Category Archives: green tea

Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day… and Every Day

If this looks familiar it’s because I ran it last year on St. Patty’s Day.

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“BETTER to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”
Ancient Chinese proverb.


If that really is an ancient Chinese proverb it must be referring to green tea. Don’t know about green tea? You are in for a treat.

About.com reports that in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute had a study showing that green tea drinking cut the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60%.

Nadine Taylor wrote an entire book on it – Green Tea: The natural secret to a healthy life.gif-st-patrick-192.gif

Green tea, beautiful benefits

HealthMad lists 10- benefits of green tea.

1 Used to treat Multiple sclerosis
2 Cancer treat/prevent
3 Stop Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s
4 Raises metabolism and increases fat oxidation
5 Reduces risk of heart diseases and attacks by cutting risk of thrombosis
6 Reduces risk of esophageal cancer
7 Inhibits growth of certain cancer cells, reduces level of cholesterol in blood, improves ratio of good over bad.
8 Used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
9 Used to treat impaired immune function
10 May help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria that causes dental plaque

What makes green tea so special? About.com said it is the high quantity of catechin polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants that not only inhibit cancer cells, but kill them outright without harming healthy tissue. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels and inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots which can cause heart attacks and stroke.

green-tea-health-benefits

Lastly, you might be asking why green tea and not black, or Earl Grey? About.com reported that while the teas all come from the leaves of the same plant, the green tea leaves are steamed which prevents a very valuable chemical compound (EGCG) from being oxidized. Other teas are made from fermented leaves which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in fighting disease.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland that showed men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

Speaking of caffeine, green tea contains only 30 to 60 mg of caffeine in 6-8 ounces vs 100 mg or more in coffee.gif-st-patrick-181

Slainte!

image.jpeg

Tony

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Can Green Tea Boost Your Brainpower and Treat Disease?

Our Better Health

The images that come to mind when thinking of green tea are likely associated with calmness, purity and relaxation.

The ancient beverage has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as a means to relieve people from various ailments, but more recently the tea – and its extracts – have caught the attention of scientists. Teams across the world have been trialling green tea extracts and specific compounds within them for their potential to lower the risk of various conditions: cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Evidence for these benefits is limited, however, and often inconclusive, but recent studies have found that one particular compound inside green tea, known as EGCG, could improve the functioning of one particular part of the body: the brain.

Boosting brain power

“Many people consume green tea extracts in some form, so we were interested in the effects [on the brain],” said Stefan…

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Green Tea May Enhance Working Memory – Tufts

At the risk or repeating myself, I am committed to learning everything I can about my brain and keeping said brain functioning well into my senior years. At the age of 75 I consider myself to be there now.  Additionally, I am also a green tea drinker and I support your consuming it. At the end of this post I will list some links to connect with previous green tea posts.

cup-of-green-tea-with-leaves-on-wood

A small clinical trial suggests that green tea could improve the connectivity between parts of the brain involved in tasks of “working memory.” You might think of working memory as the brain’s sticky notes, where bits of information are temporarily held for manipulation before forgetting or transferring to long-term memory.

Previous studies have linked green tea – especially a polyphenol compound found in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) – to structural benefits against the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea may also benefit neuronal plasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt to new inputs – and repair injuries to the brain’s neurons associated with aging.

Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Antioxidants Research Laboratory, notes, “These findings are consistent with results from a similar clinical trial previously conducted by the same group, and also with basic research which indicates that EGCG can promote biochemical pathways in brain neurons that reduce oxidative stress and promote cell survival.”
All forms of tea have been associated with health benefits. But because green tea is minimally processed, from un-oxidized tea leaves, it is rich in certain types of antioxidant compounds.

YOUR BRAIN ON TEA: In the latest study, Swiss researchers tested the effects of a milk whey-based soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract (equivalent to about two cups of brewed green tea) against a placebo. The healthy young male volunteers were then faced with a battery of working-memory tasks. While they tackled the tasks, the men’s brains were monitored using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Participants who had been given the beverage containing green-tea extract showed increased connectivity between the brain’s right superior parietal lobe and the frontal cortex. This effect on connectivity within the brain coincided with improvements in actual cognitive performance on the working-memory exercises.

“Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,” said Stefan Borgwardt, MD, PhD, of the University of Basel. The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Psychopharmacology, added that the findings provide insights into the mechanism of how green tea might affect working-memory processing.

