“Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”
—Ancient Chinese Proverb
To simply state that green tea smoothies are one of the healthiest drinks on the planet is an understatement.
The health effects of tea have been examined ever since the first infusions of Camellia Sinensis was discovered about 4700 years ago in China, and modern science continues to test it to date. Let us guide you through the nutritional heaven of the green tea leaves and its health benefits towards the healthy and yummylicious green tea smoothies.
When the God of Burning Winds Swears by Leaves of Tea
Chinese history chronicles that the legendary Emperor Shennong, and later the deity of burning winds, swore by his might that Camellia Sinensis (infusions of green tea) were useful for treating conditions such as tumor, bladder ailments, abscesses, and lethargy. This dates back 5000 years from today, and even though the Emperor of Five Grains is claimed as the person who taught Chinese the art of agriculture and the ways of medical drugs, most people would still turn to modern science to make a few claims.
Composition of the Camellia Sinensis, or What Makes Green Tea so Special?
Studies by Harvard Medical School found that green tea’s health benefits were largely due to its high content of flavenoids. These are plant-derived compounds that act as antioxidants for the body. The studies also found that green tea is the best food source for catechins —compounds that were clinically proven to be more powerful than vitamins E and C in halting oxidative damage to cells. Catechins also ranked high when it came to their disease-fighting properties.
Here you may ask, “Aren’t all teas made using the same leaves of Camellia Sinensis?”, “Doesn’t all tea have the same EGCG content?” “Why can’t I just use normal tea for my smoothies?”
Though it is true that oolong, green, and black tea all come from the same leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, what sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Unlike other teas, green tea leaves are steamed. This preserves the EGCG compound by preventing it from being oxidized. On the other hand, black and oolong tea are made by fermenting the leaves before processing them. This causes the EGCG to oxidize, convert, and break into other compounds which though offer a variety of taste, are never nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases as the EGCG in green tea. As a result, even when the green tea leaves are processed, its catechins content can compose up to 30% of the dry weight, while retaining most of its anti-oxidation capacity.
As a result, using green tea as the base for your smoothies offers far more health benefits then using normal tea.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea offers consumers the following health benefits:
- Reduces Risk of Cancers — EGCG is an extremely powerful anti-oxidant and capable of inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. It is capable of inhibiting formation of blood clots and reduces build up of cholesterol. Studies have found a positive correlation between increased consumption of green tea and a reduced risk of multiple cancers such as the bladder, colon, esophageal, skin, breast, and lung.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease — green tea may lower blood low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels. Since the tea is rich in antioxidants it improves flow of blood through the arteries. The antioxidants improve artery function by blocking the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood.
- Increases Cardiovascular Activity — green tea has been shown to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol. Given that thrombosis (formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke, green tea reduces inflammation of blood vessels and hence chances of heart conditions. As a result, green tea helps prevent a range of heart-related issues — from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure.
- Keeps blood sugar stable in people with diabetes — green tea’s rich catechin content can lower cholesterol and keep blood pressure in check. As a result, using green tea in smoothies can help protect against the damage a high-fat and sugar rich diet may cause.
- Has a high ORAC — Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that green tea has high levels of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). This allows your body to ward off the development of free radicals.
- It’s good for healthy mental activity — people who drink green tea experience greater activity in their working-memory region of the brain. Studies have shown that green tea reduces build up of plaque that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.
If brewed properly, green tea brings out the EGCGs and catechins and all the healthy goodness that comes in their wake. Make every sip of the green tea you brew for your green tea smoothie rich in flavonois, EGCG, and catechins by mastering the proper method of making green tea. The method follows:
How Should You Prepare Green Tea for Your Green Tea Smoothie?
The steps are as follows:
- Place the tealeaves in the teapot — allow the tea to steep for at least five minutes. This brings out its catechins.
- Prepare the water — do not bring the water to a boil, only to an appropriate temperature.
- Wait — Let it cool. Let the tea’s components infuse.
- Separate —filter the tealeaves, and use the green tea for your smoothie.
Green Tea Smoothie Recipes
Whether you want green tea for dieting, needing energy for sports performance, to overcome your cravings for a healthy snack or simply meeting your daily intake of vitamins without a hassle much a green tea smoothie is the perfect option!
What’s even better is that you can create a green tea smoothie from whatever you have available, for example by adding:
- Cinnamon — for calcium, iron, fiber and vitamins
- Fruits — for vitamins and antioxidants
- Yogurt — for protein and calcium
- Honey or peanut butter — for protein
- Oatmeal — for fiber
- Orange juice — for vitamin C
Just put some ingredients in the blender and “blend until smoothie”.
Our Green Tea Smoothies Work…
Dating back 5000 years, green tea has been the sage of health drinks, and it has proven its worth time and again. Offering a complete health pack for your body, this sour and tangy drink is a must for all health conscious people out there. So prepare yourself some green tea and blend it with your favorite ingredients to make a refreshing green tea smoothie. All the best!