Today this is my go to pre bike ride treat! These are not so bad if you limit yourself to 1 1/2 pieces! These delicious treats are made with all natural organic ingredients, there so yummy it’s hard to only eat 1 1/2 just warning you. So far I have been practicing good self control and only had the recommended serving! Lately I have been having a sweet tooth craving and this has hit the spot! 🙂
Charlotte Personal Training
When we remove soda from your diet there is a chance of getting headaches and feeling irritable as the body starts to go through with-drawls from not having soda. Drinking green tea is a great alternative that will help this change in diet go smoothly. Green tea is also a great alternative to coffee especially if your trying to cut back on caffeine.
Sip your way to optimal health to reap the benefits of this hot, green liquid miracle drink.
10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea (No. 3 is Very Impressive)
Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
Here are 10 health benefits of green tea that have been confirmed in human research studies.
1. Green Tea Contains Various Bioactive Compounds That Can Improve Health
Green tea is more than just green liquid.
Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients.
These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.
One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.
Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health.
Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride (2).
That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.
2. Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter
Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter.
The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant.
It doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine.
What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (3, 4).
Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory (5).
However… green tea contains more than just . It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (6).
Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function (10).
Because of the L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder and different kind of “buzz” than coffee.
Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.
Bottom Line: Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.
3. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance
If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there.
In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4% (13).
Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat (14).
However, I’d like to point out that some studies on green tea don’t show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual (15).
Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree.
4. Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer
Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death.
It is well known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect (20).
Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do:
- Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that whomen who drank the most green tea had a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women (21).
- Prostate cancer: One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men (22).
- Colorectal cancer: A study of 69,710 Chinese women found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer (23).
It is important to keep in mind that it may be a bad idea to put milk in your tea, because it can reduce the antioxidant value (27).
Bottom Line: Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer.
5. Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.
Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentally lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (28, 29, 30).
Bottom Line: The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.
6. Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection
The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well.
Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.
Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries (35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40).
Bottom Line: The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath.
7. Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people worldwide.
This disease involves having elevated blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes (45).
According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic (46).
Bottom Line: Some controlled trials show that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels. It may also lower the risk of developing type II diabetes in the long term.
8. Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world (47).
Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases.
This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (48).
Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease (49, 50, 51).
Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as protect the LDL particles from oxidation. Observational studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
9. Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Becoming Obese
Given that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.
One of these studies was a randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women that went on for 12 weeks. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and abdominal fat (58).
However, some studies don’t show a statistically significant increases in weight loss with green tea, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt (59).
Bottom Line: Some studies show that green tea leads to increased weight loss. It is particularly effective at reducing the dangerous abdominal fat.
10. Green Tea May Decrease Your Risk of Dying and Help You Live Longer
Of course, we all have to die eventually. That is inevitable.
However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer.
In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most green tea (5 or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period (60):
- Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men.
- Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men.
- Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.
Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged 65-84 years found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period (61).
Take Home Message
If you want to buy quality organic green tea (or green tea extract), then there is an excellent selection with thousands of customer reviews on Amazon.
In order to feel better, lose weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases, then you might want to consider making green tea a regular part of your life.
By Kris Gunnars, BSc
Tonight for dinner I made chicken lettuce wraps! Lettuce, chicken, walnuts and strawberries topped with Greek yogurt! If you have a large appetite like myself and over stuff the wraps I recommend using two layers of lettuce! Bon appe’tit!
I found this interesting. There are many healthy alternatives, just because we eat healthy doesn’t mean we should skimp on working out.
It probably comes as no surprise that, as registered dietitians, we’re always promoting healthy foods. However, through the course of our careers, every now and then an otherwise healthy food that we recommend to include in a healthy diet unexpectedly has something worrisome turn up in it. Here are four healthy foods that fall in this category and easy fixes to avoid the hidden dangers.
