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The Chinese New Year celebrations involve rituals, tradition and of course gifts. A popular gift is that of green tea and there is no better kind than Longjing or Dragon Well Tea. Renowned for its flat leaves, colour, sweet aroma and long lasting mellow flavour, authentic Dragon Well Tea is grown only in China’s Zhejiang Province, in a small mountain village near a legendary well that is believed to be protected by a dragon.
In the 16th century Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty was so impressed by the tea’s properties and its flavour that he bestowed imperial status on the tea. Indeed the tea’s production conditions and techniques lend it some truly amazing health benefits. Today, Longjing is sold with the title “China Famous Tea” and research has proven that it does in fact have properties to keep you well. Today it is served at some of the top restaurants in the world.
Dragon Well Tea has a high concentration of antioxidants, especially catechins; when combined with caffeine, it speeds up the metabolism, helps burn fat and build muscle while keeping you alert. Green tea antioxidants, especially flavanoids and EGCGs boost the metabolism and block the proliferation of cancerous cells.
Despite having a good amount of caffeine, this green tea is known to reduce mental and physical stress due to the presence of L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes the feeling of relaxation. Combined with caffeine this makes one calm but alert and energetic.
Longjing is also a good source of polyphenols – chemicals that protect the heart by lowering cholesterol, reducing plaque formation in arteries and decreasing blood pressure. Additionally, Dragon Well Tea is a good source of folic acid, manganese, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C, and fluoride for healthier teeth.
So ring in the Year of The Snake with a cup of green to energise, calm and relax you.
– Beenish Israr
The writer is a PhD scholar studying Human Nutrition at University of Reading, UK. She is also a lecturer of Food and Nutrition at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 10, 2013.