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Go Green Tea

By Alana Sugar, January 18, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
SmGreenTeaMmmmm...adding a steaming hot cup of green tea to a crazy afternoon brings its own measure of peace and tranquility, but did you know that routine consumption also brings an easy, comforting boost of beneficial phytochemicals and powerful antioxidants? The amount of antioxidants in tea varies depending on the growing conditions, the age of the tea, and how the tea is stored. On average, one 8-ounce cup of green tea contains about 170 mg of polyphenols (a kind of antioxidant found in tea and also in other plants). Tea is more than just a beverage; it's an antioxidant brew with plenty of benefits:
  • Helps to increase metabolism.
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  • Contains antioxidants called "catechins" which help protect cells from oxidative damage. Human studies have shown antioxidant levels in the body to increase after consumption of tea.
  • Helps protect the cardiovascular system - this is one of the most highly studied areas regarding tea.
  • Promotes healthy cholesterol and blood lipid levels.
  • May help increase mental performance and alertness (which may be due to caffeine).
  • May help the body to de-stress easier and feel more tranquil.
  • May positively affect blood sugar levels.
  • When used as a mouthwash, green tea may help decrease plaque build-up.
  • Topically in body care products, green tea may offer protection from UV radiation.
Remember, green tea does have caffeine, so if you are sensitive, you may want to try decaf. Here are some tips for drinking green tea:
  • Try it on an empty stomach to maximize antioxidant potential.
  • Drink three 8-ounce cups daily - this will match the amounts consumed in Asian countries.
  • Drink it at different times throughout the day; antioxidants are water soluble so the effects are short-lived in the body.
  • Chill green tea if you don't want it hot - but don't add ice cubes since that decreases the antioxidant levels.
Here are some of the many delicious ways to enjoy green tea: Check out our comprehensive guide to tea to learn more. My nephew Sam spends a lot of time in Japan. He reads, writes and speaks Japanese and attended Keio University in Tokyo. Knowing my love affair with the daily ritual of green tea, Sam brought me some Shincha which is also known as "new tea" - it comes from the very first harvest of the growing season. Amazing! Traditionally, green tea, with its slightly bitter taste, was thought to correlate with the spirit or the soul of the human being, conveying longevity and a healthier life. That works for me! Are you a green tea lover, too? Got a favorite variety or ritual that you enjoy? I would love to hear!




Food Makes Fun Fuel says ...
I just found some decaf green tea with chamomile that's really lovely
01/18/2010 9:55:44 AM CST
britt says ...
Great article! Green tea has become a my regular coffee replacement. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good cup of coffee or coffee beverage. Green tea is so yummy!
01/18/2010 11:36:10 AM CST
Courtney says ...
The positive effects of green tea have been known for years; however, I still find it refreshing to see new and inventive ways of exposing the positive benefits of the tea. One of the most talked about benefits of green tea are the antioxidant effects; however, until I read this entry, I did not know that it also helps decrease plaque. I really enjoyed reading this post, and am excited to try out some of the ideas on ways to incorporate green tea into my diet.
01/18/2010 4:08:57 PM CST
Brynne says ...
I love organic coffee and organic green tea equally. It's just that organic coffee is expensive but Whole Foods' box of 80 organic green tea bags is CHEAP at 3.99!!! 5 cents per teabag, and I use each bag to make 3 mugs of tea. Whoo hoo! Great for poor folks like me. I noticed the teeth-cleaning effects. Be careful, it also strips off furniture polish. (I was going to insert a smiley face here, but you don't offer emoticons.)
01/18/2010 6:49:55 PM CST
mshazia says ...
It is amazing how many things you can do with green tea. Since I drink green tea on a regular basis I was happy to discover all of the benefits. But the fact that green tea can have anywhere from 15-75 milligrams of caffeine worried me a little. I found this article, which helps to minimize the caffeine in green tea, http://www.wikihow.com/Minimize-Green-Tea-Caffeine, hopefully it can also help others who are worried.
01/18/2010 10:16:08 PM CST
Meenakshi says ...
Does it have to be green tea? What about black tea or chai?
01/19/2010 3:16:06 PM CST
MAC says ...
Two ways I've been enjoying green/white tea lately: green tea loose leaves a few unsweetened dehydrated blueberries a small piece of vanilla bean a few drops of stevia and white tea loose leaves a few pieces dried persimmon vanilla bean stevia
01/21/2010 3:38:53 PM CST
Clarence says ...
