Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top o' the Afternoon to You: The Amazing Combo of Green Tea & Mint

Allow me to give credit where credit is due. I was never much of a tea drinker growing up, unless it was sweet tea of course. I actually discovered my love for tea in a very unlikely place, Costa Rica. Two years ago, Adam and I lived in a tiny beach town called Santa Teresa for 3 months. We saved up our money, took a hiatus from life and surfed every day. It was there that we met two very wonderful Brits, Jen and Harry. We lived in the bungalow next door to them and many afternoons, they would ask us to join them on their porch for afternoon tea.

The Brits weren't the only ones drinking tea though. Our friend Rotem, who owned the Israeli restaurant there, also introduced us to the concept of drinking hot beverages at the beach. His tea was extra special because it was laden with fresh mint leaves. I'd take that tea over dessert any day of the week.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Since I've been back in the States, I've continued the tea revolution... maybe because I miss Costa Rica or maybe just because it does a body good (sorry, milk).

Out of all the teas, green tea is one of the best options because it's antioxidants are not lost during fermentation. Its leaves are processed differently, allowing it to retain it's 'goodness'. Green tea...

  • Has a high concentration of the antioxidant EGCG, which may help protect the body against cancer-causing free radicals. - Sayonara, cancer!
  • Nourishes the lining of your blood vessels, helping to prevent clogging of the arteries. - Put the doughnuts down and let the tea do it's work!
  • Improves your cholesterol levels by reducing the bad cholesterol. - Bye bye, bad boys!
  • Speeds up your metabolism so that you burn more calories. - Work it out!
  • Contains a strong chemical antioxidant called a catechin, which has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. - A natural flu shot, much more fun than the alternative!
  • Can help to delay and possibly reverse the progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. - If you remember nothing else, remember this!
  • Helps diabetics by slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. - Slow down, sugar! 
  • If applied topically, can help with wrinkles and other skin issues. - Forget it, face lift!

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Now, let's talk about the best part...fresh mint! Mint...

  • Aids in digestion. - Who needs post-dinner indigestion awkwardness?
  • Acts as a natural sedative which, although mild, will help calm you down. - A little mint, count to 10 slowly, wa lah!
  • Cleanses the blood. - Spring cleaning of the arteries!

I could go on all day, but we're wasting time!! Put the kettle on and get to drinking already!

...And now, a Costa Rica photo montage to peruse while you sip your tea! With no further ado....

The rain falling from our bungalow roof, taken with Adam's new amazing camera.
Our neighbors, on a Sunday stroll.
My favorite Brits, Jen and Harry, exploring the coastline.
Our other neighbors, the howler monkeys. Always causing a ruckus.
Headed to the 'Hermit Crab' beach for an adventure.

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