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29
AUG

Giving “Go Green” New Meaning

Filed Under: Teas at 2:28 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Green Tea

When I tell you to go green, I’m not suggesting you trade in your car for a hybrid or start a compost pile in your backyard (although if you are concerned about the environment, they aren’t bad ideas). Rather, I am, in this instance, recommending a specific tea. Green tea offers a strong, bitter, natural kick of flavor as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants. As the least processed of all teas, it has the most health benefits and can aid in fighting the flu, losing weight and increasing exercise endurance. It has also been proven to protect against cognitive loss, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.  It seems that with every cup of green tea sipped, another benefit is discovered.

Most recently researchers looked at the connection between green tea and skin as well as green tea and cancer. A study conducted at the Medical College of Georgia found that green tea may aid in treating skin conditions, such as psoriasis and dandruff, by slowing the growth of skin cells. When a person has psoriasis, the skin thickens because of rapid skin cell growth. If antioxidants in green tea could stop this (as research suggests it does), the beverage could prove to be a highly effective treatment particularly when considering that it is already known to prevent inflammation for said conditions.  In a separate study, green tea extract was found to increase the body’s production of detoxification enzymes (enzymes beneficial in fighting cancer) in individuals with low or deficient levels.  While these findings are new, they are not the first link between green tea and the disease. The National Cancer Institute reports several studies that support the theory and are continuing to further examine the connection.

Now if all of the health benefits sound great, but you’re not so sure you really want to drink green tea. You’re not alone. The first time I tried green tea, I was desperate. I was at work, craving tea and my usual, tried and true English Breakfast, was nowhere to be found. I opted for the green tea, not willing to switch to coffee. Inadvertently, I created a very strong cup of tea and had a very strong reaction. Ever since, I’ve been weary of the beverage. However, a part of me wants to try again, so I turned to a green-tea drinker for advice. He suggested I ease my way into the drink. Rather than diving right in (as I did), I should try a flavored green tea and work my way up. Eventually, regular, full-force green tea may become the drink I crave. If not, they do make green tea extract. All the power of tea is loaded into a tiny, tasteless capsule. It may not be as fun or as warming as a cup of green tea, but it’ll do.

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