April 28, 2011 - 11:32am
A nice alternative to coffee is tea. Next to water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. Drinking tea dates back to 2700 BC. Black, oolong and green tea comes from leaves of the same plant (Camellia sinensis). Black and oolong teas are allowed to ferment. While green tea leaves are usually stemmed or roasted shortly after they are picked to prevent the fermentation process to occur. It is this fermentation process of black and oolong tea that reduces the beneficial ingredients called polyphenols. The caffeine level in black and oolong tea is increased during the fermentation process. Green tea isn’t fermented and it maintains a higher level of polyphenols and has increased health benefits when compared to black and oolong tea. This lack of fermentation of green tea allows it to retain much of its tannic acid levels which help the caffeine in green tea to be released more slowly and prevents many of the symptoms from over stimulation of caffeine.
Green tea gets a lot of its benefits from catechin which is the major polyphenols found in green tea. Catechin is a strong antioxidant that is more powerful of an antioxidant than Vitamin E. It reduces the ability of platelets to adhere, thus can be effective in the prevention of stroke and heart attack. It is helpful in regulating cholesterol levels and increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Diabetes can be helped with drinking green tea since it helps complex carbohydrates breakdown more slowly and reduce the spikes in blood sugar levels. Green tea has been shown to be effective in the prevention of gingivitis and dental caries (cavities). It also has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of colon cancer and reduce the risk and incidence of pancreatic, esophageal and lung cancers.
In preparing green tea you never want to let it steep in boiling water. Use water that has a temperature of about 180 degrees F or 82 degrees C. For a more stimulating effect let it steep 90 seconds to 3 minutes. For a more relaxing effect let it steep for one minute in which 95 percent of the caffeine will come out. Pour this tea out and then steep for 3 minutes. You can drink this tea throughout the day, the dosage should be 4 to 10 cups a day. An alternative to this would be Green Tea Supreme by Terra Vim in which one capsule would supply the recommended daily dosage of green tea extract. Natura also offers a product with green tea extract and turmeric in Botanical Treasures.