Friday, July 8, 2011

The Benefits of Green Tea

I LOVE coffee. I mean I like the taste—never ruined it with sugar (yeah, even me a former sugar addict). So when I found I needed to eliminate coffee from my diet I was devastated—kind of describes how I felt about ALL the things I needed to stop eating/drinking.

Reading the book Nature's Cancer-Fighting Foods by Verne Varona started me on my diet, which I attribute to the cure for my hereditary curse. Everyone is familiar with or knows about the addictive properties of caffeinated coffee—just try a day without it and get smacked with a whopper caffeine withdrawal headache. But did you know that coffee, regular and decaf, is very acid in the body? When the body becomes acidic due to a bad diet (consumption of processed foods with artificial ingredients and sugar), it becomes a cancer-producing environment.

Coffee Is Bad For You
Here is a list of some of coffee's bad affects on the body:
  1. Causes headaches and migraines.
  2. Leaches calcium from the body contributing to decreased bone density.
  3. Causes increased stomach acid contributing to gastric problems such as ulcers or reflux.
  4. One cup of coffee can increase cholesterol 10%.
  5. Hypes you up with cortisol which constricts blood vessels, raises blood pressure and causes irregular heart rhythms.
  6. Contains known carcinogens.
If you feel you must have a cup to wake up and get going and need another cup later in the day to keep going, you should seriously consider eliminating coffee. Wean yourself off slowly and switch to green tea.

Green Tea: A Better Beverage
Even though green tea contains some caffeine, it averages 30 to 40 mg compared to 75 to 155 mg for an equal amount of coffee. Again the real issue is acid vs alkaline. Coffee is acidic in the body while green tea is overall alkaline. Acid/alkaline balance is critical to cancer prevention and achieving optimum wellness. The subject can be complicated, but just remember these two things: cancer thrives in an acid environment and cannot exist in an alkaline environment.

Cancer thrives in acid environment.
Cancer cannot exist in alkaline environment.

Aside from the alkalizing benefits of green tea, here are more to consider:
  1. Suppresses the protein urokinase that contributes to the growth and spread of cancer.
  2. Studies show it offers protection against breast cancer.
  3. Contains catechins, powerful anti-oxidants, effective at lowering cholesterol, improving lipid (fat) metabolism, plus fighting cancer and bacterial infections.
  4. Inhibits the growth of cancer cells and kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.
  5. Lowers LDL cholesterol levels and inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots.
  6. Fights the cause of allergies in your body.
For a list of more information on green tea, visit 13 health benefits of green tea.

I drink at least 24 oz. of green tea each morning. We infuse the loose leaf green tea in a ceramic tea pot. Buying it in bulk (no tea bags) you get the full flavor of the tea. I find I can taste the bag—even 100% unbleached cotton bags.

Here are detailed brewing instructions for bulk and tea bags from Mighty Leaf, our preferred source for green tea. Mighty Leaf offers a number of wonderful blends of green tea. My favorites include Green Tea Tropical and Citron Green. Remember you can re-use high quality tea at least twice before the flavor and benefits are depleted.

I consider green tea an important ingredient in my cancer-fighting regimen.

What's your preferred morning beverage? Scroll down and leave a comment.


  1. Hi Chris! I looked at the brewing instructions on Mighty Leaf and they weren't explicit enough for a non-tea drinker who'd like to become a tea drinker. Can you give us step by step what you do to brew and re-brew your loose leaf tea? Thanks!!!

    Jennie Z

  2. Hi Jennie,
    First, get yourself a ceramic tea pot with a stainless steel infuser. Peet's has some nice ones.

    Add 1 Tbsp. of loose tea per 8-12 oz. of loose tea. You may need more (or less) depending on the "fluffiness" of the tea. Some teas are rolled tightly into beads that unfold as the tea steeps.

    Don't fret about the measurement. You can experiment. There really is not right or wrong way. It's more about personal taste.

    I recommend getting an electric hot water boiler for making hot water. I have a Proctor Silex. It makes boiling water quickly.

    Pour the hot water over the leaves in the tea pot and cover to let steep for 2 - 3 minutes.

    Pour tea into cup and sip carefully making sure it has cooled enough to not burn your mouth.

    You can reuse the leaves in the tea pot for at least one more time. Lengthen steeping time to get the most flavor.

    There are no hard and fast rules about tea brewing. While we were on vacation we brought the PS water boiler and used our coffee press to make the tea. Worked great! It's sturdier than the tea pot which we feared would get broken.

    Hope that answers your questions about tea brewing and makes a tea drinker out of Tom.