With January comes the inevitable talk of the ‘D’ words: diet, detox and don’t-eat-any-more-of-that! And really, it makes sense. After the weeks (or months, maybe) of indulgence that always surround Christmas and New Year, our bodies do cry out for more of the good stuff. I know I turn to carbs and chocolate when the weather is rubbish, and I could do with eating more fruit and veg by the time January rolls round.
But rather than January being about eating more fresh, healthy ingredients, it often becomes more intense, with people turning to juice cleanses and the like. Which drags other foods and ingredients into the fray to be dubbed ‘superfoods’. One of them is Green Tea, which got us wondering, just how magical is it?
“Morning cup of green tea” by Kanko from Nagasaki, Japan.
Green Tea has been used for medicinal purposes in Chinese culture for centuries, and recently tales of its wonder have started to migrate to the West. Claims abound that Green Tea can speed up your metabolism, improve your cholesterol and even prevent Alzheimer’s or cancer. But is it true?
Well, in amongst the crazy claims online, the NHS teamed up with the British Dietetic Association to check it out. It turns out there hasn’t been much research, really, and what has been undertaken is inconclusive. It’s believed that the treatment process (steaming, rather than fermenting) of the leaves means that Green Tea has more antioxidants, alongside the naturally occurring B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium and caffeine. But what that means in practise is…not much. Some people might experience health benefits if they drink more Green Tea, some people might not.
What we’ve discovered that is unequivocally true, is that Green Tea does you no harm. Let’s face it: anything has to be better than the wine, port and other festive tipples we’ve been imbibing of late. So you can guzzle Green Teas by the bucket load guilt-free – whether you opt for our Jasmine or Lemon versions!
For more details and links to studies, visit http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/superfoods/pages/is-green-tea-a-superfood.aspx