For more information on maintaining cognitive function, download Guide to Eating Right to Avoid Cognitive Decline from Tufts’ Health & Nutrition Letter.

Following are previous posts I have written on Green Tea:

Green Tea Boosts Your Brain

Green Tea Helps to Fight Flu

Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day and Every day

Dr. Oz and Chia Seeds and Green Tea.

Tony

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7 Great-Tasting Flavors that Fight Pain

Green Tea: Green tea is not revered solely for its anti-cancer, weight loss and brain protecting benefits. It is also a muscle relaxant and contains high amounts of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has shown powerful anti-inflammatory properties and success with different types of joint pain. If you are not thrilled by the taste of a hot cup of green tea, mix it up a bit by serving it cold with ginger juice and mint or squeeze a fresh lemon into a glass, add some ice and top it up for delicious green tea lemonade. Green tea is a great base for sauces and marinades, as well as fruit smoothies.
I have posted several times about the benefits of green tea: Green Tea Boosts Your Brain, Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day and Every Day, Dr. Oz on Chia Seeds and Green Tea, Green Tea Helps to Fight the Flu, How Healthy is Tea Drinking?

Tony

Our Better Health

Michelle Schoffro Cook    June 19, 2014

Don’t let pain stop you from enjoying summer’s social activities. The next time you have a picnic or invite friends over for a barbecue, try some of these proven pain-fighters to enhance the flavor of your meal as well as your enjoyment of the experience:

Ginger: Fresh, chopped ginger is amazing in summertime drinks, desserts and Asian-inspired dishes. It is a digestive aid with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and has been found effective for people suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. James Duke Ph.D, herb expert and author of the classic book, The Green Pharmacy (St. Martins, 1997), also recommends using ginger externally. He uses hot ginger in a compress to alleviate abdominal cramps, joint pain and headaches. (But ginger tastes so good, I’d much rather eat it than wear it.)

Mint: Who doesn’t like the taste and aroma of mint?…

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Green Tea Boosts Your Brain

I have been singing the praises of green tea for some time now. You can read further on this wonderful drink in the following posts:
Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day and Every Day

Dr. Oz on Chia Seeds and Green Tea

Green Tea Helps to Fight the Flu
How Healthy is Tea Drinking?

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Green tea is said to have many putative positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory. The Swiss findings suggest promising clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia. The academic journal Psychopharmacology has published their results.

In the past the main ingredients of green tea have been thoroughly studied in cancer research. Recently, scientists have also been inquiring into the beverage’s positive impact on the human brain. Different studies were able to link green tea to beneficial effects on the cognitive performance. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this cognitive enhancing effect of green tea remained unknown.

Better memory

In a new study, the researcher teams of Prof. Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital of Basel and Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University…

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How Healthy is Tea Drinking?

A lot of Americans consider tea to be the weak step sister of coffee. But, in the rest of the world that is not the case.

Tea U.S.A. Inc. says, “Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80 percent of all U.S. households. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. On any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking tea.

Cup_Of_Tea_Wallpaper__yvt2
“In 2012, Americans consumed well over 79 billion servings of tea, or over 3.60 billion gallons. About 84 percent of all tea consumed was Black Tea, 15 percent was Green Tea, and a small remaining amount was Oolong and White Tea.

“On any given day, over one half of the American population drinks tea. On a regional basis, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.”

So, we drink a lot of tea. It tastes good, but how healthy is the habit?

According to some recent studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tea drinking is very good, indeed.

Citing these studies, Dr. Marc Siegel of the NYU Langone Medical Center said that tea drinking is very good for bone health, it improves concentration and decreases the chances of some cancers, it helps the G.I. tract and has a positive impact on prostate cancer.

To reap these benefits a person needs to drink about three cups of tea a day. The only caveat is that the person not have high blood pressure or other health issue that could be adversely affected by tea.

Dr. David Samadi of Lenox Hill Hospital also noted that tea drinking reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and increases HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). A healthy one-two punch.

Tea drinking benefits both the brain and the body, he said. There are cognitive benefits that actually create new brain cells. On the other hand, tea drinking also reduces food cravings so it is a great help in weight loss and weight control.

What is it that makes tea, any kind of tea, so beneficial to our bodies? Tea has some of the best antioxidants and flavinoids. Catechins which are very plentiful in green tea help in weight loss.

These antioxidants are also found in fruits and vegetables. So, if you aren’t eating enough fruits and veggies, you can catch up somewhat by drinking tea.

