Green Tea Reduces Stress
For people around the world tea is a comfort beverage. When I think back to childhood moments, the phrase, “come have a hot cup of tea and talk about it” still rings through honored memories. What I didn’t know then is that tea, and green tea in particular, may actually promote relaxation and relieve stress!
L-theanine is part of green tea. It’s an amino acid that seems to temper the effects of any caffeine normally present in the tealeaves. Research conducted in Japan suggests that theanine targets caffeine and offsets its jittery nature. The theanine levels in green tea are higher than other types of tea. That means while coffee might wake you up, a good cup of green tea provides focus and alertness without tension.
Drinking green tea alone won’t fix all of life’s ills. Stress, like taxes, seems to be one of those things difficult to avoid completely. However, the effect of green tea improves in combination with other personal changes focused on living healthier. Eating organic food, meditation, yoga and exercise are four examples of activities that partner with green tea for self improvement.
Breathing exercises are one simple approach to calming and relaxation. We all know the old saying about counting to ten. Well breathing techniques build on that with an active goal of releasing tension and re-centering your mind. The next time you feel overly-anxious try breathing in through your nose on the count of four. Hold your breath for four, then release the breath on the final four count. Repeat this four times, then enjoy a good cup of tea. You’ll find your pulse slows. Other benefits of this type of breathing exercise include improved digestion and moderated blood pressure.
Research done by the University College of London illustrated that black tea can have similar qualities to green. Over time, it seems that drinking black tea lowers cortisol levels, a stress hormone, particularly after a stress trigger. Individuals who consumed just four cups of tea daily experienced a 20% reduction in stress hormones compared to non-tea drinkers.
Fountain of Youth?
The on-going studies of green tea are very promising, but should be read with a portion of skepticism in your back pocket. No one beverage, food, or vitamin transforms our lives over night, and sometimes not even over years. It takes time to experience the healthful effects of tea along with other lifestyle changes you may make. Having said that, the delight in a cup of tea doesn’t change. Sip a cup, release your cares and enjoy.
Unity Teapots sells fine Asian tea ware, and is a great source to find cast iron tea pots
, red teapots
, and yixing teapots
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