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Posts Tagged ‘green tea’

Some foods offer a rich source of antioxidants while others contain few if any antioxidants. But what are antioxidants and exactly how do they benefit our health?

Antioxidants have become one of the popular health buzzwords of our time. But you cannot know if you are eating the right foods that are rich in antioxidants if you do not know what antioxidants are! Help!

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants can be described as substances such as vitamins and minerals that can work to fight the damage caused by free radicals throughout the cells in the human body. Antioxidants are capable of neutralizing the oxidation process which can lead to premature aging and can lead to the onset of many diseases. Free radicals, it goes without saying, can be very harmful to the health of humans.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants on a regular basis is easier than you might think because they can be found in an abundance of foods that you can buy at grocery stores and local markets. The more you consume foods rich in antioxidant content the healthier will your body be, both on the inside and the outside.

What Should You Eat?

There are many foods that contain high levels of antioxidants. Here we look at two of the top picks. Both are green, but one is a food and another a beverage.

Broccoli: When it comes to going green for health, broccoli is a true nutrition winner! This is a veggie that is very high in antioxidant content. It is a vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family and it is instrumental in fighting free radicals when it comes to disease prevention. Broccoli contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane which reduces the risk of developing a variety of types of cancers.  This green disease fighting machine contains more of the mineral calcium than a glass of milk and more vitamin C than an orange.

Green Tea: All types of tea are healthy for you but green tea is rich in antioxidants. This is the case because it contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. This ingredient helps the body to burn fat and it also reduces the incidence of many diseases including numerous forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. If you want to shed some pounds then increasing your intake of green tea is a good idea. It is also an excellent choice of warm beverage for those who have high cholesterol. Consume two to four cups a day for the optimum benefits for your health and to receive the high antioxidant content that your body needs!

Becca

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Stress. It is one small word but oh what a loaded word! Too much of it is bad for your health and your overall well-being. It can affect your heart, your relationships, your ability to focus and make decisions and even your cholesterol level. Here we look at some simple ways that you can relieve tension and minimize stress in your busy life.

You know that expression, “Stop and smell the roses”? Well when it comes to stress there is some logic in that. It is aromatherapy and stopping to smell the roses that can help to ease stress. Roses contain a chemical called linalool which has been proven through scientific studies to reduce stress.

This is also true of fruits such as oranges, mangoes and grapes, and herbs such as basil, rosemary and lavender. Keep a vase of flowers nearby or some dried lavender or a bowl of fruit and take a whiff of it whenever you are feeling blue.

Here is one you may never have thought of – chew gum. Chewing gum offers a means of busting stress and it is a pleasant treat that will not cause a spike in your cholesterol level. A recent study showed that workers who chew gum reported a lesser amount of stress than did workers who did not chew gum. Putting a piece of gum in your mouth and chomping on it stimulates a nerve known as the vagus nerve. This nerve helps to calm and relax you. Just make sure that you think of the health of your teeth as well.

Naturally, opt for sugar-free gum.

Sipping a relaxing cup of tea is well… relaxing and soothing when you are feeling like a bundle of nerves. Take a hint from the British. The Brits brew a pot of tea when stress threatens to boil over and it helps them to feel calmer and more in control of their circumstances. Black tea has been found to be high in antioxidants that blast stress.

These antioxidants include flavonoids, polyphenols and amino acids. There is also evidence to suggest that green tea can help to lower the bad type of cholesterol in the body, otherwise known as LDL cholesterol. Next time you feel overwhelmed with stress brew yourself a cup and sit down and enjoy it!

Do you laugh a lot? Do you even laugh enough? If you cannot remember when you last cut loose with a hearty laugh then it is no surprise that your health is paying the price when it comes to stress. As far as stress is concerned, laughter really is one of the best types of medicine. When you let go with a hearty belly laugh this brings about the production of endorphins which are the feel-good brain transmitters. It also relaxes blood vessels and thereby increases blood flow. As an antidote for tension laughter is very good indeed!

More ways continue in Part II to stop stress in its tracks.

Samantha

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Superfoods can really contribute to your good health because they have so much to offer you. The more that you consume on a regular basis the stronger will be your immune system and the greater your energy and vitality levels. To optimize your health you owe it to yourself to include these foods in your new year’s meals!

In my last post I shared two superfoods for the New Year here, but there are lots more but not enough space for them all.

Here we look at three more superfoods that you will want to start enjoying – or more of – this year.

Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are very much like flaxseeds. They are a source of soluble fiber which is good for the heart. They are also high in protein and high in essential omega-3 fats. They are also rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. You only need a small portion of chia seeds to give you a boost of energy and to balance out your blood sugar.

Chia seeds make a great addition to your breakfast cereal, a bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of yogurt. These small health enhancing seeds contain six times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach, two times more potassium than bananas and 15 times more magnesium than broccoli.

Pomegranates:

Pomegranates are a perfect food for the winter because they are most readily available during the late fall and the early to mid-winter months. Often thought of as the “jewels of winter” this colorful and tasty fruit can add variety to your salads and your desserts.

Pomegranates are rich in an antioxidant known as ellagic acid which can help to combat inflammatory health conditions such as atherosclerosis, arthritis and a number of infections. Pomegranates and pears make for a tasty treat when eaten together.

There is a trick to eating a pomegranate. Submerge it is a bowl of water as you go about the task of taking off the outer rind and the white pith. This will cause the seeds of the fruit to sink to the bottom of the bowl. When you eat the seeds directly from the opened rind of the fruit you become conscious of how many you are consuming which makes eating too many highly unlikely.

Green Tea:

If you are a coffee drinker then it would not hurt you to give green tea a try. While coffee does have some health benefits, green tea also has its share of benefits that can do your body good. Both coffee and green tea contains antioxidants and help to promote weight loss. However green tea has also been shown to be an effective cancer fighter.

Approximately one-third of a green tea leaf is composed of antioxidants known as catechins. The main catechin is called epigallocatechin gallate. Due to its long name it is most often referred to by its acronym, EGCG. Research studies have shown that EGCG is effective in terms of boosting metabolism and it also is able to prevent the development of certain types of cancers, in particular these include bladder cancer and prostate cancer.

But the goodness of green tea does not end there. It also contains an amino acid called L-theanine which helps to relieve stress and anxiety and supports a relaxed and calm state of mind. Green tea is good in general (green ginger mint tea is quite a savory treat!)  but if you wish you can choose the most potent form of it known as matcha. This type of green tea is finely milled and very tasty to the taste buds! Yum!

Becca

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