Boost New Year health by adding green tea to your diet
SOME people tend to cock their nose up at the thought of green tea, but the emerald-coloured liquid is like gold when it comes to beneficial health properties.
Green teas are teas that are unfermented and have not had much time to oxidise.
Most of the research into the delicate-flavoured drink shows it contains rich antioxidants and anti-cancer properties, with the potential to fight cancer and heart disease.
The Health Nut naturopath and nutritionist Michael Smith said one of the particular benefits in green tea was the epigallocatechin-3-gallate component.
"In supplements, that's the component they put in from green tea," he said.
"I often tell people to drink green tea for anti-ageing."
Mr Smith said green tea also helped in keeping blood pressure low, stopping blood clotting and preventing heart attacks in older people.
The 'green' in green tea is fixed into the leaf through heat, either by pan-frying or steaming the leaves.
Depending on how it was processed, green tea can have a strong or delicate flavour.
Mr Smith said green tea could help with weight loss, digestion and macular degeneration.
Drinking about six to seven cups a week himself, Mr Smith said it was better to drink green tea in the morning or throughout the day, due to the small amount of caffeine it contained.
He encouraged people drink about two to three cups a day.
"It is better to brew up your own," Mr Smith said.
"You can get some better quality tea bags but you are better off buying the tea leaves and brewing it yourself.
"If someone is doing a detox, then having green tea instead of coffee is a great thing to do."
Mr Smith recommended Planet Organic, Formosan or any teas with Chinese origins, but said any green tea was better than none at all.
Green tea part of staying healthy and active
Kerry Perrie is a firm believer in the importance of keeping healthy and active.
At 56, Mrs Perrie is semi-retired and has two grandchildren in Bowen and two in Holland.
It is mainly due to these factors that she first started drinking green tea.
The rejuvenating drink has now become a common ritual in Mrs Perrie's household, and she and her husband drink it every day.
Mrs Perrie said she usually mixed it in a pot with one packet of normal tea and two packets of green tea.
"The actual tea overwhelms the green tea," she said. "It's a nice tasting tea."
Drinking it over the past year, Mrs Perrie has sworn by the healthy blend.
"I probably have four cups a day and if we go visiting, probably more," she said. "We just keep refilling it."
Volunteering in the office centre at Tondoon Botanic Gardens, Mrs Perrie is adamant about the importance of living an active lifestyle, and believes green tea helps accomplish that.
"I think we're drinking it for a purpose," she said. "It has good antioxidants and cleans you out.
"I started drinking it because of the health reasons.
"So it's more or less keeping yourself fit and being there for the grandchildren."
Mrs Perrie's mother died of breast cancer 34 years ago.
"There's a lot of cancer in this town so I choose the health benefits of things," Mrs Perrie said.
She is certain her family has felt the health benefits of green tea.
"We hardly ever get colds," she said. "And I think it has helped with my asthma."