Over the past years green tea has exploded into one of the most popular hot drinks all over the world due its health benefits.
What is green tea?
Green tea originated in China and made from young leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant, the same plant that black tea comes from. However it is produced in a slightly different way than black tea. Green tea is one of the least oxidised teas. The leaves are not given as much time to oxidise as with black tea.
History of Green Tea
Have you ever wondered how green tea was discovered? one of the most popular stories is that it was discovered by the Chinese Emperor Shennong who mistakenly drank hot water that had a dead leaf in it. For that reason green tea was linked to the high class Chinese society and was made expensive and unaffordable.
From the 3rd century to the 6th century the popularity of drinking tea soared and tea slowly changed from a luxury item into a drink commonly consumed by the public. This was due to the fact that simple basic drying processes were introduced that increased its availability. It was first introduced to the western world in the 16th century.
Although it is now produced in many Asian countries, China still produces and exports the most green tea in the world.
Green tea and weight loss
This tea has become popular as it helps lose weight. It is believed that green tea can actually speed up metabolism and help burn calories faster. How?
- It contains caffeine which is known to aid fat burning as well as improve exercise performance.
- It contains antioxidants which can boost metabolism.
- Green tea can help you lose harmful abdominal fat. Visceral fat is belly fat that builds up around the organs. This fat causes inflammation and insulin resistance and these are linked to diabetes and heart disease. Green tea gets rid of a significant percentage of visceral fat.
Choosing the best brand of green tea
There are so many brands and varieties of green tea on the market, that choosing which one to buy can be a challenge. Which brand tastes the best is usually a matter of personal preference. You might have to try a few brands before finding the one that suites your taste buds. Higher grades of green tea tend to be less bitter, but sweeter. There is no uniform grading system for green tea.
In terms of health, when choosing the best brand of green tea I would recommend you consider the following:
- Antioxidant content– studies have shown that brewed green tea tends to have more antioxidant content than bottled tea. The processing method used to prepare bottled green tea lowers the amount of antioxidants.
- Potential contamination with pesticide residues – to limit the intake of pesticide residue I would recommend buying organic green tea as opposed to conventional green tea.
- Country of origin– Brewed organic tea from Japan and Sri Lanka are some of the best teas. A study showed that a lot of green tea brands contained heavy metal. Tea from china was high in aluminium and lead. It was moderate in Japan, however tea from Sri Lanka had the lowest contamination.
- Caffeinated vs decaffeinated– research has shown that decaffeinated tea will lower the amount of antioxidants. The extra processing will reduce the amount of antioxidants in the tea.
My Top 2 brands of green tea
Matcha is a tea that comes in a very fine green powder rather than a tea bag. There are clear, easy to follow instructions on how to make it on the tin. Not all matcha’s are the same. A high quality matcha will appear bright green in colour, just as the freshest and best green vegetables are usually a brighter green colour. Ceremonial matcha has a bright green colour and is generally the highest quality of matcha. Matcha tea contains the whole tea leaf therefore offers more antioxidants than green tea brews.
Tea Lovers Organic Ceremonial Matcha tea comes in a tin and is grown in the finest fields of Japan. The leaves are harvested and dried and then grounded into a fine powder. It is 100% USDA Certified Organic Japanese matcha. It is richer than most Ceremonial matcha teas and has a complex flavour. There is approximately 30 servings per tea.
However matcha is quite expensive and you do get what you pay for. If its very cheap, its probably not good quality matcha.
You can buy this tea from My Matcha Life.
A global leader in organic foods and health products. Promotes sustainable organic agriculture and protects the natural ecosystem. Tulsi has been used in India for over 5,000 years as a healing spice for the body, mind, and spirit. It is associated with a remarkable heritage of restorative powers and stress-relieving properties. Organic India’s Tulsi -Holy Basil Formula and certified organic Tulsi Teas includes three varieties of Tulsi leaves: Rama, Vana, and Krishna. Each variety perfectly has a slightly different look, taste, and smell and when combined, create a perfectly balanced herbal infusion with an array of health benefits.
Organic India Tulsi Tea is USDA Certified Organic, Non -GMO Project Verified, Kosher and Halal certified, gluten-free, and vegan. It is reffered by many terms such as ‘slimming tea’ and ‘stress relieving tea.
You can buy this on Amazon.