Monday, February 22, 2016

Cheers to Good Health

Aging is a state of mind, and protecting our mind starts with the food and drinks we consume every day. One of the most powerful ways we can enhance memory, mental alertness, and slow brain aging is by drinking green tea regularly.

With over 4,000 years of use, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. There are three main types of tea: green, black, and oolong. The difference is in how the teas are processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves helping to retain the highest amount of antioxidants to protect against chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Tea also contains catechins which makes blood less sticky helping to further reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Catechins can also reduce free radical damage and some studies show it may help prevent breast, prostate, and GI tract related cancers.

Green tea has the highest catechin content, about 375 mg per cup, followed by black tea with about 210 mg per cup. Decaffeinated green and black teas appear to have the same benefits as regular.

Studies have also shown people who drink at least one cup of tea daily have higher bone mineral density helping to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. There are many properties in tea which could contribute to strong bones; fluoride being the best known can also help prevent cavities as well. Too much fluoride can be a problem, so it is best to limit tea to 4 cups or less daily.

Adding milk to tea blocks the absorption of catechins so this should be avoided. Sugar and alternative sweeteners do not  appear to effect catechin absorption, although consuming these in moderation is best.

Studies show tea is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against many diseases and enhance mental function. Enjoy green tea regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle. 

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