The Antioxidant Power of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis): The wonderful thing about Green Tea is how the leaves retain their biologically active nutrients from the time of harvesting to the moment you brew and then sip this liquid elixir.
Green Tea contains plant nutrients (polyphenols), such as catechins and flavonoids, which function as antioxidants, helping the body to clear out free radicals, molecules that cause oxidative damage to cells. This damage creates inflammation and can lead to disease.
One of the potent compounds in Green Tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Studies conducted on the health-protective benefits of EGCG show that people who frequently drink Green Tea have lower rates of illness, including many types of cancer.
While additional research is needed to understand the mechanisms that contribute to the medicinal properties of Green Tea, EGCG supplements have been used in clinical trials to help treat certain cancers, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes.
There are many ways to enjoy Green Tea. The best varieties of tea will be loose leaf, organically harvested from GMO-free crops. To maintain the potency of the antioxidants in your tea, do not add milk, which alters the tea’s health-boosting properties.
Be sure to follow the steeping directions. Steeping longer than directed can make the tea bitter. As a general rule, if you prefer a stronger tea, add more tea for the same steeping time. To sweeten, add locally sourced honey or a splash of fresh squeezed lemon, orange, or even watermelon juice.
Green Tea, Lime & Avocado Smoothie
This is a refreshing and creamy twist on the green tea smoothie, which is often prepared with fruit. Lime juice and freshly squeezed lemon add tangy pizzaz to this beautiful and nutrient-rich smoothie. Green tea and kale provide antioxidants, while avocado contributes healthy fats, making this a satisfying afternoon treat or an excellent complement to breakfast. It’s also an ideal addition to a healthy detox routine.
Flesh from 1 avocado
2 sweet apples, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 small zucchini, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1 small knob peeled ginger
Roughly 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley
1/2 juiced lime
2 leaves kale
1 cup brewed and cooled green tea
2/3 cup almond milk (or water)
2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
*You might like to stop and taste after blending in the lime and lemon, to see if the flavor suits your taste.
Add all ingredients to a high-powered food processor and blend until smooth and combined.
Pour into two jars and stir a teaspoon of chia seeds through each. Allow to sit at least half an hour (though overnight is best) before consuming. This will allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid.