Come on now, I don’t want you to remain gullible or naïve… nor do I wish wounds to remain fresh… but then if these are the only greens you’ve heard of, read on and know that there is a green quite different from greener pastures, a great unfading memory, and gemstones.
I actually wanted to call this post: Drink Green… but that would have immediately told you that this post was probably on green tea. But then it is great idea to jump into the pool and start swimming straightaway, isn’t it? So here we are all poised to know more about green tea.
Do I hear someone say: ‘I have black tea. Isn’t that what you’re talking about?’
‘Well, no, we aren’t going even near black tea. Black tea has fermentation meandering through its processing but this isn’t the case with green tea… and as a consequence, green tea gets to retain more antioxidants and poly-phenols.’ These antioxidants and poly-phenols are what make green tea greener for life! So obviously, if you wish to have a smarter life and a life that can probably help you stay away from diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s disease, bad teeth, and even obesity… what you need is to sip a few cups of green tea every day.
Now, these polyphenols that I mentioned have Flavonoids and Catechins that are also powerful anti-oxidants. These bio-active compounds help reduce the formation of free radicals in the body and thus help you fight disease as well as counter ageing. This is because free radicals are the villains that come and destroy cells and push you towards age-related disorders. Green tea has a compound called EGCC or EpiGalloCatechiGallate which is that powerful warrior that we are talking about. This warrior gives green tea all its medicinal properties.
Specky, my wife, was reading this post and asked, ‘But you have stopped drinking tea for quite some time now.’ She probably meant it was time for me to start with green tea now and I told her that it would be a smart move as this beverage had all the means to make a person smarter.
‘Is it? Green tea makes you smarter? I don’t believe this.’
I told her that green tea had a rather smart amount of caffeine… which means it doesn’t load you with it to make you feel jittery, but gives you enough that blocks Adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. By blocking it, the caffeine in green tea actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. This is what leads to a good mood, positive vigilance, faster reaction time, and a memory that retains more and for longer.
‘That’s it?’ said Specky, ‘but then I can always titrate my coffee consumption and get the same benefits without having to shift to green tea.’ She was only partially correct and I told her that green tea also had an amino acid called L-Theanine, which is able to cross the BBB or the blood-brain-barrier. This amino acid pumps up the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. L-Theanine also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain. I added, ‘Well, it is the lower concentration of caffeine and its synergy with this amino acid that improves brain function and gives a person a milder buzz.’ Let’s say, drinking green tea rewards you with productive smartness… unlike the jerk and push that the caffeine in coffee is capable of. This also means that green tea reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
‘Now, if I say that green tea also improves the metabolic rate and burns more fat, what will you link it with?’ I directed this query towards Specky.
‘We’re then probably talking about physical performance here,’ she said.
Well, this can lead to a decrease in body fat. Now the important fact is that green tea targets certain areas of the body for this action… and abdominal fat is a prime target. Closely related to this are a number of studies that point out that green tea also helps prevent LDL or Low-density Lipoproteins from getting oxidised. These are good cholesterols and help a green drinker reduce the risk of cardio-vascular problems to some extent.
It is also well known that oxidative damage is responsible for the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect… and a corollary to this is that the high anti-oxidant presence in green tea will obviously help reduce the risk of breast, prostrate and colorectal cancer.
Specky was probably finding this information interesting and so I wasn’t surprised to find her looking at me questioningly. Interest leads to questions, you see. She asked, ‘So I can take green tea with sugar and milk. Right?’
‘Wrong,’ I replied, ‘milk can interfere and reduce the anti-oxidant effect, and sugar is best avoided.’ I added that green tea also improves insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels and has a positive role for diabetics as well.
We then began an earnest search for the green tea alternatives for us… and soon realised that it was difficult to choose from all the brands available. And then there was a meeting called by Typhoo where Dr Varun Katyal, a dermatologist, and Tracey Poole met a few bloggers and people from the press to talk about the benefits of green tea. This meet was held in Oxford Bookstore and when I tasted Typhoo green tea there, I knew this was a reasonably good brand where the natural bitterness was cleverly masked and so the medicinal effects came with a great flavour!
The Typhoo release also points out that “Typhoo’s Green Tea range is a refined experience of mellow flavours and ample wellbeing. A gentle touch of goodness, these antioxidant rich brews are free from sugar, caffeine, preservatives and artificial flavouring. Even as they serenade taste buds with their freshness, Typhoo’s Green Tea variants reflect the true spring of life. Typhoo Green Tea Moroccan Mint is doused in a kick of mint. Typhoo Pure Green is blended to perfection and known for its rich content of unique catechins. Typhoo Green Tea Lemongrass is infused with the intriguing herbal, lemony fragrance of lemongrass. Typhoo Green Tea Jasmine is mesmerizingly delicious and breezy with the floral taste of Jasmine.” Well, the text may seem like having a bit too many hyperboles in it, but then despite their presence, this green tea does impress… and it does give you a range of fragrant teas.
20 August 2014