Meet your new best friend for life…Green Tea.

Green tea in strainer  But I don’t even like tea…why should I drink it?

Some of us are raised on tea, and we should consider ourselves the lucky ones.  When you grow up with something in your life, you never have to really go through the phase of getting accustomed to it as an adult.  However, if you’re anything like my husband, you probably don’t like tea because it tastes perfume-y and bitter, which is completely understandable.  After all, tea is brewed using dried leaves, and often times, perfumes use similar ingredients.  While the perfume factor will most likely stay, you can control how bitter it tastes by carefully following the brewing times for specific teas. You shouldn’t give up on tea just yet, because it has amazing health benefits, especially green tea.  Oh, and by the way…if you want to get healthy, you have to detox.  Green tea is one of the very best possible ways to clean all the ick out of your body.

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Loose green tea ready for brewing.

Green tea helps primarily with two things: weight loss and the safe and continuous removal of toxins.  Green tea has shown up in Chinese literature as far back as 5,000 years, and it’s been very popular ever since.  The story goes that either a man by the name of Shien Non Shei or alternately, Emperor Shen Nung, accidentally tasted the water that had accumulated on a green tea leaf and found it delicious.  He also thought the tea might have healing benefits (lucky guess, right!) and so he started to brew the fresh leaves in water.Turns out, Green Tea was the Justin Bieber of 2,737 BCE and it totally took off.  Soon it was a trend for the very rich, but luckily it didn’t last too long and everyone was able to get their hands (and mouths) on it.

While the discovery of tea sounds pretty mythical, the health benefits are far from imaginary.  Have you ever wondered why Asian cultures seem to age much more gracefully and stay healthy for so long?  I’m sure you already said green tea, and you’d be right.  The healing benefits of green tea help ward off Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis,  high cholesterol levels, Cardiovascular disease, infection, and also helps repair impaired immune function.  Why?  It’s high in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an amazing anti-oxidant that destroys cancer cells while leaving healthy cells perfectly intact.  The reason Green Tea in particular is the most powerful is because of the way it’s processed-it’s steamed while others are fermented, which partially diminishes the amount of EGCG found in other teas.  Also, there’s only one minor side effect to green tea, and then, only for some…Insomnia.  My recommendation?  Don’t drink it directly before bed or get a caffeine free version (though that may not stimulate weight loss as much).  That being said, here are a few ways to add green tea to your day in delicious ways that even a non tea aficionado should enjoy!

ICED GREEN TEA LIMEADE

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I recently made this following the instructions, but it was a tad bitter for me and I’m a lover of citrus.  Cut down on the amount of juice if you want it to stay a bit sweeter.  Also, I substituted Agave syrup for the sugar in the interest of keeping it as healthy as possible.  (Click the title to get to the recipe at KitchenTreaty.com.)

CITRUS-HONEY GREEN TEA

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Juice is a great way to help cut down on bitterness.  For the best possible detox, use juice from freshly juiced organic oranges to avoid unwanted pesticides from entering this healthy brew. (Click the title to get the recipe at Allrecipes.com.)

You can also add green tea to smoothies, substitute green tea for water in recipes, infuse milk with it, or steam vegetables and rice in green tea to incorporate it into your diet in a less obtrusive way.  Of course, you can also try google for lots of awesome recipes but just remember that for maximum health benefits, replacing sugar or artificial sweeteners with Honey or Agave is important.  Cheers!

Title photo courtesy of © Carterphoto | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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