Food of the Week : Green tea

Perhaps this should really be entitled “drink” of the week, but the humble leaves of green tea can be found in several forms and used to create amazing foods (adding to cake mix, stir into latte’s, ice cream) that the title actually still seems fitting.

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With more than 10 x the antioxidant strength of standard tea, green tea packs a powerful punch. Scientifically proven to increase metabolism, reduce cholesterol, boost immunity and cut stress.

Grind the leaves, and you get Matcha. This powder dissolves in water so we ingest all the goodness, not just what is steeped from the leaves.

The flavonoids and catechins in green tea are powerful antioxidants, the king of which is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). These bad boys hunt out the free radicals, and devour carcinogenic ones.

The magic lies in the antioxidants ability to fight the effects of inflammation and oxidative reactions in the body. These processes cause ageing, making green tea a wicked weapon against wrinkles.

The catechins even have anti-bacterial properties, helping stave off viruses like the flu.

As well as providing a little caffeine kick, green tea is uuber rich in the amino acid L-theanine. This fella has awesome anti-anxiety properties. The combination of the two of these things has a great effect on the brain acting as an awesome stimulant without the jittery side effects which can come with coffee 🙂 .

Regularly consuming decent quantities of green tea also lowers the levels of Low Density Lipoproteins in the blood, which we know are the bad boys (in a truly evil way) of cholesterol.

The catechins also have a fat burning effect in the human body. Yes you heard right… green tea increases thermogenesis in the body by up to 10% (meaning our daily energy expenditure increases by that amount). The beverage also increases fat oxidation. BOOM!

Just choose organic… especially if you opt for the more potent Matcha variety. There is no point hoping to take on a plethora of vitamins and minerals if the leaves have been sprayed in dozens of chemicals. Yuck!

Don’t use fresh boiled water (or face the taste of burnt grass!). Allow water to cool for 5 mins before steeping a t-bag, or string in matcha powder.

Still too strong? Squeeze in a lemon slice, or mix with peppermint tea to dilute the taste.

Leave to chill, then blend with ice for a cool option.

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