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How green is your tea

My mornings always begin with a cup of hot green tea and believe me it keeps me on my feet the whole day and that too with full energy and vitality. Even during the day I take quite a few cups of this healthy beverage.

What is green tea?

Whatever the colour of the tea - green, black or oolong – they are all derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Originally cultivated in East Asia, this plant grows as large as a shrub or tree. Today, Camellia sinensis grows throughout Asia and parts of the Middle East and Africa. It is most commonly consumed by the people in Asian countries. Green tea is prepared from unfermented leaves. 

Be cautious

People with heart problems or high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, stomach ulcers, and psychological disorders, particularly anxiety, should not take green tea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid green tea.

People with anaemia, diabetes, glaucoma or osteoporosis should ask their health care provider before drinking green tea.

It is good for:

Atherosclerosis

Clinical studies indicate that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease.

High cholesterol
Research shows that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL (good cholesterol) in both animals and people. In another small study of male smokers, researchers found that green tea significantly reduced blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.

Cancer
Research also shows that both green and black teas may help protect against cancer. For example, cancer rates tend to be low in countries such as Japan where people regularly consume green tea.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Green tea may help reduce inflammation associated with IBD.

Diabetes
Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar levels.

Weight loss
Clinical studies have shown that green tea could boost metabolism and help burn fat.

Culinary uses

Green tea can be used to add flavour to a number of dishes. It can used to poach pears with ginger adding a little spice. It can be added to salad dressings, rice or stews. Sprinkle green tea over scrambled eggs to raise it to a gourmet level. 

It can also be added to soups, sauces and marinades for a complex flavour. A teaspoon or two of loose-leaf green tea dissolved in water can be added to stir-fries. It can be mixed in with flour, salt and sesame seeds to make a delicious batter for shrimps or fish fillets.

Green tea can also make a refreshing iced tea or combined with fruit juices like papaya, pineapple, or peach. It can also be used to make a unique soufflé. 

Lemon, ginger and mint leaves give an additional kick to brewed green tea.