SUPERFOOD: THE MAGICAL GREEN TEA OF THE ORIENT
By Stefanie Cassetto
With the summer heat approaching fast, it can be easy to stock your fridge with the standard cool drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks. This week’s superfood gives you an awesome alternative to stay healthy, keep metabolism up, and keep pounds off. Sound good? Then you might want to consider adding iced green tea to your daily regimen.
THE HISTORY OF GREEN TEA
Originating in China, green tea is made with the leaves and leaf buds of a species of plant called Camillia sinesis — a magnolia-related evergreen tree. The leaves that make green tea have gone through minimal oxidation during processing. According to Chinese legend, the Chinese emperor Shen-Nung discovered tea in 2737 B.C., when leaves from a wild tea bush accidentally fell into a pot of water he was boiling. Green tea is traditionally associated with many cultures in Asia and is becoming more widespread throughout the West where black tea is consumed.
SO MANY BENEFITS!
Green tea is usually at the top of cancer-preventing superfood lists when it comes to beverages because it is loaded with antioxidants and health promoting flavanoids. Flavanoids called catechins exist in green tea and a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the primary cancer fighter and should be considered as powerful as Vitamin E or C. Green tea has no calories, if you drink it without milk or sugar! It does have caffeine, so it important to regulate your intake if you are caffeine sensitive.
Research shows drinking green tea regularly helps promote cardiovascular health, build bone, protects against kidney disease, may help prevent type 2 diabetes and protect against multiple forms of cancer. Green tea seems to lower the risk for a wide range of diseases including everything from simple bacterial or viral infections to chronic degenerative conditions.
You can drink green tea hot, or iced. It can be mixed into a smoothie and powdered green tea can be used in baked goods. Other recipes suggest mixing into stir-fry, marinades, dressings, soups, sauces.
Any way you look at it, adding green tea to your diet also adds a multitude of disease-fighting benefits.
CRAN-BERRY GREEN-TEA SMOOTHIE
Green tea and cranberries give this high-energy smoothie powerful antioxidants. For a tropical spin, substitute 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks for the blackberries and strawberries. Prep Time: 10 minutes. Notes: Individually quick-frozen (IQF) technology has made high-quality frozen fruit possible, with a nutritional value on par with that of fresh fruit. Frozen fruit is ideal for using in smoothies, chilling the drink without diluting it as ice would.
- 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- 5 frozen whole strawberries
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup brewed green tea, cooled to room temperature
- 1/4 cup plain soy milk
- Add Stevia, or organic brown rice syrup to taste
In a blender, whirl all ingredients until smooth.
Additional Resources on Green Tea online: