There are several super foods that are known to have many health giving properties, but one of the most exciting of all must be drinking green tea for a healthy body and mind.
It's been used for many centuries by the Chinese and other Asian civilizations as both traditional beverage and health giving infusion.
In the West, we have finally woken up this sleeping dragon and are discovering new ways in which it can benefit our health.
Of all the amazing properties crammed into a cup of this tasty beverage, one of the most important is not necessarily its antioxidants, or weight loss properties, but its ability to calm the mind and soothe the soul, or in short, to relieve stress.
For of all the problems that negatively affect a person's health, stress is the worst and most widely damaging of them all.
Anything we can do to avoid stress should be done and if we can't avoid it, then we should learn how to deal with it so that it becomes no big deal.
Drinking this amazing tea promotes the release of the relaxing hormone serotonin in the brain and this is the property that can help us to relieve the stress if we are suffering from it.
But there's even more to it than that and this is something that we haven't considered yet, at least in the West.
The very act of preparing and drinking green tea in the East is a ritual that great care is taken over, great reverence applied to and traditional rules adhered to.
Why is this?
If you've ever watched the tea ceremony being performed, you would wonder at the slow, deliberate and careful way in which it is done.
And therein lies the secret.
Preparing to receive a cup of this beverage brewed and served in the traditional manner is part of a process that relaxes the body.
This allows the stress to melt away, while the actual drinking of the tea acts on the brain to send those good feeling hormones through the body to complete the task of attaining a state of relaxation.
In the West, we concentrate on the scientific reasons why green tea relieves stress while ignoring the other side to the process which is the physical slowing down of the body to receive it.
Of course, the chemical properties of this beverage will do a body no end of good. But that good could be enhanced greatly by taking the time to drink it the way it was meant to be taken, as we have been shown by our oriental teachers but in the most part chosen to ignore.
Learn to Slow Down
In our fast paced western lifestyle, we don't take the time for such things, which is a big part of the reason we have so much stress in the first place!
We package up the product in teabags that can be thrown into a cup of boiling water and drank as fast as possible so we can get on to the next thing we have to be doing. This is not the way it was intended to be taken and I believe that if we were to take the time to do it correctly, then the benefits to health in general would certainly be enhanced.
As for the other properties of this amazing tea, of course antioxidants are incredibly important for mopping up those damaging free radicals.
The polyphenol EGCG is much more powerful than the resveratrol found in red wine and is found in abundance in this flavorsome drink. It is also worth buying organic green tea rather than cheaper brands that may also come with a payload of chemical pesticides and other nasties.
As for drinking green tea to lose weight, it does this in two ways.
First it contains caffeine, which ordinarily would boost the metabolism to cause the body to burn calories faster. However, while levels of caffeine are lower in this tea than the black variety or coffee, it combines with other chemicals not present in those other beverages to cause the metabolism to work even faster.
Second, drinking this brew suppresses the insulin response to eating foods (or drinking drinks) that are high in refined sugars. This can lead to less visceral (belly) fat being stored and therefore helps to control weight gain.
When taken in conjunction with a calorie restrictive diet, even more benefits can be enjoyed such as faster fat burning and better overall metabolic health.
There are many other health properties associated with drinking green tea that we will include in a future post here.
- Terry Didcott
[BACK TO TOP]
Posted on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 in Health | 2 Comments