Green Tea Secrets - Flat Belly, Youthful Skin & More

By Joanna 20/12/2013 In
Nutritional Tips

I’ve decided to dedicate an entire video to my love for Green Tea. I drink green tea every single day without fail especially in the mornings and I absolutely love it.

So let’s start with understanding the way green tea is processed and why it has more health benefits in comparison to black tea. Black tea is fermented to give it a dark colour. On the other hand, green tea is made from unfermented leaves, which are simply heated after picking either by steaming or by dry cooking to minimize oxidation. As a result, green tea holds maximum amount of antioxidants and is highly regarded as a health drink.

Of course there are many more types of teas and their health benefits, which we won’t get into in this video. Let’s just focus on green tea.

So what are some of the different types of green tea?

There are quite a number of green teas but these are some of the common green teas:

1) Long Jing (Dragonwell) or more commonly known as Dragonwell Green Tea is from China and is one of the most popular green tea consumed.

2) Sencha: Sencha is known as the "everyday" Japanese green tea, where it’s widely consumed in Japan and also easier available everywhere.

3) Matcha: Matcha is a powdered Japanese green tea. This tea is commonly used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

4) Genmaicha: and Genmaicha, which is also known as the “popcorn tea” is my favourite green tea. All these green tea packs I have here are Genmaicha. It is actually a Sencha tea that is pan fired and combined with toasted brown rice. I like it because of the extra toasted flavour I get from the brown rice.

You can check out this link below for a comprehensive list of green teas from China and Japan. 

So which type of green tea is the best? Generally they are all good. It’s important to know that a high quality green tea does not have a storage life of more than 6 months. So if ever you have tasted green tea and you do not like it, usually they will be from the average grocery stores, which tend to be lower in quality, heavily blended teas that are not very fresh.

If you want to get the maximum benefits from your green tea and of course the best taste, try specialty grocery stores, like Japanese or Chinese grocers, that tend to carry better green teas and of course the health stores too. Go for powdered or loose leaf teas for maximum antioxidants over tea bags. Loose leaf teas are made from the whole tea leaves, large pieces of leaves and tend to be fresh with short shelf life.

In contrast, the tea found in tea bags usually consist of smaller pieces of tea leaves or tea fannings which may give a quicker brew, but lack the full flavor and health benefits of the larger loose leaf teas. Tea bags also tend to have much longer storage life, which means they will not be as fresh and have lost lots of nutrients, but of course, it will still have some benefits too.

So which type of Japanese or Chinese tea should you go for? That I would say comes down to personal taste and preference. Be open and keep trying different types of green tea until you find your favourite. When I eventually stumbled upon Genmaicha, I was hook and have only been drinking that ever since. So keep exploring and let me know what is your favourite green tea.

So why should we drink it everyday and what are the benefits?

Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate (epi-galo-ca-te-kin ga-late) or EGCG, for short. EGCG has been studied to treat varies disease and is a powerful naturally medicine. Here are 10 reasons to start drinking green tea everyday.

1) Increases Fat Burning & Lose Weight

Green tea is known as a superb fat fighter. Studies have shown that its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body. Drinking 3 cups of green tea a day is recommended to raise our body’s metabolic rate.

However, it is important to note that green tea only accelerate metabolism by an average of 4%, which is about 80 calories a day. So drinking green tea alone will not help towards significant weight loss, it is a combination of regular exercises and a clean balanced diet.

Having said that, green tea can be used to maintain a healthy weight and why not burn additional calories even if it’s a small amount, because this will also contribute to your weight loss in long term.

2) Burn Belly Fat

You will be happy to know the 2nd reason. Green tea is known to target abdominal fat. The EGCG present in green tea activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77%. So drinking green tea on a daily basis will help with belly fat in long term.

3) Reduce Bloating & Aid Digestion

Green Tea helps to reduce bloating and improves digestion. Green tea is a powerful diuretic, so it can help to relieve bloating from excess fluid retention. By drinking green tea regularly, you will notice that you tend to visit the restroom more often to get rid of excess water in your body, which actually contributes to a flat tummy.
So if you experience feeling really bloated after a meal, having a cup of green tea after a meal is a great way to speed along digestion and help your body break down food easily.

