Green Tea & Kidney Stones

by Steven Popec 23. June 2010 14:37

Loose leaf green tea is truly marvelous. It will help purify your body, give you health benefits galore, and beyond all that, it’s an incredibly tasty beverage. In this world of processed, sugar and corn syrup packed products, it’s hard to find a sweet, delectable treat that is pure and natural. Compared with other drinks, green tea truly seems to be the closest thing to what would be the nectar of the gods. It’s wonderfully aromatic, and the delicious scent of this drink treat gives you a hint of what’s to come.

Health benefits
   
And now let’s move on and start talking about its countless health benefits. There are simply too many to discuss them all in depth. Loose leaf green tea can appear to some to be a miracle drink for your health.
   
This type of tea is packed full of nutrients and compounds that all promote tons of health benefits, and is almost like a miracle elixir. It can do all sorts of wonderful things for your health, including improving memory, improving the health of your teeth, fighting off cancer, boosting your metabolism, boosting your immune system, improve your heart health, help alleviate allergy symptoms, help regulate blood sugar, along with a multitude of other health benefits. It almost makes one wonder if there’s anything green tea can’t do for your health.

Preventing kidney stones
   
New studies now show that drinking loose leaf green tea on a regular basis may have even another healthful effect on your body; it may help to prevent kidney stones from forming. How does this work? Compounds in green tea may help to prevent this painful condition by making it more difficult for certain types of kidney stones to form. They may even prevent the compounds from forming before they form crystals.

What are kidney stones?
   
Kidney stones can cause pain in the abdomen, rib area, and it can be a drawn out painful experience. If you have ever suffered from kidney stones, then you now how excruciatingly painful they can be. This condition affects around five percent of the population, and is caused by a high concentration of minerals which cling together and form crystals that can cause a great deal of pain. The most common type of kidney stone is formed when a high concentration of calcium clumps together to form these crystals. This type of kidney stone is called calcium oxalate.

The research
   
Studies have shown that green tea compounds can combat these types of kidney stones from forming. The compounds from the green tea will bond to the crystal, making it lose its shape and become less likely to form a kidney stone.
   
Drinking green tea may help prevent this painful condition. When you regularly consume this tasty beverage, you’re doing your body a favor. By drinking just a few cups of green tea every day you can help to prevent kidney stones from forming and save yourself from being in a great deal of pain. In addition to that, regularly drinking tea on a daily basis, you will be improving your overall health on the long term.

How Do They Make Decaf Tea, Anyway?

by Elena Popec 8. June 2010 11:22

Decaffeinated, which is also commonly referred to as decaf tea, is tea which has undergone a decaffeination process of one sort or another that has removed most of its caffeine. There are many different processes of decaffeinating tea. There are processes that are dangerous and have been made illegal, and ones that are completely safe without any health risks. The different processes in use have an impact on the tea, and can affect its flavor. There is also a process today that still uses a possible carcinogen, so it’s important to learn about the processes of decaffeination which are used on the tea you are buying.

Different decaffeination processes used on tea

Carbon Dioxide
   
Carbon dioxide or CO2 decaffeination is completely safe, and it’s extremely effective at removing caffeine. It’s also excellent at preserving the flavor. It’s the safest process that maintains most of the flavor. It uses highly compressed CO2 in gas form, which becomes a fluid under pressure. The only negative to this process is the cost; it’s expensive.

Ethyl Acetate
   
Ethyl acetate is a compound that occurs naturally. It is found in fruits and it does occur in tea leaves, though in very small amounts. This process is completely safe, but removes a little more of the flavor compared to other processes. However, the ethyl acetate process is inexpensive.

Methylene Chloride / Dichloromethane
   
Methylene chloride, or dichloromethane, is possibly carcinogenic and it is toxic in large concentrations. It is an effective process and does preserve the flavors, but it’s risky. This decaffeination process is legal in the United States and is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. The low concentration left in decaf tea probably does not pose a large health risk, but there have been analyses of teas in the past which have had levels above the legal limit. It’s difficult to find out which teas come from companies which use this process, as they generally do not make it known due to the negative perception about this process.

Benzene

   
Benzene is a process that has been banned and has not been used for a long time. It is a dangerous carcinogenic chemical that can lead to many health problems and is not safe to be used in a decaffeination process.

Trichloroethylene

This is another chemical that has fortunately been banned and has been ceased to be used. It is unsafe for decaffeination, and was banned due to studies showing that it causes liver tumors in mice.

In Summary:
   
Carbon dioxide decaffeination is the most preferred method. It’s safe and preserves the flavor, though it’s a little more expensive. Ethyl acetate is safe, but doesn’t preserve as much of the flavor. But its decaffeination process is less expensive. Methylene chloride is legal, though it is a little more risky to use. This decaffeination process is regulated by the FDA. Other processes which were used in the past are trichloroethylene and benzene, which have been banned due to the health risks, and are no longer used.

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