By Constance DeGroat
The best things in life are unexpected. One of them is green tea. A few loose Camellia Sinensis leaves fell into a cup of water and the rest is history. Green tea has been a part of Chinese culture for over 3,000 years. China, Japan and India have relied on green tea as medicine to control bleeding, heal wounds, as a drink of choice during ceremonies and meditation, to aid digestion, improve heart and mental health and regulate body temperature.
Green tea helps your body detox with polyphenols (antioxidants) like flavonoid, EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) and catechins. Add these antioxidants to your diet to help protect cells and molecules from damage. “EGCG is found to increase fat burning in the body up to 33%. “ Catechins increase the amount of energy your body uses to burn fat rather than save it (Wade).
Keep in mind, extra weight can create issues in your intestines, stomach, liver, gall bladder, etc. leading to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, cholesterol, dental issues and depression.
One of the main reasons you should drink green tea is it helps aid the liver in detoxing
the body. Detoxing is important to your weight loss plan. We really shouldn’t need to detox. Our bodies do it for us already, but when you eat unhealthy food and use unnatural substances on your body, you create more maintenance work. Your body becomes backed up. This maintenance work is naturally done by the liver, but our unhealthy choices can make the liver’s job difficult.
Before your doctor tells you it’s too late to save your liver and it’s got to go, let’s help it detox. There’s a lot of benefits to detoxing and you don’t have to starve to do it (Fiske).
Why Is Detoxing Important to Weight Loss?
Detox Health Benefits:
- Eliminate toxins your body takes in from food, beverages, and hygiene products. Your body has a limit of how many toxins it can take in and when it is beyond its threshold we start to see symptoms leading up to a disease.
- Increase your energy throughout the day. When our bodies don’t function correctly they work overtime. Working overtime eventually causes us to breakdown. A lot of the foods we eat today are made of ingredients not found in nature. We are altering how food is grown and our bodies are not able to break them down. Anything your body cannot breakdown is stored away. This includes medications.
- Fix hormonal imbalances responsible for cravings. The healthy habits you create during detoxing can create a lifestyle change. When I gave up sugar it was not easy. The first time I had it in months I discovered my taste buds had changed. The same amount of sugar I used to add was too sweet for me.
- Increase your micronutrient intake. There’s a reason superfoods like green tea are popular. Green tea is a multivitamin drink with antioxidants all-in-one
- Handle stress better physically. There’s two ways to manage stress. It’s not just learning how to handle what stresses you out. It’s important to learn to handle stress on a chemical level. When your body is unhealthy it will choose an unhealthy way to deal with stress like food cravings and binge eating (Fiske).
The simplest detox you can do is cutting out processed and inflammatory foods, refined sugar, alcohol, and certain other foods and beverages that are on the Standard American Diet. United States Naturopathic Doctors use food-based cleanses and detox diets to treat and support a variety of medical conditions.
It’s easy to tell you to just add green tea to your diet because of all the mentioned health benefits. As anyone knows, who has ever altered their diet, you leave the door open to cheating when you are not prepared with enough product or recipes. We have all had leftovers before and they are boring to eat over a sequence of days. It’s important to spice up your diet with fresh ideas. Here are some creative recipes to help you keep the green tea health benefits going.
- Matcha green tea. Green tea matcha is green tea leaves left out to shade and produce more chlorophyll. The leaves are powdered down and made into a tea or cooked/baked with.
- Instead of using water, use green tea to make oatmeal.
- Green tea extract. If you are not crazy about the taste of green tea here is another way to get all the antioxidants. You can add green tea extract to anything.
- Here’s a delicious recipe for Chocolate Matcha Shake from “The Matcha Miracle, Boost Energy, Focus, and Health with Green Tea Powder” book. (page 34)
|Chocoloate Matcha Shake|
|Makes 2 (10-ounce) Servings|
|16 ounces canned coconut milk|
|1-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder|
|1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder|
|2 tablespoons raw honey|
|1-1/2 cups ice|
|2 teaspoons cocoa nibs, for garnish|
|Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into 2 large glasses and top each with 1 teaspoon of cocoa nibs, if using. Enjoy immediately.|
|TIP: Cocoa nibs not only provide a beautiful garnish, but a satisfying crunch and antioxidant boost.|
- Steam your food in green tea. Switch out water for green tea.
