Chilled Inflammation Fighting Drinks
We all know that green tea can have health benefits that are wide ranging from helping to reduce cholesterol, lower cortisol, and reducing inflammation. For those who don’t want a hot cup of tea sparkling teas are all the rage.
Sparkling teas are basically a mix of soda and tea to produce a cold and carbonated version of a healthy classic that health experts are recently raving on about, although one needs to keep an eye on those added sugars and additional calories from other ingredients.
"These beverages can provide the benefits of the tea in them. Also, if you're sensitive to caffeine, take that into account. While it's not as much as coffee, black tea and green tea (and therefore, matcha) do provide caffeine." says Jessica Cording, R.D.
SOUND was one of the first to bring these to market by blending sparkling water with organic tea, botanicals, and fruit extracts while not adding artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Their tea infused sparkling waters are more subtle than soda but are more nuanced and sophisticated. Minna also avoids sugars on their lightly brewed blends in trendy packaging.
Teatulia fits more into the soda category with their green tea blends that are flavored with 100% organic herbs, botanicals and sweetened with cane sugar; each of these contains about 16-20 grams of cane sugar providing that more soda like flavor, which is a red flag to some.
Even better than buying one of these drinks may be to make it at home where you can control what you are drinking. If you own a sparkling water maker you can play around with flavors and combinations and carbonate your own tea to sip away your inflammation all day long.
To make a strong brew do as you would a normal ice tea recipe forgoing the sugar. Pour the hot water into a glass pitcher, submerge green tea bags into the hot water to steep for 5 minutes then remove and discard the tea bags. Now you can if you like pour in some seltzer water. Add some lime juice, or lemon slices and herbs to float atop the mixture. You can use grapefruit, orange, watermelon, raspberry, cranberry, or basically whatever you wish to try. It’s really that easy. For more sour fruits perhaps add a touch of honey. Add in some ice and enjoy.
To date my treat of choice has been to use 2 cups of cold brewed green tea, 2 cups of chilled raspberry or cranberry-raspberry juice, 2 cups chilled sparkling water, 1 cup mix of raspberries/lemon slices/lime slices, and fresh mint leaves. Mix the tea, juice, and water in a large pitcher with the fruit and mint to serve over ice. You can also freeze this and make a nice frozen treat to help beat the heat.
Green tea contains bioactive compounds that help to improve health, improve brain function, increase fat burning, and improve physical performance. Antioxidants and nutrients within green tea may help to lower risk of developing some types of cancer.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols that help to reduce inflammation as it is about 30% polyphenol by weight, including large amounts of catechins which are natural antioxidants that can help to prevent cell damage along with other benefits. All these substances within green tea can help to reduce the formation of free radicals which protects cells and molecules from damage.
Catechins in green tea have other biological effects such as killing bacteria and some viruses to help improve dental health and lower the risk of infection.
Caffeine is an active ingredient in green tea which blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter, helping to increase the firing of neurons and concentration of neurotransmitters to improve various aspects of brain function including moods, vigilance, reaction time, and memory.
L-theanine contents helps to increase GABA which has anti-anxiety effects, and increases dopamine and the production of alpha brain waves. L-theanine and caffeine have synergistic effects that are potent at improving brain function.
Green tea has been shown in human controlled studies to increase fat burning and to boost metabolic rate. Another study showed increased energy expenditure by 4%, and another showed fat oxidation was increased by 17% indicating that green tea may selectively increase fat burning.
Green tea makes an excellent source of antioxidants that have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancers such as breast, prostate, and colorectal; observational studies suggest that green tea drinkers are less likely to develop several forms of cancer.
Green tea may help you to live longer given that it helps to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as cancer. One study involving 40,503 Japanese adults showed that those who drank 5+ cups a day were significantly less likely to die in an 11 year period: all causes of death was 23% lower in women and 12% lower in men; death from heart disease was 31% lower in women and 22% lower in men; and death from stroke was 42% lower in women and 35% lower in men. Another study involving 14,001 elderly Japanese adults found those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the study period.
For all of these reasons and more it may be worth considering adding green tea to your day to help lower the risk for chronic diseases, fight inflammation and in general feel better.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.