All you need to know about green tea

Suddenly everyone and their mother are talking about green tea and how it helps you lose weight. Most of my patients are proud to say that they have started a green tea regimen and tell me that in a few weeks, they expect their weight to melt. And an almost equal number of them come back in a few weeks and tell me that it has not worked forthem and that they have stopped green tea. Worse, some of them even tell their friends that green tea is a bitter not so great tasting tea which is of no use.

So what exactly is green tea? With out going into technical details, green tea is a less processed tea, thereby retaining a lot of the nutrients. There is a further type of tea part from black and green called white tea, which has its own benefits, but we will discuss that another day. The nutrients in the green tea are the poly phenols and the catechins.

The nutrients in green tea are very good anti oxidants. Therefore, they help in eradicating the free radicals which are formed by various reactions in the body and are thus a very good detoxifier for the body and thus also aids in weight loss. But since the weight loss is more due to detoxification, it is more of a surplus rather than being the primary effect of green tea.

Studies have shown that green tea helps to prevent and fight cancer among other things, but that does not mean you should buy out the nearby Green tea factory and start having it for breakfast lunch and dinner, but these studies are meant to encourage tea drinking and not as a cure for cancer. Similarly, green tea helps reduce the bad cholesterol in the body and helps increase the good cholesterol, as a result of which it indirectly helps reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Green tea nutrients have also shown to help in arthritis and other joint related problems.

Green tea has to be brewed right to get both the benefits and the taste. As a first step, do not add sugar to green tea, believe me once you acquire the taste of tea, you will never be able to add sugar to it, it is that tasty. Most of the green tea bags available in India only require a brewing of 90 seconds in hot water that is just beginning to steam, any hotter and the brew is not the best. Takeout the bag before you pour water of your required temperature. Add a slice of lime or mint leaves if you want added taste or you can have it is. If yours is a special green tea, refer to the package to get the best brew as each tea has a specific brewing method to get the best out of it. Green tea is also best had about two to three hours before or after food.

Green tea fortified with other nutrients is the best way to take green tea. However there are not too many available here right now, but it should be available soon. The gojiberry fortified green tea is among the best green teas available, while chamomile, blueberry, lime etc are not too far behind. Remember, green tea like other healthy stuff are one piece of the health jigsaw puzzle and have to be had with regular food and exercise to get the best out of it.

Dr.Wasim Mohideen
Wellness expert

After 8 years in allopathy, which included MBBS, DNB and a Diploma from the Royal College of General Practitioners, UK, Dr Wasim went on to get a doctorate in Acupuncture and a diploma in Ayurveda. He now combines the best of modern and alternative medicines to help people stay healthy.