1. Plain, unsalted microwave popcorn
It’s whole-grain, fiber-filled, crunchy and delicious, and makes a great snack. At 100 calories for 3 cups popped, it’s an excellent weight-loss snack.
The Hidden Danger: BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical that has been linked with a host of negative health effects, from problems with the brain, heart and prostate to harmful effects on reproductive systems and childhood development. BPA has been reported to be found in the lining of microwave popcorn bags.
The Fix: Buy unpopped kernels and air pop your own popcorn. For extra flavor, try sprinkling with cinnamon, chili or garlic powder or a little Parmesan cheese.
2. Lean, grilled poultry and meat
When it comes to protein sources that keep you satiated, lean meat and poultry rank near the top. Grilling keeps these foods lean and tasty. Pair them with steamed veggies and you have a nutrient-packed meal that is seemingly ideal for weight loss hopefuls as well as fit athletes.
The Hidden Danger: Heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, are carcinogens that are created when you cook meats at high temperatures.
The Fix: Here are several things you can do to limit the creation of HCAs:
- Avoid charring or cooking your meat to well done; the more dried out the meat is, the more HCAs are created.
- Marinate your meat first to greatly reduce HCAs (whether you soak for minutes or hours, it helps).
- Use the “filp-a-minute” rule when grilling. If you flip your meat or burger every minute, HCAs can be slashed 75 to 90 percent, because it keeps the surface temperature lower.
- Microwaving your meat for 90 to 120 seconds and draining off the juices before grilling will eliminate 90 percent of the HCAs.
- Avoid the temptation to use the drippings, which can contain more HCAs than the meat.
Packed with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, salmon seems as though it’s nearly the perfect food when it comes to fighting heart disease (omega-3s appear to lower triglycerides, blood pressure, risk of stroke-and more, and prevent the inflammation that damages the vessels and leads to heart disease) and inflammatory diseases like arthritis. It’s a rich, tasty and satisfying protein that is the highlight of many meals.
The Hidden Danger: PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are environmental toxins that pollute our waters and our fish. They also are known to be cancer-causing chemicals. According to The Environmental Working Group, seven of 10 farmed salmon purchased at grocery stores in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Portland were tested and found to be contaminated with (PCBs) at levels that raise health concerns.
The Fix: Choose wild salmon over farmed-raised. On average, farmed salmon has 16 times the dangerous dioxin-like PCBs found in wild salmon due to the fishmeal that farmed salmon are fed. To reduce your exposure to PCBs, avoid frying and instead grill, bake or broil to allow the PCB-laden fat to cook off the fish. Instead of purchasing farmed salmon, choose wild and canned Alaskan salmon, and eat farmed salmon no more than once a month.
4. Dried Fruit
Packed with phytonutrients and fiber, dried fruit is portable, sturdy and ideal on-the-go. It goes perfectly in trail mix and, when combined with foods like nuts or Greek yogurt, it can be the ideal pre- or post-workout energy-boosting snack.
The Hidden Danger: Sulfites, often listed in ingredients as sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfate, sodium and potassium bisulfites, and metabisulfites, can cause reactions in sensitive individuals. These allergic reactions can be relatively mild, such as hives, or more severe—such as difficulty breathing and even fatal anaphylactic shock. People with asthma are more likely to be sensitive.
The Fix: Use a dehydrator to make your own dried fruit without sulfites, or read labels and be sure to purchase dried fruits that don’t contain sulfites.
By The Nutrition Twins
I never let my bananas go bad I turn my almost spoiled bananas into a tasty treat. This is also a healthy snack your kids will enjoy. One medium banana has 422mg Potassium, 3.1 g Dietary fiber and 1.3 g of Protein. To make them peel the bananas, wrap in tin foil and place in the freezer. For an additional pop of flavor sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves over banana before wrapping in tin foil. Enjoy your banana pop like a Popsicle on a hot day straight out of the freezer. I hope you like my cheap resourceful banana pop idea!