Dr. Samadi specified the EGCG as among the best antioxidants and they are found in tea. They actually slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s, he said. EGCG is short for epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

I am a fan of tea, in general, but mostly drink green tea. I have posted on it several times: Dr. Oz on Chia seeds and green tea, Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day and every day, Green tea helps to fight flu.

Slainte.

Tony

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Hand-washing is Another Weapon in our Anti-Flu Arsenal

Another weapon in our arsenal against the flu. To read further on the flu:

Flu Season Update – Worst in 10 Years

Oleda Baker Recommends Flu Shot

Flu Season Starting Early This Year

Meditation or Exercise Can Reduce Flu Symptoms

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

Green Tea Helps to Fight Flu

Flu Shot Effect Diminished by Extra Weight

Overseas Tips on Fighting the Flu- London Daily Mail Online.

Tony

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Filed under aging, Exercise, flu deaths, flu season, flu shot, green tea, meditation, relaxation, Weight

How Can I Include More Nutritious Food in my Diet?

One of our problems in this junk food filled world is that our taste buds get distorted by those over-sugared, over-salted, over-fatted foods. Not only fast foods, but also most processed foods are loaded with these ‘extras’ to extend the food’s shelf life and to take a cattle prod to our taste buds.
Check out my post – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT for more details on this.
Trying to get off these foods can be frustrating because unprocessed healthy foods don’t create the same reaction in our mouths. We bite into fresh fruit and it doesn’t explode on the palate like McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. We need to guard against the erroneous conclusion that the fresh fruit doesn’t have much taste. I don’t mean to single out Mickey D’s except that they are the biggest fast food chain and sell the most.

I wrote about why you shouldn’t drink their Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. You can click the link to read the entire post, but one main item is that the drink contains ” … 67 grams of sugar  … 15.95 teaspoonfuls. Are you ready for that? In terms of a cup, that amounts to 1/3 of an 8 ounce cup.” It’s hard to compete with that kind of taste jolt.

Green Tea looks beautiful and imparts wonderful benefits to the body. I just don’t care for the taste, but I find a way to include it in my daily diet.

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How Much Sugar is in SoBe Green Tea?

I am a big fan of green tea. I wrote this not long after we started the blog and later picked up a nice item on Dr. Oz and green tea. So, I was shocked to see the horrible job SoBe did on their version of Green Tea.

The Men’s Health Blog wrote it up as the Worst Bottled Tea. Turns out the 20 ounce bottle contains 240 calories BUT 61 grams of sugar. At 4 grams per teaspoon, this is over 15 teaspoons of sugar.  Do you really want to shovel that much sugar into your system?

This  seems doubly disappointing as the SoBe brand, owned by Pepsi is sold to us on the impression of cleansing the mind, body and spirit with names like Nirvana and Cranberry Grapefruit Elixir. The Men’s Health Blog says, “Don’t be fooled. Just like this bottle of green tea, all of these beverages are made with two primary ingredients: water and sugar.”

They suggest drinking Honest Tea Green Dragon Tea. The 16 ounce bottle contains 60 calories and only 16 grams of sugar.

Sounds good to me.

I have written about McD’s sugar drinks before on the blog. You can read Why Mc Donald’s Shamrock Shake is a Sugar Monster and Why You Shouldn’t Drink Mc Donald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade. Check the links for further details.

On June 8 I wrote How to Beat the Heat. In it, The New York City Office of Emergency Management suggested, “Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.” Emphasis mine.

Tony

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Dr. Oz on Chia Seeds and Green Tea

Dr. Oz and his co-writer Dr. Roizen made a You Tube video on improving your energy. In it, Dr. Oz says about Chia seeds, “Chia seeds are a whole grain used by the Aztecs as their main energy source. Chia can help restore energy levels and decrease inflammation because of its Omega 3 fatty acids. Similar to corn starch, Chia can be used as a thickening agent and a substitute for whole grains in your diet. While grains are especially important because they help to stabilize blood sugar levels as opposed to spikes and furrows that occur when you eat sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Supermodel Miranda Kerr also likes Chia seeds.
“Go Green as in green tea. Green tea has been shown to have the highest content of polyphenols whichi have high antioxidant properties. Because green tea leaves are young and have not been oxidized it has up to 40 percent polyphenols while black tea has only about 10 percent. But, be cautious. You can’t have milk with it. The casein in milk has been shown to inhibit the beneficial effects of tea.”