I too am a green tea lover, Alana. And my favourite blend would have to be a blend of gyokuro and macha. Usually it is sencha that is found dusted with macha, but when I was in Kyoto two years ago I found the (absurdly expensive) gyokuro-macha mix. Sublime. If I could afford to drink pure macha every day, I would. Love the rich bitter taste. And, yes, it certainly has amazing health qualities.
01/22/2010 11:58:40 AM CST
Dana says ...
Numi Organic Green tea in Gunpowder Green, or Jasmine Grean is the best. Its a part of my daily ritual, I drink several glasses of it each day as iced t. There is always a pot on my stove with some tea bags steeping. Wonderfully refreshing. i make a special trip to whole foods each week to purchase this brand. Although not cheap, its price is reasonable in comparison.
01/26/2010 10:05:19 PM CST
Elena Markoviz says ...
I bought Village tea Co Sassy green tea to host my babyshower. It was an amazing Green Tea. Got it at Whole foods in Dallas TX
01/27/2010 12:09:59 AM CST
Mr. Green Tea says ...
Yes, I love green tea too. I drink it every day in the morning before my breakfast. Good tasty and help me fresh before working.
01/27/2010 11:08:18 PM CST
michele says ...
Does de-caf green tea have the same benefits?
03/10/2010 6:29:07 PM CST
kimela says ...
I enjoy green tea with blueberries. I have it every morning and it gets me well on my way. I hope that I am getting a double power punch having the blueberries. The taste and aroma are out of this world. Happy tea time to us all! P.S. Thank you for all of the information on this great natural treasure!!
03/11/2010 4:30:27 PM CST
kathy says ...
I buy a brand of green tea that comes pre-made and has no other ingredients except for ascorbic acid as a preservative. I refridgerate this tea and drink it cold. Am I getting any benefits or do I need to brew it myself?
03/16/2010 11:55:17 AM CDT
Rick F says ...
Green Tea is awesome, but I find that most people don't know how to properly brew it and end up with a very bitter tea - which is why many people say that they don't like it. If you're one of those people, go get some good quality tea leaves, look up the proper method, and give it another shot! When brewed correctly green tea shouldn't need any sweetener for it to taste good.
03/17/2010 5:35:41 PM CDT
Noushin Ebrani says ...
Great recipes and information on green tea! In my experience, drinking certain types of green tea on an empty stomach will make some people nauseous. Noushin Ebrani
03/29/2010 5:38:52 PM CDT
Ann Trenton says ...
I'm a tea addict. I could never get through an entire day without a cup of freshly-brewed loose green tea. The smell alone is enough to make my mouth water and the delicious sensation of fresh hot tea sliding down my throat is something that I always take time to relish during my tea break. Green tea has tons of health benefits and is a great source of antioxidants. The ever increasing sale of green tea actually, is due to its ability to produce fat oxidation. This simply means that drinking green tea will act directly on your body to lessen your fats because of its natural oxidizing property.
11/26/2010 1:56:52 AM CST
marmar says ...
thank you ,,but may I ask where did you find decaf green tea??
01/10/2011 3:33:17 PM CST
leia says ...
Thanks for the article. I read in the Feb. edition of "Delicious Living" at my health food store that a study in Hong Kong demonstrated "younger DNA" after drinking three cups a day. That matches your number.
02/24/2011 12:47:02 PM CST
erika says ...
glad to have found this post. very interesting viewpoint
09/06/2011 7:47:51 AM CDT
lorrie says ...
can you buy gunpowder green tea ? im learning how to make my own teas ..
03/16/2014 10:23:06 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LORRIE - Our products differ between stores. Check with your local store to find out what they have in stock!
03/17/2014 1:10:28 PM CDT
Patti says ...
I last time I went to the Whole Foods Store to get decaffeinated green tea which I've enjoyed for some time, the store didn't have any in stock. I'm sensitive to caffeine; I hope you're not discontinuing this product??
06/15/2014 3:13:05 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PATTI - We should have a few decaffeinated tea options. Check with your local store to see if they have other brands they can recommend!
06/16/2014 1:54:19 PM CDT
Lucia Carvalho says ...
Is there any green tea brand you recommend which is easy to get/find at wholefoods or any other market?
05/15/2015 3:47:40 PM CDT