We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, especially when it’s warm. But rather than reaching for the fizzy pop or cordial, reach for some refreshing green tea.
This soothing drink has been consumed for thousands of years by the Chinese and with good reason: it is abundant in powerful antioxidants thought to support the health of your cardiovascular system, cognitive function and waistline.
The science behind it
The antioxidants found in green tea -pholyphenols are officially known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) to be precise.
Some medical studies have found that people who drink green tea regularly are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. And if that wasn’t appealing enough, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrates that regularly drinking green tea may even help to burn off more abdominal fat when exercising.
Ways to enjoy green tea
If you are a regular drinker of tea and coffee, try substituting your daily cuppas with green tea. If you’re not mad on the taste, you could add a squeeze of honey or try a green tea that’s already been blended with other flavours like lemon or exotic acai berry.
Cooling ice tea preparation
For those really warm days ice tea is gloriously refreshing. Try this simple recipe for making your own:
500ml water 8 standard green tea bags
2 lemons, thinly sliced
A squeeze of honey to your taste
Handful of mint leaves - hand torn into smaller pieces
Instructions:1. Heat up the water in a kettle, and remove from the heat before it comes to the boil: Green tea is more delicate that other types and over-heating it can create a bitter taste. Pour the water into a heatproof container and add the teabags, leaving to brew for 1-2 minutes.
2. Strain the contents into a jug through a sieve to get rid of the tea bags, and leave to cool. Next add the lemon slices and mint and pour over ice for a refreshing, healthy drink.
Green tea ice cream makes a lovely accompaniment to exotic fruits and is relatively easy to make yourself. Simply buy an ice cream mix made up of green tea powder (also known as matcha) and follow the sachet instructions.
If you don’t feel like making your own you could try your nearest Chinese supermarket, which is likely to stock good quality green tea ice cream.
If you’ve tried it in drink form before and like the benefits but don’t like the taste, you could try green tea supplements instead. These contain extracts of the herb, with a guaranteed percentage of pholyphenols - those potent antioxidants.