Oh, the comfort of a hot cup of tea…
I’ve always loved tea, either hot or iced. I remember coming in from the hayfield and quenching my thirst with a tall glass of iced tea. When we were sick, Mom made us a soothing cup of hot tea with real cream and sugar. But it wasn’t until recently, that I truly realized and started to appreciate the wide-spread health benefits of a cup of tea; especially green tea.
“If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; if you are depressed, it will cheer you; if you are excited, it will calm you.” ~William Gladstone, 1809-1898, British Prime Minister
The benefits of tea are mainly due to its high content of flavonoids. These plant-derived compounds are loaded with antioxidants. The antioxidants in green, black and oolong teas help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), increase good cholesterol (HDL) and improve artery function.
Green tea contains a unique group of antioxidants called catechins…
These amazing antioxidants are even more powerful than vitamins C and E in preventing damage to your body’s cells. Green tea is especially beneficial because it goes through a minimum amount of processing. Green tea is steamed; unlike black and oolong teas which are fermented; causing the catechins to be very potent and effective. Green tea also is know for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are some of the great health benefits of drinking green tea:
1) Lowers cancer risk
2) Controls cholesterol
3) Boosts the immune system
4) Protects again cavities and gum disease
5) Protects brain cells against Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s
6) Prevents infections
7) Slows the aging process
8) Reduces the pain of rheumatoid arthritis
9) Prevents cardiovascular disease and strokes
10) Helps with weight loss (especially caffeinated green tea)
11) Aids in the treatment of multiple sclerosis
12) Prevents the symptoms of allergies
13) Kills acne bacteria
Many studies have been done on the benefits of all types of tea. A Dutch study of 3,000 men and women found that the more green tea they had consumed, the greater the reduction in the clogging of the heart’s blood vessels. Another interesting point was that the women in this study benefited more than the men.
In an age when everyone is constantly busy and short of time, what could be more enjoyable than taking time to indulge in what was once part of everyday life, but has now become a luxury -- afternoon tea. ~ Lesley Mackley, The Book of Afternoon Tea
I find it simply amazing that indulging in something so delicious and relaxing as a hot cup of tea, is at the same time benefiting my health in such a multitude of ways. And what a great stress-reducer, too!
I have many fond memories of enjoying interesting conversations with family and friends over a steaming cup of tea. When I was growing up, tea parties were a way of life and the best part of all was getting to use Mom’s beautiful china tea cups. Of course, we little girls sipped our tea in a sophisticated manner, with our little pinkies extended just so J.
Could there be anything more delectable than complimenting your cup of tea with your favorite cookies? Here’s some of my favorite tea and cookie combinations: butter cookies, sugar cookies, oatmeal and raisin cookies, ginger creams and spicy cinnamon-laced snicker doodles. Cake also is equally blessed by a pleasant cup of tea; especially spice cake. I think we'd best move on, as this cookie and cake conversation may be hazardous to our health and thus eliminate the aforementioned benefits of the green tea…
So how much green tea should you drink? In countries that consume a large quantity of green tea, like China and Japan, three cups a day is the average. Be sure to allow your pot of tea to steep for three to five minutes to enhance the catechins. Also, be sure to drink it freshly brewed for the maximum benefit of this powerful antioxidant.
Drinking tea ... punctuates our day with precious and refreshing pauses, whether it is after a satisfying meal or when taking a much-needed break in our busy schedule.~Mutsuko Tokunaga, New Tastes in Green Tea
I don’t know about you, but after all this conversation about tea, I’m considering having, as they'd say in England, “a nice spot of tea”... pinkies up ladies…
May God bless your journey,