If after tucking into delicious Kavum, crispy Kokis and mouth watering Aasmi during the April holidays, you have felt an uncomfortable heaviness and an additional number of inches around your waist, what do you do?
Forget those fad diets, weight loss creams and slimming pills. Instead, focus on a brew that the wise Chinese discovered millennia ago. Its beneficial properties have been proven in laboratories the world over. It’s green tea.
The Chinese have been hooked on it since the first brew was accidentally discovered by the emperor Shen Nung, when some tea leaves fell into a cup of steaming water he was about to drink. Since then, the story of the humble tea plant has been the stuff of legend.
From the mystic mountains of China, to the soaring Alps of Europe, green tea is the new coffee of the world. However unlike coffee, it’s actually really good for you. Apart from the rejuvenating flavour and the uplifting aroma, green tea packs a punch and modern science has proven it.
Green tea is derived from the same Camellia sinensis plant that gives us our traditional black tea. The only difference is that it is heated as soon as its plucked, leaving it green and saving its healthy properties.
The secret of the tea lies in the flavour. The catchy sounding ‘catchetins’ are the flavonoids in green tea that gives it its astringent and sometimes bitter flavour. It’s also the element in green tea that is rich in the exotic sounding ‘anti-oxidants’.
The Chinese may have discovered the secret to a healthy life eons ago, but modern day doctors are also enthusiastic about the benefits of this verdant brew.
Senior Dietitian Sigrid .S. de Silva, author of the book ‘Losers are Winners’, says that apart from its cleansing properties, green tea can exert a beneficial impact on your body’s metabolism and weight management.
“Being calorie free, green tea, consumed without sugar, can be successfully incorporated into a sensible weight control programme such as Losers are winners, that will be helpful in this season,” she explained, “I recommend that green tea can be a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and can truly rejuvenate you. So go grab that cup of green tea and make a toast for health.”
Full of flavonoids
Flavonoids are renowned for their anti-oxidant activity. That’s why food that is rich in flavonoids, such as fruits and vegetables, are encouraged for detoxifying diets that purify your system.
Flavonoids are widely distributed in plants and they are also the reason why you see yellow, red and blue pigmentation in flowers. Apart from green tea, sources of flavonoids include;
- Vegetables and fruits (all citrus fruits),
- Tea (especially white and green tea)
- Red wine
- Dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of seventy percent or greater).
Fighting the ‘free radicals’
‘Free radicals’ may sound like a rock group from the 1980s but in reality they are potentially nasty customers that roam our bodies doing all sorts of harm. Through its anti-oxidant content, drinking green tea has the properties to fight these free radicals.
These free radicals arise in our bodies due to unsavoury habits like smoking, environmental damage like pollution, and poor dietary habits, unhealthy lifestyles and even due to normal life processes like breathing and aging.
Usually, our bodies can handle these radicals, but our modern day lives have left it weak in some defences and green tea is the ideal boost to get rid of these harmful molecules.