Drink Green Tea!

Every January in an attempt to start the year in a healthy way I abstain from alcohol for the month. A few years back, I decided to go a step further and do a ‘proper’ detox. I wasn’t allowed to have caffeine, alcohol, dairy, wheat, meat or sugar. It was meant to last for four weeks. I lasted for two – now that may not sound very long but I really stuck to it for two whole weeks. Think about it – there wasn’t much left that I was allowed to eat! It was really tough and a bit miserable! When I resumed ‘normal’ eating I developed a skin condition called Idiopoathic Urticaria – ‘idiopathic’ means of unknown cause and ‘urticaria’ is an allergic type rash – you might know it as ‘weals’ or ‘hives’. It is not an uncommon condition and very annoying as it crops up anywhere on your body and then disappears only to reappear somewhere else. I had to take antihistamines for some months to get rid of it and occasionally still get mild recurrences. I have recently come back from holiday when I had some hives on my face – not a good look!

It is my belief that by withdrawing these everyday foods suddenly and then reintroducing them that I triggered some kind of sensitisation process in my body resulting in this allergic rash. This kind of detox is something I would never repeat, I really don’ t think it is healthy or beneficial, after all we are all kitted out with our own sophisticated detox system – our livers. Moderation has to be the key in all dietary aspects unless you know that you have specific allergies.

Anyway what’s the point of this story? Well the only good thing to come out of this detox programme was green tea. Green tea was not commonly drunk at that time. I didn’t actually like it initially, I found it to be a bit bland, a bit bitter, but I grew to like it, in fact I grew to love it! Years later I am still drinking green tea. Drinking tea and coffee can be a bit like smoking cigarettes, in that there is a lot of ritual involved, the boiling of the kettle, preparing the cups, it’s something you do with friends, you do it at break times at work. Half the time you don’t really want it – it’s just what you have. Green tea does contain caffeine so it will give you a boost but it does not contain as much as coffee or black tea. It is bursting with vitamins and anti oxidants which help the body fight the free radicals that increase our chances of disease and speed up the aging process. It is thought that green tea is not only good for your health but also helps to keep your skin looking young. It is the perfect alternative to coffee or traditional black tea. Try it – if you don’t like it straight away – stick with it for a while. Once you get used to the taste you will find it refreshing & thirst quenching, it won’t stain your teeth as much as ‘normal’ tea or coffee, it is calorie free, has health benefits and it may just help to keep you looking young!

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Here are some of the myriad benefits of drinking green tea:

 

Rich in Antioxidants:
One of the key reasons for the green tea’s acclaim is its remarkable antioxidant content. Polyphenols, such as catechins and flavonoids, are potent antioxidants found abundantly in green tea. These compounds help neutralize harmful free radicals, safeguarding the body from oxidative stress and cellular damage. By incorporating green tea into your daily routine, you can enhance your body’s defense against various diseases and promote overall well-being.

Boosts Brain Function:
Green tea contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts compared to coffee. This moderate caffeine content provides a gentle energy boost and helps improve brain function, including enhanced focus, concentration, and alertness. Additionally, green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can promote a relaxed state of mind, reducing anxiety and stress while maintaining mental clarity.

Promotes Heart Health:
Numerous studies have linked green tea consumption to improved cardiovascular health. Regular intake of green tea has been associated with a reduction in the risk of heart disease and stroke. The powerful antioxidants in green tea help protect against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, prevent blood clot formation, and improve blood vessel function, thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular ailments.

Supports Weight Management:
For those seeking to shed a few extra pounds, green tea can be a valuable ally. Green tea has been found to boost metabolism, which can aid in weight loss and weight management. The catechins in green tea have been shown to increase fat oxidation and thermogenesis, contributing to a higher calorie-burning rate. Moreover, the modest caffeine content can provide an energy boost for physical activities.

Assists in Diabetes Management:
Green tea exhibits promising potential in managing type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption has been associated with improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar levels. The antioxidants in green tea may help regulate glucose metabolism and decrease insulin resistance, thereby assisting in the prevention and management of diabetes.

Enhances Oral Health:
The natural compounds found in green tea can contribute to improved oral health. The catechins present in green tea possess antibacterial properties, which help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, reducing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Additionally, the fluoride content in green tea promotes stronger teeth and may even help prevent tooth decay.

Supports a Healthy Immune System:
The potent antioxidants present in green tea play a crucial role in strengthening the immune system. They help protect against infections by neutralizing free radicals and enhancing the body’s defense mechanisms. Regular consumption of green tea can provide a natural boost to your immune system, reducing the likelihood of falling ill.

Conclusion:
From its impressive array of antioxidants to its potential in promoting heart health, weight management, and overall well-being, green tea stands out as a beverage with numerous health benefits. By incorporating this ancient elixir into your daily routine, you can harness its natural power to support your health and vitality. So why not brew a soothing cup of green tea today and savor the wonders it offers to both body and mind?

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