Green tea is a market that’s grown for a reason: it’s really good for you. It may not be as chic as some of the newest antioxidant-laden beverages, but nonetheless, it’s effective. Research has shown green tea benefits are huge--from reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease to revving up your metabolism and making your skin glow. But not all green teas are created equal--here’s how to choose the best green tea:
Green Tea Benefits: 7 Tips For Choosing The Best Brew
1. Look for antioxidant content.
The main antioxidant found in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) varies in amount from brand to brand. Consumerlabs.com recently tested 24 brands of green tea to find out their EGCG content and found that Lipton Green Tea, Teavana Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea, and Harney & Sons Organic Green Tea had the most antioxidants.
2. Choose loose leaf tea.
The same Consumerlabs.com study also found that tea that came from loose leaves tended to be the most potent source of EGCG.
3. Avoid added sugars.
Many iced green tea varieties add sugar to their brew. This adds calories in a place where it’s totally unnecessary. If you want to add a bit of honey to hot tea, that’s just fine, but don’t let sugar take over your brew.
4. Make sure it’s fresh.
Green tea doesn’t stay fresh for long periods of time. It has a shelf life of about 6 months and then its freshness begins to diminish.You can extend its shelf life by refrigerating it for a few extra months.
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5. Brew your tea correctly.
Generally, 1 teaspoon of loose green tea is enough for one 8 ounce cup. I usually add it to a French press with scalding water and brew for 2-3 minutes.
6. Choose first harvest tea.
Green tea quality is separated into harvests, the first harvest being the best. The highest quality tea leaves are picked the earliest in the year between March and April. Kabusecha green tea, for example, comes from the first harvest. It has a grassy aroma and it tastes great.
7. Choose organic green tea.
Make sure your green tea is organic so you can avoid contamination with pesticides and chemicals. Make sure you’re getting simple, organic green tea leaves and nothing else.
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