January 12, 2012

Take Time for Tea

 

Make time for Tea! Regular tea drinking could boost your immune system. Black, green and oolong teas all contain the bacteria-fighting chemical L-theanine, which can protect against colds.

Tea is “a plant-based beverage,” says Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., a Tufts University professor of nutrition. “You put those leaves in water and you heat them up and what you’re doing is extracting these phytonutrients that are very similar to those that you find in fruits and vegetables.

Phytochemicals are natural substances found in fruits and vegetables that are believed to benefit health and reduce the risk of disease.

When you hear about the health benefits of tea, it’s often those phytochemicals that get the credit. Tea has been linked to everything from lower risk for osteoporosis to lower incidence of halitosis (bad breath), but more research is needed for definitive proof.

Sources: The Health Secrets Handbook, pg 286. / CNN: Soak up tea’s nutritional benefits.

 

April 14, 2011

Berry Good News for Fighting Obesity!

Blueberries
I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about blueberries lately. With only 80 calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries are a delicious way to receive a surplus of health benefits. Blueberries have been examined in all different kinds of nutrition studies. Results reveal that blueberries have a positive effect on everything from aging to cardiovascular disease. Recently, a researcher from Texas Woman’s University set out to examine whether blueberries could aid in overcoming one of the world’s greatest heath challenges: obesity.

Blueberries contain a high polyphenol content and Shiwani Moghe, a graduate student at TWU, wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular stage. Plant polyphenols have been shown to fight adipogenesis (the development of fat cells) and induce lipolysis (the breakdown of fat). The study was preformed in tissue cultures taken from mice. The highest dose of blueberry polyphenols yielded a 73 percent decrease in fat and the lowest dose showed a 27 percent decrease. Although these results show promise for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body, there is much more research to be done to find an effective human dose and discover any adverse effects.

In the meantime, keep eating your blueberries. Blueberries’ antioxidant properties help neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules linked to the development of several diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. Do you have any favorite blueberry recipes?

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