Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on August 27, 2011.
Although green tea has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for over 4,000 years, it is only in the past two decades that this thirst-quenching and invigorating beverage has become a fad in the West.
Why is it so popular? Green tea has many properties but what makes it so remarkable is the fact that it contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. According to scientific studies, EGCG and other chemical components in green tea can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and some cancers.
But why green tea and not other teas? Because green tea contains ten times more EGCG than black tea. This difference is because its leaves are not fermented, unlike those of black tea. To get the maximum antioxidant benefits, infuse about 2g of green tea in a cup of boiling water and let it stand for 8 minutes.