green tea

Are you aware of the many different ways green tea benefits your health?

Well, if you’re not, you’re in for a treat.

If you read my post on Losing Weight with EGCG in Green Tea then you know that I said you can rely on green tea for many different things – and not just insignificant weight loss.

You can drink green tea for a wide assortment of health benefits as well as its high antioxidant content.

For most foods or beverages, I usually say:  “Have it for your health, not for the number of the scale”.

There really is no true diet or weight loss food. The same thing applies to green tea.

5 Tips to Get the Most Nutritional Green Tea Benefits

  1. Drink it More Often

If you are only drinking green tea on occasion, you could be missing out on the daily antioxidant boost that you would get if you were drinking 1-2 cups of green tea a day.

  1. Choose a Quality Tea

Tea bags are fine, but you know what’s better?

Loose leaf teas.

Loose leaf teas tend to be better quality (though I can’t say this across the board). Either way, stick with the real deal as opposed to processed powders or even pre-prepared bottle versions. The exception to powders is matcha powder, more on that in another blog.

  1. Brew it At the Right Temperature
  • Heat your water until it boils
  • Remove from heat
  • Wait a few seconds to a minute for the water to cool
  • Add your tea bags or loose leaf tea
  • To be more specific, steep your green tea at about 175 degrees Fahrenheit
  1. Brew it For the Right Time

You should brew your tea for 3-4 minutes to get the most out of the tea bag. You can brew less if you want a lighter flavor. Be sure not to over-brew, or you will end up with a bitter tea.

  1. Avoid Adding Milk

The protein casein in milk may bind with the catechins in green tea, making them harder for your body to absorb.

I should mention that I am a huge fan of enjoying food and minimizing food rules. If you really enjoy milk in your tea, then go for it. Especially if it will make you more likely to drink it!

There are so many different ways green tea benefits your health, and so many ways to drink it that can make it enjoyable for you. I happen to enjoy the taste of it just as it is, but many people don’t drink it simply because they just don’t like it.

That, or they doctor it up with too much sugar or additives to make it taste better – and these additives usually aren’t benefiting them at all.

I’m not saying to eliminate sugar from your diet altogether. Everything in moderation is the key approach here. In fact, when I speak at my Nutrition Talks, I like to remind people that you don’t have to give up everything you love to live a healthy life. A healthy life is all about mental health, balance and mindful eating.

Unless there is a significant medical reason, I personally don’t think that it is necessary force ourselves to regularly consume anything that we don’t really like. That’s why I’ve developed some delicious ideas to help you enjoy your green tea more.

I’ve included a recipe, too!

How to Make Green Tea Taste Better

  • Be sure not to over-steep your tea. This will result in a bitter tea.
  • Suggested brew time: 3-4 minutes (less if the flavor is too strong for you).
  • If you need to sweeten your tea, use less sweetener or sugar (in other words, don’t go cold turkey and just cut out sugar completely, just try to use less!
  • Add a splash of juice to your brewing water to give it a little sweetness.
  • Try a flavored green tea.
  • Add fresh mint. This is one of my favorites! Especially when I am going to turn it into iced green tea. It takes the bitter edge off of the tea and gives it a slightly sweet and very refreshing flavor. My kids beg me for it!

 

Spiced Apple Green Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, cored and cut into thin wedges. (Sour varieties work best such as granny smith)
  • 3 lemon slices
  • 2 orange slices
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 8 cups water
  • 2-4 green tea bags

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients, except tea bags, into a crock-pot.
  • Cook on high for a few hours (this will also make your house smell warm and inviting!).
  • Turn the heat to low.
  • Add tea bags and allow to steep for 3-4 minutes.
  • Strain (carefully!) into a pitcher or tea pot and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips: Mix things up and use this combination with original tea, black tea, white tea, or even herbal teas. I even like to swap the spices for some fresh mint. And if you like this green tea recipe, here’s another recipe you might like!

I use a diet-free approach to healthy living, and work with clients to help them take back control and feel empowered to both live and eat healthy. If you are looking for a non-diet approach to living in a body you love without constantly worrying about what you eat, then reach out to me today, or schedule a Free Empowered Eating Session Today. You can also join my free, private, Online Wellness Support Community for daily motivation, support, and more!

 

This article was originally published on March 3, 2015 and has been updated.

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Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Dina Garcia, RD, LDN

Dina is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and mindful eating coach based out of Miami, FL or anywhere online.After reversing her own pre-diabetes through healthier lifestyle choices she has a real passion for helping others live a happy, healthier life.
Dina Garcia, RD, LDN
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