4) Keeps you relaxed & focused

Theanine, an amino acid, found in green tea can help with relaxation and focus. On a personal experience, I have to agree with this. I drink my green tea every morning either before or together with my breakfast. It really keeps me calm and helps me to stay focus right from the start of the day. Green tea is also a great stress reliever. So when you are stressed out, instead of binging, try to drink a cup of green tea to calm you down.

5) Keep energy level stable

It keeps your energy stable by balancing our blood sugar levels. This will prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods. Green tea drinkers tend to be more in control of their cravings, which can also help with binge eating. So if you are one person who’s constantly craving for more food even when you are full, try drinking green tea with your meals.

6) Longevity & Skincare

Regular consumption of green tea also help with longevity and looking young. EGCG is 200 times more powerful than Vitamin E to destroy skin-damaging free radicals. Hence, regular consumption of green tea will kill free radicals and prevent skin damage, wrinkling and other signs of ageing.

I believe this is one of the Asian secrets for youthful skin because most of us tend to consume green tea on a daily basis.

7) Improves Dental Health & Reduces Bad Breath

Unlike coffee ,which gives you bad breath, drinking green tea does the total opposite. The antibacterial and natural fluoride found in green tea kill the bacteria that causes tooth decay, cavities, gum diseases and bad breath. So if you have a busy day ahead with lots of meetings, you might want to consider swapping your coffee with green tea.

8) May Lower Your Risk of Cancer

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death. EGCG is known to prevent lung, prostrate, breast, esophageal, bladder and stomach cancer by suppressing cancer growing cells.
It has also been said that drinking green tea before and after cancer surgery significantly lowers the risk of its re occurrence. Multiple other observational studies show that green tea drinkers are significantly less likely to get various types of cancer. So let’s start drinking green tea because prevention is better than cure.

9) Reduces bad Cholesterol & Increases Good Cholesterol

Green tea reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol. It prevents cholesterol build-up in arteries and helps prevent cardiovascular disease, which is currently the leading cause of deaths in America.

10) Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels, slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. A study in Japanese adults revealed that drinking several cups of green tea per day lowered the risk of type-2 diabetes by a whopping 33%.

Now that you know most of the benefits, how many cups should you be drinking a day for maximum benefits?

There has been lots of conflicting opinions on this, some say as little as 2 cups a day, while others 5 cups and some even up to 10 cups. I drink about 4 – 5 cups daily, and I would say it’s probably save to drink that amount.

Yes, green tea does contain caffeine but it is much lower in comparison to coffee.
On average, 8oz (250ml) of green tea contain about 35mg of caffeine, whereas the average cup of coffee has about 100 to 200 mg of caffeine. The first infusion of green tea releases the most caffeine and it starts to reduce with the 2nd and 3rd infusion.

So if you are sensitive to caffeine then one cup should be your limit.

How to drink your green tea?

So how to drink your green tea? Well boil a pot of water and allow it to stand for 2-3 minutes because we do not want the water to be boiling hot. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves into a teapot and after 2-3 minutes, pour the heated water into the teapot and allow the tea leaves to steep for up to 3 minutes and enjoy your cup of green tea. If you steep it for longer than 3 minutes or it can be bitter rather than flavorful.

What are the different ways to enjoy green tea?

- You can drink your green tea either hot or cold.
- You can even some extra flavours to your green tea for instance a squeeze of lemon, or even ginger. Personally, I do not like to add anything with my green tea.
- And please don’t ever add milk to your green tea. . The casein protein in milk inhibits the benefits of green tea. Plus, it is just weird. And you cannot get the health benefits from drinking green tea beverages sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Green tea is already so favourful on its own and healthy, in fact zero calories, so why add all the extras on it, it’s not needed.

So, green tea is not just something you start, do it for a couple of months and stop. To gain all the health benefits from it long term, make it your daily drink. On a daily basis, I mostly only drink water or green tea and I have a cup every morning without fail. I have whole leaves tea when I am at home and if I’m travelling, I’ll carry by green tea tea bags with me, course they may not be as fresh, but it’s my daily devotion to green tea. =D

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