I have written favorably about Chia seeds several times on these pages. You can read Are Chia Seeds Good For you?, Chia Seeds Super Breakfast with Oat Flakes, Chia Seeds Chocolate Milk Shake Recipe, among others. You can find them all by Searching for Chia seeds in the Search box on the right.

For St. Patrick’s Day there is Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day – and Every Day. There is also Green Tea Helps to Fight Flu. What is Chia Fresca?

Tony

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Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day… and Every Day

“BETTER to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”
Ancient Chinese proverb.


 

If that really is an ancient Chinese proverb it must be referring to green tea. Don’t know about green tea? You are in for a treat.

About.com reports that in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute had a study showing that green tea drinking cut the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60%.

Nadine Taylor wrote an entire book on it – Green Tea: The natural secret to a healthy life.

Green tea, beautiful benefits

HealthMad lists 10- benefits of green tea.

1 Used to treat Multiple sclerosis
2 Cancer treat/prevent
3 Stop Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s
4 Raises metabolism and increases fat oxidation
5 Reduces risk of heart diseases and attacks by cutting risk of thrombosis
6 Reduces risk of esophageal cancer
7 Inhibits growth of certain cancer cells, reduces level of cholesterol in blood, improves ratio of good over bad.
8 Used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
9 Used to treat impaired immune function
10 May help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria that causes dental plaque

What makes green tea so special? About.com said it is the high quantity of catechin polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants that not only inhibit cancer cells, but kill them outright without harming healthy tissue. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels and inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots which can cause heart attacks and stroke.

green-tea-health-benefits

Lastly, you might be asking why green tea and not black, or Earl Grey? About.com reported that while the teas all come from the leaves of the same plant, the green tea leaves are steamed which prevents a very valuable chemical compound (EGCG) from being oxidized. Other teas are made from fermented leaves which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in fighting disease.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland that showed men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

Speaking of caffeine, green tea contains only 30 to 60 mg of caffeine in 6-8 ounces vs 100 mg or more in coffee.

Slainte!

Tony

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Filed under aging, green tea, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, St. Patrick's Day

Green Tea Helps to Fight Flu

In early October I wrote a blog item recommending that you get a flu shot for the upcoming flu season. I get one every year. While I am presently going to tell you how green tea drinking can help fight the flu that is in no way intended to detract from my flu shot recommendation.

Researchers at the University of Shizuoka studied two very different groups in relation to green tea and flu.

Writing in Naturalnews.com Elizabeth Walling reported the study of nursing home residents considered to be at a particularly high risk for catching colds and flu. The residents gargled with green tea three times a day. At the end, the residents who had gargled with the tea showed a significantly lower rate of flu and cold viruses.

Interestingly, the study indicated that actually gargling with the tea rather than drinking it proved more beneficial because it exposed the viruses lingering in the throat to the tea’s healing powers.

The Life Extension Newsletter reported that the second study was done by the University of Shizuoka and Kikugawa General Hospital surveying over 2000 pupils between the ages of 6 and 13 years who lived on a rea plantation area of Japan during flu season from November, 2008 to February, 2009.

The responses provided information concerning the frequency and quantity of green tea intake, preventive measures taken against influenza, and the incidence and duration of infections.

During the survey period, 204 cases of flu were confirmed by influenza antigen testing. Among children who reported drinking green tea at least six days per week there was a 40 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with influenza compared to those who consumed tea fewer than three days per week. Subjects who consumed one to two cups per day had a 38 percent lower risk of contracting flu in comparison with those who consumed less than one cup, and a 46 percent lower risk was observed for those who drank three to five cups daily. No greater benefit was determined for drinking more than five cups green tea per day.

“These findings are supported by previous research, which documented the prevention of influenza infection via the antiviral effects of green tea catechins and the enhancement of systemic immunity of theanine,” the authors write. “Contrary to the results of green tea consumption, general preventive measures (such as influenza vaccination, hand hygiene, and the use of facemasks) were not associated with the incidence of influenza infection.”

“Further clinical studies, including randomized controlled trials, are required to confirm the preventive effects of green tea consumption on influenza infection, including the number of affected days and degree of symptoms, as well as to assess the safety of green tea consumption by children,” they conclude.

My conclusion is that green tea is worth including in your arsenal against flu. It’s early times, get your flu shot and figure a way to include green tea in your daily consumption. Gargling it would also be a good idea.

I have written about green tea itself previously. Check it out: Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day.

Tony

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