Green tea when it is of the highest quality is one of the most nutritionally-rich beverages you can drink. If you only drank pure, filtered water and good green tea, you would derive a host of healthy benefits.
What to look for in green tea
When choosing your green tea brand, look for an organic certified, bright green tea with no bitter taste. Such a brand should be made using the entire tea leaf, complete with all its nutrients. One cup of such bright green tea will give you many more antioxidants than dark chocolate or a cup of broccoli, spinach, carrots, blueberries or strawberries, significantly protecting you from any health concerns posed by those dreaded free radicals by providing support for both your immune system and your cardiovascular system. Additional benefits include supporting a healthy digestion and gums; promoting good brain and liver health; and most important of all to many - fighting the onset of age. Historically, tea consumption had its origins in China some 4 000 years ago or more, while green tea has been used as both a beverage and a method of traditional medicine in most of Asia, including China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand covering a wide range of ailments from controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.
According to Wikipedia
"Green tea is processed and grown in a variety of ways, depending on the type of green tea desired. As a result of these methods, maximum amounts of polyphenols and antioxidants are retained, giving maximum green tea benefits. The growing conditions can be broken down into two basic types - those grown in the sun and those grown under the shade. The green tea plants are grown in rows that are pruned to produce shoots in a regular manner, and are generally harvested three times per year. It is the first flush in the spring which brings the best quality leaves, with higher prices to match. Processed green teas, known as "aracha" are stored under low humidity refrigeration in 30 or 60 kg paper bags at 0-5°C (32-41°F). This aracha has yet to be refined at this stage, with a final firing taking place before blending, selection, and packaging takes place. The leaves in this state will be re-fired throughout the year as they are needed, giving the green teas a longer shelf life and better flavor. The first flush tea of May will readily store in this fashion until the next year's harvest. After this re-drying process, each crude tea will be sifted and graded according to size. Finally, each lot will be blended according to the blend order by the tasters and packed for sale.
How to make your green tea
When making your cup of green tea, remember that the teapot should also be warmed beforehand so that the tea does not immediately cool down. It is common practice for tea leaves to be left in the cup or pot and for hot water to be added as the tea is drunk until the flavor degrades. Not everyone loves or even likes the taste of green tea – it has a taste that often has to be acquired. But as an alternative, you can always use green tea extract. While green tea has long been renowned for its health benefits, including its potential to decrease the risk of certain cancers, its antioxidant properties and its blood-pressure lowering effects, the emphasis is now on halting the ageing process. Researchers from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
looked at the green tea drinking habits of some 14 thousand older adults aged 65 and above for a 3 year period. They found that the ones who drank the most green tea over these period were also the ones who functioned best in old age. Only 7% of people who drank at least 5 cups of green tea a day had basic functioning problems, compared with 13% of people who drank a cup or less of green tea a day- concluding that adults who regularly drink green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers over time. This was attributed to the fact that green tea contains those antioxidant chemicals that can help ward off the cell damage that can lead to disease. In the same research, it was found that green-tea lovers generally have healthier diets with more fish, vegetables and fruit, as well as more education, lower smoking rates, fewer heart attacks and strokes, and greater mental sharpness. They also tend to be more socially active and have more friends and family to rely on. Drinking plenty of green tea could be a helpful way to try and avoid the looming epidemic of Alzheimer's as well as other dementia in the elderly members of the population.