Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that have a role reducing free radical damage which can lead to cancer and heart disease. Because green tea receives minimal processing, its catechins are very concentrated, especially their unique catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). In the laboratory, EGCG has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. Some human studies have shown a link between increased green tea consumption and lower recurrence of breast cancer after surgery and a lower risk of developing stomach, esophageal, prostate, pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancers. Other human studies showed a correlation between green tea consumption and reduced risk of heart disease.
Other Ways to Consume Tea
Besides just making a cup of tea, there are other ways to receive the health benefits of tea. Try adding green tea to soups or using green tea as the liquid in your morning smoothie. There is some caffeine in green tea so be sure not to drink it or cook with it too late in the day or it may disturb your ability to sleep. However the amount of caffeine in an 8 oz. cup of tea is only around 20 mg compared to 60 to 120 mg in brewed coffee or 40 to 50 mg in black tea.
My Favorite Green Tea
By far, the best green tea is from Japan. It's sounds obvious, but green tea should actually be green! So many of the large corporate tea companies make green tea products that don't look or taste anything like real, Japanese green tea. You can buy genuine green tea online from Den's Tea company. You can buy loose tea or these very cute and convenient pyramid tea bags. My favorite is the Pyramid Tea Bag Sencha.
Here's a smoothie recipe that provides all the advantages of green tea, chia seeds and fresh fruit.
Strawberry Banana Green Tea Smoothie with Chia Seeds
[makes 2 servings]
2 cups strong green tea (cooled)
1 cup vanilla hemp milk or soy milk
2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 large banana
1 cup fresh strawberries
3/4 cup ice
few drops of liquid stevia or sweetener of your choice, optional
The night before, put one or two green tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bag and put the tea in the refrigerator to cool overnight. Put the chia seeds in the vanilla hemp milk and stir vigorously. Wait 15 minutes and stir again. Wait another 15 minutes and stir one more time and put the chia mixture in the refrigerator overnight. It will become the consistency of pudding - (in fact, it will become "chia pudding". I usually make this smoothie when I have left over Vegan Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding .)
In the morning, place the chilled green tea, chia pudding, banana, strawberries, ice and optional sweetener in a VitaMix, blend and serve immediately.
Per serving: 190 calories, 8.0 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4.5 g protein, 37.8 g carbohydrates, 9.8 g fiber, 3.6 g omega 3 and 2.9 g omega 6 fatty acids.