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Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.

—Ancient Chinese proverb

Who doesn’t want to look young and pretty these days? And if there is an easy process, who wouldn’t go for it?

Consuming green tea is one such process. Only a cup in a day can act as a powerful healing method, as green tea is rich with antioxidants.

Green tea is a type of tea made solely with the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. The tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan to the Middle East.

It has been shown to have long-term health benefits through countless scientific and medical studies. Green tea plays a significant role in the reduction of the heart diseases. There is a component called polyphenol, or catechin, that the green tea owns. The consumption of polyphenol improves your health by not only reducing heart problems, but also by preventing the death of brain cells that causes Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases.

Green tea also helps in the reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers the risks of cancer. The tea contains not only polyphenol, but also contains alkaloids including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline that provide stimulant effects on the human body. L-Theanine, an amino acid compound found in green tea has its calming effects on the nervous system.

Having healthy blood pressure—meaning below 120/80—is one thing. Keeping it that way is another. But people who sip just half a cup a day are almost 50 percent less likely to wind up with hypertension than non-drinkers.

One of the clinical study found out that men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who do not. In another study of male smokers, researchers found out that green tea significantly reduced blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.

Not to forget, green tea helps in reducing your weight, too. It speeds up your body’s calorie-burning process. The healthier you are, the younger you look.

Having green tea added to your daily regime can do miracles to your body. But very few know that green tea is also helpful for your skin, too. It soothes your skin, giving you a youthful complexion.

If you have a superficial cut, scrape, or bite, then there is nothing to worry. Soak a cotton pad in the green tea and apply to the affected area. The tea is a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling. It can do wonders to inflamed breakouts and blemishes, sunburns, and even your puffy eyelids. Just chill the damp used tea bags in the fridge and put on your eyes for 10-15 minutes. It contains tannins, which act as an astringent when applied to your skin.

Scientific researches by the hundreds have proved that green tea applied directly to the skin (or consumed) helps block sun-triggered skin cancer, which is the reason for using green tea in almost all types of moisturizers and sunscreen lotions.

In fact, you can call green tea the King Kong of antioxidants. It not only helps your body internally but take care of it externally, too. It gives you a healthy body as well as a healthy looking and glowing skin.

Parul Sanghi is a freelance writer as well as a preschool teacher.

Preparing green tea is very easy. It can be taken hot or cold. Drinking hot, green tea is as simple as adding a tea bag to hot water. You can add sugar, ginger, or lemon if you prefer. Iced green tea is as beneficial as the hot version. Below is a recipe for iced green tea.

Ginger, Lemon Iced Green Tea

1 cup of water
Sugar for taste
Ground ginger
½ lemon peel
1 green tea bag
1 tsp. club soda with fresh lemon juice
Ice cubes
Mint leaves for garnish

Put the water, sweetener, ground ginger, and lemon peel in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat for about six to seven minutes. Then remove from heat and add green tea bag. Stir and add the lemon juice. Refrigerate for one to two hours. Then top it up with club soda. Add ice cubes and garnish it with mint leaves.

Now your drink is ready, so get on in the fight to stay healthy and live long.