For me, beauty doesn’t just come from a bottle or a pot of expensive cream. Oh sure, the latest cream on the market or that great new foundation may provide you with some immediate gratification in the way you look- but in reality, I think that long term, ageless beauty, comes from treating our bodies with a ton of respect, by feeding it the most natural food possible and by drinking antioxidant rich beverages on a daily basis. Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably well aware that green tea (or any tea for that matter) is a great choice to sip on. There has been so much talk in the media that supports the drinking of green tea in order to prevent a multitude of diseases, including cancer. But did you also know that drinking Green Tea packs a serious beauty punch as well? That’s right, you can drink yourself pretty with this tasty beverage. So before you grab your usual ‘cup of Joe’, consider these reasons for drinking more Green Tea…you mirror will be smiling back at you, I promise :)
#1 Drinking Green Tea Prevents Accelerated Aging and Wrinkling of the Skin
If you are like me, you are probably okay with getting older in terms of years, but you are not okay with looking older. I will eat or drink pretty much anything if you tell me it will prevent me from looking old and haggard before my time. Well luckily, green tea is here to rescue you from the ravages of aging. Did you know that green tea is one of the top 10 most antioxidant rich foods on the planet? It possesses high levels of a substances called catechin polyphenols (one of the most beneficial ones goes by the acronym EGCG), which is shown to have particularily high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are compounds found in our foods that actually neutralize chemicals we accumulate in our bodies, called free radicals. Free radicals are scavengers that destroy healthy tissues in our bodies like collagen, elastin, and skin cells which are associated with accelerated aging of the skin and the formation of wrinkles. So essentially, due to green tea’s strong prevalence of powerful antioxidants, it acts as a defender against skin aging at a cellular level. The more green tea you drink, the more free radicals you prevent from aging your youthful complexion. Count me in!
#2 Drinking Green Tea Can Prevent and Help Heal Acne
Like most of the population, you have probably dealt with your fair share of acne during at least one point in your life (if you haven’t, then consider yourself VERY lucky, and me.. very jealous). To this day, I will usually have at least 1 blemish brewing on my face, which (thank God) is a far cry from what I had as a teenager. Let’s face it, acne sucks and on top of that, there really isn’t any stead fast cure for this awful skin condition because there are so many factors involved. Fortunately, there are a some things that you can do right now to help treat the acne you have today and to prevent future breakouts…one of them, drinking plenty of green tea.
Acne is a skin condition that involves an inflammatory reaction of the skin, so it is essential in the management of acne, that you take steps towards lowering inflammation in your entire body by eating anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory rich foods and beverages, like green tea. According to Natural News, research has shown that acne sufferers have much lower levels of antioxidant nutrients, compared to people with normally functioning skin. Studies also suggest, that people with acne have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in the blood. Because of this, acne patients are under a huge amount of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress, and their antioxidant defenses cannot cope with the load. In essence, “preventing local inflammation in the skin and lowering systemic inflammation in the body are the keys to clear skin. This can be done through proper diet and lifestyle”.
Another reason why green tea is great for fending off acne, is that it naturally stabilizes your blood sugar levels, thus preventing spikes in insulin. According to Live Science, (and any website you read on the causes of acne) eating and drinking a high-glycemic diet is a major contributor to increased cellular growth and oil production, which can increase the chances of developing acne. So put down that can of soda and go for the green stuff!
#3 Drinking Green Tea Can Help Repair Sun Related Skin Damage
I strongly believe that one of the top things you can do to prevent yourself from aging before your time, is to protect yourself from the sun (don’t be fooled by the pretty picture to the left. In 20 years, that woman will look a little worse for wear). Luckily, there are a host of food that will help protect you from the inside out, green tea being one of them! According to Daily Glow, green tea can be used both orally and topically, to help protect the skin from sunburns and sun-related damage, as well UV-associated cancers. They also suggest drinking one cup of green tea twice a day over the course of six months, which may actually reverse sun damage and significantly improve any problems you have with redness and broken capillary veins.
#4 Drinking Green Tea Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Teeth are one of those things that can really give away your age. Without proper oral care, your teeth can become damaged, yellow and quite honestly, gross. If you are brushing and flossing on the regular, you might also want to consider drinking more green to prevent tooth decay. According to Natural News because of the naturally occurring anti-bacterial properties of green tea, drinking it frequently can actually reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and lessen the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
How to Brew the Perfect Cup
In order to get the maximum benefits of drinking green tea, you will want to make sure you are preparing it in the proper way. According to The Fragrant Leaf you will want to brew your tea below boiling temperature 140°F – 185°F, in order to get the full flavour of the tea. Don’t forget to make sure you only steep your tea between 1- 3 minutes in order to prevent that dreaded bitter taste from happening.
So, what if you don’t like that intense…well, green/grassy taste of green tea? Here are some of the ways you can still get the same benefits, without having to consume it as a hot beverage.
1. Cover the Taste with Juice. If you simply cannot stand the taste, brew up a batch of lightly brewed tea and combine it with your favorite flavorful (but not sugary) juice. I suggest, fresh pressed orange juice- as it will mask the flavour..
2. Put it in baked goods. Brew some green tea and let it stand until it is chilled. Use it in baked goods as the liquid part to your recipe.
3. Ice it! Okay, so you are still going to get the flavour part here..but you might prefer the taste when it is chilled. Simply make green tea (I would use a few more tea bags or a higher quantity of loose lea tea) in a clear glass jug. Once it is brewed, add any natural sweetener of your choice (honey and Stevia) are good choices and put it directly in the fridge, or ice it immediately.
4. Combine it with herbs. Another way to mask the flavour is to brew your tea and then add in herbs such as mint or lemongrass to cover the taste of green tea
So there you have it! Drink up my pretties.