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October 19, 2008

I Love GREEN TEA =我爱绿茶=

Green tea is always my first choice whenever I feel thirsty; be it at home or at office, I always have plenty of green tea tea bags for spare. I love the smell of 'greeny', which makes me feel as if I have a Genie in my cup.. And at most of the time, I can't resist green tea desserts too...


Maybe because I love green so much, I fell in love with green tea. Chinese old folks used to drink a lot of tea but I am not familiar with all the Chinese tea names; seriously I am more familiar with black tea. In my uni days I used to drink a lot of black tea, almost every night I drank at least a cup, then mom started nagging me because she thinks that black tea is not good for girls because it is too 'cold' (in Chinese '凉') and it would affect my health if I drank too much. So after I came back from Korea, I slowly changed my habit of drinking black tea to green tea, then I fell in love with it! Partly because of the colour as I mentioned, and partly because of the benefits of green tea.

If you're wondering what am I doing right now, I am sipping my cup of green tea while writing this article. Now that I have put on a little weight after a few luscious buffet meals during my training, I sure need to drink more green tea to slim down. Adapted from Chinesefood.about.com, I would like to share the 7 reasons WHY I love drinking green tea.

7 Reasons to Drink Green Tea

  1. CUT YOUR CANCER RISK
    Several polyphenols - the potent antioxidants green tea's famous for - seem to help keep cancer cells from gaining a foothold in the body, by discouraging their growth and then squelching the creation of new blood vessels that tumors need to thrive. Study after study has found that people who regularly drink green tea reduce their risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and/or prostate cancer.
  2. SOOTHE YOUR SKIN
    Got a cut, scrape, or bite, and a little leftover green tea? Soak a cotton pad in it. The tea is a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling. Try it on inflamed breakouts and blemishes, sunburns, even puffy eyelids.
  3. PROTECT YOUR SKIN
    In the lab, green tea applied directly to the skin (or consumed) helps block sun-triggered skin cancer, which is why you're seeing green tea in more and more sunscreens and moisturizers.
  4. STEADY YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
    Having healthy blood pressure - meaning below 120/80 - is one thing. Keeping it that way is quite another. But people who sip just half a cup a day are almost 50 percent less likely to wind up with hypertension than non-drinkers. Credit goes to the polyphenols again (especially one known as ECGC). They help keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure.
  5. PROTECT YOUR MEMORY, OR YOUR MOM'S
    Green tea may also keep the brain from turning fuzzy. Getting-up-there adults who drink at least two cups a day are half as likely to develop cognitive problems as those who drink less. Why? It appears that the tea's big dose of antioxidants fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
  6. STAY YOUNG
    The younger and healthier your arteries are, the younger and healthier you are. So fight plaque build-up in your blood vessels, which ups the risk of heart disease and stroke, adds years to your biological age (or RealAge), and saps your energy too. How much green tea does this vital job take? About 10 ounces a day, which also deters your body from absorbing artery-clogging fat and cholesterol.
  7. LOSE WEIGHT
    Oh yeah, one more thing. Turns out that green tea speeds up your body's calorie-burning process. In the every-little-bit-counts department, this is good news!

Useful tips - HOW TO BREW A CUP OF GREEN TEA

Producing the perfect cup of green tea is a tricky process. If not handled properly, those same polyphenols that provide health benefits can ruin the flavor, making the tea taste "gassy." It's particularly important not to overbrew. While it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for each variety of green tea, here are some general instructions:

  • Use one tea bag, or 2 - 4 grams of tea,* per cup.
  • Fill a kettle with cold water and bring to a boil.
  • After unplugging the kettle, allow it to stand for up to 3 minutes.
  • Pour the heated water over the tea bag or tea, and allow it to steep for up to 3 minutes. If using a tea bag, remove the bag.
  • Allow the tea to cool for three more minutes.
    *One to two teaspoons, depending on the variety of green tea you are brewing.


---- More articles on green tea:
The Miracle of Green Tea
How much green tea should you drink?

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