- Coat your protein. Here’s an amazing recipe from the matcha book I mentioned.
|Honey, Sriracha, and Matcha-Glazed Salmon|
|Makes 2 (3- Ounce) Servings|
|2(3 ounce) salmon filets|
|2 tablespoons raw honey|
|1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce|
|1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder|
|½ teaspoon sea salt|
|Preheat the oven to 4000F. Remove filets from the fridge and let them reach room temperature.|
|Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the honey, Sriracha, matcha powder, and salt and whisk well until there are no lumps. Spread the mixture over the salmon filets and rub the mixture into both sides of each filet. Place the filets onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at least 3 inches apart from each other, then place in the middle rack of your preheated oven. Roast for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are flaky and the center is still slightly underdone. Remove from the baking sheet and let them rest about 2 minutes to allow them to continue to cook through. Enjoy hot or cool and shred to add to your favorite salad or sandwich (Snyder).|
- Add to Yogurt.
- Ochazuke– A traditional green tea dish with tea poured over rice. You can add vegetables and protein.
- Drink Green Tea– Hot, or iced.
Green Tea Mindfulness
- The recommended time to keep a green tea teabag in water is 2-3 minutes
- Fluoride and pesticides have been found in teabags.
- Some teabags are treated with Epicholorohydrin. If Epicholohydrin breaks down in your tea it can cause stomach issues and cancer.
- Some teabags are chlorine bleached(42tea).
- Not all teas are washed before being bagged (Clean Plates).
- Watch out for artificial flavoring (42tea).
- If you are gluten-free be mindful that some teabags use flour to seal them.
If you want to drink tea from a teabag here’s some recommended brands.
|The safest bagged teas to drink are:
1. Red Rose
2. Numi Tea
3. Rishi Tea
4. EDEN Organic
5. Organic Stash
6. Choice Organic Teas
7. Two Leave
8. Organic Tazo
9. Organic Traditional Medicinal.
From Clean Plates website.
Tips: Buy loose leaf tea over teabags. You can brew tea multiple times when it is loose. Look for gluten-free labels on tea boxes.
Tips to gain the most benefits from green tea:
- Most beneficial on an empty stomach.
- Let the water sit for 5 minutes before adding matcha. Or it will become ruined and taste like bitter grass (Breakaway Matcha).
- Dairy in any tea blocks your body from absorbing nutrients (Breakaway Matcha).
- Cooking matcha at certain temperatures can take away from its benefits. A great book on cooking with Matcha is The Matcha Miracle, Boost Energy, Focus and Health with Green Tea Powder (Snyder).
- Bottled iced green teas like Lipton lie about the percentage of health benefits. FDA only requires the label to be (Clean Plates).
Admin. “8 Key Reasons to Drink Matcha for Optimal Health.” Breakaway Matcha, Breakaway
Alban, Deane. “Powerful Brain and Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea.” Be Brain Fit, Be
Brain Fit and Blue Sage, LLC, 4 Aug. 2017, bebrainfit.com/matcha-green-tea-benefits/
Fiske, Rachel, et al. “RECIPES.” Detox DIY, Detox DIY, 24 Feb. 2016,
Snyder, Mariza, et al. The Matcha Miracle: Boost Energy, Focus and Health with Green Tea
Powder. Ulysses Press, 2015.
“These Teas Are Toxin-Free” Clean Plates, Clean Plates Omnimedia, Inc, 29 June 2017,
Wade, Brendan. “12 Green Tea Extract Benefits You’ll Want to Leverage.” Diamond Herbs,
Diamond Herbs, 31 July 2017, www.diamondherbs.co/12-green-tea-extract-benefits-
“What’s in Your Teabags? Some reasons to Avoid Tea Bags.” 42tea. 42tea,