This week’s challenge is relaxing and enjoyable!  I love those, don’t you?Green Tea

[tweetherder]This week I challenge you to enjoy some green tea![/tweetherder]

In the summer I consume lots of water, but come fall I start craving something warm and comforting.  Although there is nothing like that first sip of coffee in the morning,  much as I’d love to, I just can’t drink it all day long.  So, Thank You Tea!

Green tea is a great beverage to enjoy when you need a break, need something to warm you up, or just need a little pick me up.  It does contain some caffeine, but not as much as coffee, so many people who are sensitive to caffeine can still handle green tea.

Green tea is actually made from the same leaves as black tea, but it has less processing than black or oolong.  With green tea, the leaves are just dried or lightly steamed versus fermented.  Thanks to this minimal processing, the antioxidants are more potent.

Speaking of those antioxidants . . .

Green tea is full of flavonoids (antioxidants) which numerous studies have shown to benefit our health.  These antioxidants may help fight cancer (as several studies have suggested they can regulate and inhibit cancer growth), fight heart disease (the flavinoids in green tea may improve the flexibility of blood vessels so they are less likely to clog).   I’ve even seen studies that allude that green tea can assist in anti-aging.

Although these are legitimate studies, I have to caution you that I’m not a doctor and certainly can’t prescribe tea as a cure for cancer or heart disease!  And I suspect that other factors (healthy diet and exercise) may contribute to the overall findings.  However, I think there has been enough research to suggest that adding  green tea to your diet can be a positive factor in a healthy lifestyle.

One thing I can confidently state is that green tea contains some vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B3, C and E.  And it tastes GREAT!

A few tips when enjoying your green tea this week:

  • Steep for 3 to 5 minutes to get the most antioxidants out of the leaves
  • Freshly brewed tea is best
  • Loose leaf is my favorite, but I’ll share a few of my favorite bagged tea varieties below (these are affiliate links, but I’m sure you can find these brands at your local health food store too)
  • Green tea can impede the absorption of iron, so try adding a bit of lemon or milk or drinking between meals to help counteract

Drink up!

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