Pour A Cup O’ Green Tea!
As promised, I am posting about green tea.
Here’s the thing… we all have those days where we’ve “overindulged” a bit (or a LOT.) On days like that, once the delight of all that rule-breaking has worn off, I usually start hunting around for things that will erase the day’s sins. No… I don’t mean in reality, I mean in my mind. Feeling guilty really never helped anyone. What’s better is learning how to say, “Well, today didn’t go so great. Time to do better, starting now.”
So here’s what I’ve come up with. This combo always makes me feel better when I’ve gone a bit overboard. And it kick-starts my “Do better, starting now” mentality, even in the moments immediately following a bout of gluttony 😉 And as you can see, none of these things is a punishment. Punishing yourself is a no-no.
1. Take my vitamins
2. Take a walk (not a run, a walk.)
3. Drink a glass of water or green tea.
But of course I don’t mean to propose that green tea’s sole benefit is relieving guilt. Far from it! Read on, folks… read on.
Research has repeatedly shown that green tea blocks the absorption of fat, due to its high concentration of catechins. Catechins are also a powerful antioxidant, which (in short) means they prevent cancer. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Oh, and the fat-blocking, cancer-preventing power of green tea is magnified by pairing it with citrus juice… so a nice squirt of lemon in your morning cup will kick up the fat-fighting power! (Not to get too scientific, but this is because citrus increases the “bioavailability” of the catechins in green tea. In other words, it makes them more “absorbable” than if you just drank the tea by itself. 4x more absorbable, in fact!)
** A few words to the wise:
-Green tea is generally not recommended for pregnant ladies, due to a possible link between EGCG and decreased folic acid absorption. Mommies-to-be need all the folic acid they can get… so play it safe and hold off for a few months if you are pregnant
-Nursing mommies are fine to drink it, but might want to select a caffeine-free variety (that is if you value your infant’s nap time.)
-If you should have the odd urge to add milk to your green tea, don’t do it. Not only does it taste yucky, but the milk protein casein actually interacts with and blocks the effects of the catechins in tea. I personally take it a step further and don’t partake in any dairy at all while drinking green tea (including yogurt and cheese) just to be sure I’m maximizing the benefits. It’s easy enough to eat your yogurt or cereal and have your tea a little later.
Hope you enjoyed the science lesson!