By Danielle Perron, CNP
Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage worldwide.
With its ‘oh-so-smooth’ taste, aromatic appeal, and exquisite range of colour, tea has something to offer all palates. Ranging from white, green, oolong, black, and puerh’s (fermented tea, a digestive aid, and blood cleanser) all tea originates from the lovely Camellia sinensis plant. The distinguishing factor that determines the class of tea produced is the manufacturing step. The eight step process of tea production includes plucking the buds/leaves, sorting, cleaning, manufacture, drying, sorting, and packing.
The energy and attention to the first pluck is truly something of beauty, often performed by women and young adults because the smallest of hands and most delicate of fingers are required for such a detailed undertaking.
Aside from its cultural diversity, there are multiple health benefits to this tasty bevvy. The most common benefit of tea is its antioxidant value. In keeping with our focus this month to brew heart consciousness, lets focus on green tea for heart chakra resonance.
Green tea contains naturally occurring antioxidants that help to prevent free radical damage. The group of antioxidant compounds are known as flavonoids, comprising of two subgroups- flavonols and flavanols. Within the tea flavanol group are catechins, which are recognized for containing the highest level of antioxidants and because green tea undergoes very minimal processing, much of these nutrients remain following the final steps of processing. To elaborate further, within the subgroup of catechins are six antioxidant compounds- catechin (C), gallocatechin (GC), epicatechin (EC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). The latter is the most bioactive of all the catechins and most abundant with green tea.
In addition to supporting heart health, green tea contains zero calories, increases metabolism, contributes to optimal oral health, strengthens immunity, increases hydration, reduces body fat, boosts memory and enhances mood. Additionally green has been found to be anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. Green tea also contains vitamins E and D, and amino acids (L-theanine), which can delay the aging process while enhancing concentration and focus.
While tea contains naturally occurring caffeine, the absorption and effect on the body -specifically the nervous system – is much less immediate than in other beverages as the caffeine in tea is slowly absorbed into our blood stream. For caffeine free options I suggest a lovely rooibos, which is derived from an entirely different botanical, aspalathus linearis. Rooibos is a naturally caffeine free and antioxidant rich plant, bold in colour and taste.
In addition to physiological heart health, tea also supports our emotional heart. Tea represents connectedness, community and relationship. When I think of tea, I’m reminded of the coziest of cozy times shared with some of the dearest beings close to my heart. Together we’ve shared some empowering realizations, thought-provoking conversations and the warmest exchanges, all over a cup of love.
Varieties of green tea are vast and available to all, first timers and connoisseurs alike! Flavours that may satisfy the palate range from vegetal to earthy, buttery to sweet, floral to roasted or spicy to uplifting.
To learn more about the health benefits of tea and general heart health, please connect me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sample some of the finest quality teas in Vancouver’s only 100% organic tea shop, please visit TEAJA in Yaletown any day of the week, Monday to Friday 9am-7pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm.
1072 Mainland St.