enormous. It helps to stop the growth of cancer by starving it of new blood vessels.
It apparently works at a genetic level, shutting off the genes in cancerous cells that are involved in growth.
It triggers a self-destruct mechanism in cancer cells.
It can even turn on the genes that direct the cancer cell to return to normal!
New studies suggest that green tea might improve glucose intolerance.
A study in Tokyo presented in 2006 suggests that green tea builds bone strength.
This is because it increases bone density.
Because it is such a good antioxidant.
The catechin EGCG in tea helps prevent the formation of the protein whose accumulation is recognised as causing Alzheimer's.
It protects brain cells by removing iron.
It also helps to prevent brain cell death by communicating with specific genes.
Full details of all these health benefits of green tea can be found at WH Foods. This is an excellent site promoting healthy eating and it is packed with really interesting information.
I also liked green-tea-expert.com which is a complete guide to green tea. It is full of really interesting information about where to buy green tea, how to choose it and so on.
Greentealovers.com is a super site with loads of information on brewing tea properly and some really neat ideas on uses for used tea leaves.