I return from my well-earned break feeling refreshed and ever so slightly addicted to the unusual ‘super drink’ that is green tea…
And why not! It is after all the preferred drink of celebrities, athletes and supermodels alike; owing to its bountiful, rumoured health benefits. But is it really any better for you than a good old-fashioned cuppa? The super sleuth in me decided to investigate….
Clinical evidence suggests that green tea is packed with health and beauty benefits that you can enjoy whether drinking it or applying directly to your skin. Even the leaves can be used as a gentle exfoliant, guaranteed to give your skin a healthy glow.
Recent research shows that green tea extract is naturally rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from free radicals – naturally occurring particles in the body associated with accelerated ageing and an increased risk of major diseases. Exposure to pollution, smoking and excess sunlight increases the number of free radicals in the blood, but the potent antioxidants found in green tea add strong weight to the belief that green tea not only promotes good health but also makes you look younger.
Green tea, I have discovered, is also known for its ability to prevent bad breath – and it has the added advantage of tasting good if it’s inadvertently swallowed. Try making your own toothpaste to test it out:
Pour one cup of boiling water over 100g of Himalayan Green Tea and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Make a paste using this liquid and one teaspoon of baking soda, and use this to brush your teeth as usual. The natural properties in the tea will curb mouth odour and help prevent plaque-forming microbes from attaching to the teeth.
I’ve also been told that this gentle facemask will remove toxins from your skin, as well as leaving it silky smooth:
Mix three tablespoons of mayonnaise with one heaped teaspoon of organic Himalayan green tea leaves. Apply evenly to the face, avoiding the delicate eye area, and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse the mask off, then dry and moisturise your face.
British supermodel Sophie Dahl’s attributed her weight loss, in part, to drinking regular cups of green tea. Sophie followed Body Doctor David Marshall’s nutritional advice, which advocates drinking as much toxin-flushing green tea as possible.
Claims that it raises the metabolic rate and speeds up fat oxidation are supported by research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Dulloo A, et al 1999). It is also thought to reduce cholesterol levels and increase energy expenditure by inhibiting the digestion of fat in the intestine.
So next time you fancy a cuppa, consider going green. Not only will it provide you with a refreshing drink, it may also boost your health, help slow ageing and even make you slimmer!
Time to put the kettle on….