Friday, June 4, 2010

Do You Need to DRINK Green Tea to Get the Health Benefits?

There are several health benefits attributed to green tea, a flavorful beverage brewed from the dried leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, lesson the risk of some cancers, and prevent heart disease. Green tea is a proven metabolic booster that can burn up to eighty extra calories a day. This can lead to weight loss and a lower risk of diabetes or stroke. We can all benefit from this healthful beverage that has been around for thousands of years.

Is there a way to add green tea to your diet without drinking it? There certainly is! Cooking with green tea allows you to reap the same health benefits associated with drinking it. The next time a recipe calls for water you should consider replacing it with something that can offer you more from a nutritional standpoint.

Prepare rice with green tea instead of plain water. This will impart a pleasing, mild flavor to the rice as well as boosting the antioxidant level. This also works well with quinoa, wheat berries or couscous.

Most health experts agree that fish is an important component of a healthy diet. Fish can provide essential omega-3 fatty acids which offer protection against heart disease and a myriad of other health issues. Poaching is the best method to easily produce perfectly cooked, tender fillets in minutes without any added fat. Poaching in spiced green tea can add a lot of flavor as well as increasing the health benefits of an already healthy meal.

Dried beans are a very economical and nutritious food choice. They are high in protein and fiber and an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. The beans need to be soaked overnight and then boiled for a few hours before they are ready to eat. During this process, the beans absorb almost 1.5 times their original weight in water! You can replace the water with green tea for both the soaking and cooking to obtain even more health benefits from your beans.

Dessert time is another opportunity to incorporate extra nutrition while still enjoying a delicious treat. A homemade granita, or Italian ice, can be an incredibly refreshing summertime dessert. It is typically made by freezing juice and breaking up the resulting ice with a fork. This technique works well with green tea and lemon sweetened with honey.

The possibilities are endless when cooking with green tea. Once you start you are sure to find more ways to integrate it into your diet. If you cook foods that absorb liquid in plain water you are missing out on a great opportunity to infuse your food with antioxidants. To get the highest level of health benefits possible, start with a high quality organic tea. Get it from a supplier you can trust that works closely with the farmers that grow the tea. Take advantage of all that camellia sinensis has to offer and start achieving greater health through smarter cooking!

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