Green tea contains hundreds of chemical compounds that all contribute to its health-filled characteristics. Out of all these epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is responsible for its anticancer activity. Studies show that the development of many tumors is inhibited by EGCG because it has the ability to shut off growth-promoting genes. Inhibition of blood vessel growth to the tumor is one of the key reasons why green tea is a great anticancer agent. EGCG may also act as an antioxidant, seeking and destroying free radicals.
The content of EGCG varies between brands; Japanese green teas generally contain higher amounts of EGCG.
My favorites are Sencha green tea and Matcha green tea.
Matcha (“powdered tea”) is a jewel-green powder made from hand-picked, high-grade Japanese green tea leaves. Whisk it with hot water in a bowl or cup to make this frothy, healthful beverage. Try it in warm Rice or Almond milk for a treat. Matcha works well added to desserts too.
Sencha is the most popular of Japan’s green teas. It has a lightly astringent taste along with a slight sweetness. Lesser quality sencha tea is called bancha.
Dragonwell (from China’s Lung Ching region) is the ultimate green tea. It is distinguished by its bright emerald green color, brisk full-bodied flavor. Dragonwell tea from Numi seems to have high anti-oxidant value. This sells for around $30 a pound on Amazon. There are a lot of fake Dragonwell teas on the market, so it's good to shop carefully. Many reviewers agree that Numi’s tea is superior as it is made from the tiny tea leaves of Longjing, without the powder that characterizes inferior brands.
How Much is Needed for Health Benefit?
Drink 4 - 5 cups daily to ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of the anticancer boost that green tea provides. Be sure not to green drink tea after 5pm as it may affect your sleep (unless it's decaffeinated).
If that seems too much, you can purchase green tea extract. Choose a brand that has no alcohol, and other ingredients. My favorite is Tegreen 97®, a high quality decaf green tea leaf extract in capsule form... each capsule equals 7 cups of green tea and contains >95 mg ECGg per capsule!
How to Brew
It is recommended that the tea brew for 8-10 minutes. Let boiled water sit for 5 minutes before brewing so as not to ‘burn’ the tea leaves.
For Dragonwell, use about one-eighth of a cup of dry leaves to the pot. Brew exactly as much tea as you intend to consume at one sitting.
Pour in the water and let it brew for three to four minutes until the dry leaves expand and the tea turns green. It will have a nutty flavor. You can then use those same leaves to brew another cup or two or add them to soups or salads!
~ Cheers! ♥