benefits of green tea, nutrition, caffeine, health

Benefits of green tea: Is it Healthier than Coffee?

Are there benefits of green tea drinking? I used to be a devout coffee drinker until I got tired of having daily frequent heart palpitations, anxiety attacks and sleep deprived nights. Drinking coffee also gave me hunger cravings and an acid stomach.

One cup led to another cup in mornings, afternoons and evenings. I liked it strong and put sugar and cream in it. I drank at least five cups a day.

I had been contemplating stopping drinking it for years. It seemed to be a habit that fed on itself. The more you drank the more you wanted. But, it didn’t fulfill.

But, how do you cease doing something so addictive and habit-forming when it elevates your mood and tastes so good?

I stopped drinking coffee cold turkey and had three straight weeks of withdrawal symptoms and headaches! This is the hard way to quit! But, I tried green tea and it helped me through all the misery...

I took a lot of afternoon naps and felt tired all the time during the withdrawal phase. What helped remind me it was a ‘good thing’ I was doing (quitting drinking it) was to think to myself how could something be so ‘good’ when it caused me so much distress not using the substance?

It is claimed green tea may be helpful for…

  • atherosclerosis (disease of the arteries)
  • Preventing cancer
  • Assisting in weight loss
  • Increased metabolic rate (caffeine)
  • Boosts mental alertness (caffeine)
  • Helps immune system
  • Green tea is supposed to counteract how caffeine affects you
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • Acts as an anti-depressant
  • May help fight dementia
  • Has vitamins and antioxidants
  • Is said to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol

I really loved drinking coffee. I liked only Japanese Sencha Green Tea, but not nearly as much as coffee. There was just that certain something about ‘coffee’ that for me, was better. Yet, I know drinking it black would never be an option. I had to have a tablespoon of sugar and a dash or two of half and half.

I looked forward to it each morning. It was my reason to get up. I love hot food and hot drink. Yet, it was ‘green tea’ as the hero which helped me through the withdrawals and headaches caused by quitting coffee.

In the end, I had no problem stopping drinking green tea. But, I have chosen to drink it regularly because I feel it has benefits. Yet, Caffeine is a very powerful stimulant and totally underrated. Personally, I don’t think children should have access to drinks with caffeine.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything tasting good was also good for our health? I noticed when I began eating plant-based whole food, I soon looked forward to my steamed broccoli and baked potato at night.

Your taste buds change their preferences with patience. We can beat the much higher caffeinated coffee using green tea as an alternative. And, just like coffee is an acquired taste, so is tea drinking.

Although, some of us experience well-being drinking coffee and tea, it’s hard to put a finger on and prove what the health benefits actually are. Some studies suggest there are health benefits of coffee and green tea drinking, while other sources have found no beneficial effects.

Therefore, do use your own judgement and listen to how your body feels after you drink coffee and tea. In the long term, the best stimulant is a healthy body that has abundant natural energy.

But, if you do need the ‘high’ caffeine brings, green tea has much less. Drinking it did affect me differently than coffee. Tea was more soothing, yet brought that special energy boost.

I suffer from inflammation of the joints when I eat the wrong food. I also suffer from it when I drink coffee. It triggers inflammation of my joints and general body aches and pains. Coffee has lectin which can cause problems in some of us, like myself. But! Japanese green tea doesn’t seem bother me at all…

Although, ‘organic’ green tea has beneficial antioxidants, (and, much less pesticide contamination) for peace of mind, be sure to choose Japanese, as many Chinese brands and varieties tend to have larger amounts of heavy metals like Lead, especially if the plantation happens to be closer to highways.

Fortunately for ‘die-hard’ green tea drinkers, the good news is most of the lead is said to remain or stay in the leaves of ‘green tea’ when you brew or steep it.

So, by that, although I certainly can’t guarantee it, it does appear drinking a cup of green tea should be relatively safe to drink in recommended amounts no matter what country the tea’s origin. Furthermore, lead content tends to be lower in younger rather than the older mature leaves.

Additionally, lead is usually lower in green tea as compared to ‘Oolong or black’. But, I would use caution drinking ground tea like Matcha or eating tea leaves, (unless you are confident of their origin and satisfied with the lead content thereof) or putting a few leaves in your smoothie as they can be highly contaminated with lead. Lastly, above all, use your own judgement and consider doing your own further research on the health benefits of tea drinking.

Note- before you change your diet contact your doctor.

 

 

 

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