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Benefits of Green Tea

By: Rena Sandberg as seen on Cookinglight.com

Green tea has an impressive number of health benefits. It has been used by the Chinese for medicinal purposes since ancient times, using it to treat ailments such as headaches and even depression. Today, many scientific research studies have shown that green tea, as well as a healthy lifestyle, can help promote weight loss, prevent tooth decay and even ward off cancer.

Green tea contains potent antioxidants

The antioxidants in green tea, called catechins, hunt the free radicals in the body that contribute to cancer, blood clots and atherosclerosis.

Green tea helps promote weight loss

Some studies have shown that green tea helps fight obesity. A potent ployphenol (an antioxidant) found in green tea called Epigallocatechin gallate fires up the metabolism, therefore aiding in weight loss.

Green tea vs. cancer

Research studies have concluded that green tea can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The compounds in this tea counteract carcinogenesis and can even block the formation of certain tumors.

Green tea helps prevent tooth decay

The catechins in green tea inhibit bacterial colonies from forming on the surfaces of teeth, therefore preventing tooth decay. In addition, green tea is also said to help fight gum disease.

Green tea wards off viruses

Certain bacterias, including staph, can be killed by green tea. The catechins in this tea also kill just about every kind of bacteria that causes food poisoning.

Cholesterol can be lowered by drinking green tea

The antioxidants in green tea inhibit the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the arteries.

Ward off heart attacks and strokes with green tea

Green tea inhibits abnormal blood clot formation which, in turn, helps prevent heart attack and stroke.   

This all sounds magnificent but you might wonder, why does green tea have more powerful properties than other teas? Although green tea – like oolong and black tea – comes from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, it is set apart by the way it is processed. In order to prevent the EGCG (a very potent catechin) compound from being oxidized, green tea leaves are steamed. Black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves. The outcome is that the EGCG is converted into other compounds which are not as effective in fighting many diseases.

Scallops with Green Tea Cream

This delicious dinner entrée is loaded with health benefits and fantastic flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons matcha (Japanese green tea powder), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 18 large sea scallops (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chervil (optional)

Note: If you cannot find the Japanese green tea powder in an Asian grocery store or market, pulverize regular green tea in a spice grinder.

Preparation

1. Place crème fraîche in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon matcha, lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and paprika, stirring with a whisk.

  • 2. Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon matcha and ground ginger in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; press ginger mixture through sieve. Sprinkle the ginger mixture evenly over scallops.
  • 3. Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Arrange half of scallops in a single layer in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and desired degree of doneness. Remove scallops from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and scallops. Arrange 3 scallops and about 1 tablespoon crème fraîche mixture on each of 6 plates. Sprinkle evenly with fleur de sel and chervil, if desired.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 155

Total Fat: 7.6 g