22. June 2010 07:41
Sleep apnea is a form of sleep disorder that impedes the breathing process during sleep, and if you have it, you know it’s absolutely no fun. It can cause your breathing to pause or even to stop during sleep. It can be dangerous, and lead to a variety of other risky health problems.
Problems associated with sleep apnea
It may lead to problems with cognitive abilities such as learning and memory skills, as well as impede other cognitive abilities. Sleep apnea can also mean that you don’t get as much sleep as you should, and the sleep you do get is not restful and does not help restore and refresh your body.
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital
A good night’s sleep is actually extremely important for your body. It restores the body to prepare it for a new day, and refreshes the cells. Not getting a good night’s sleep is a tremendous problem, as sleep serves an incredibly important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Lack of good, restful sleep can interfere with your daily functioning and impede on your life.
Other effects of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea, otherwise known as obstructive sleep apnea, is a condition that deprives your body of oxygen while you are asleep. A person who suffers from this condition may experience pauses in breathing while asleep, and their breathing may even stop. This can lead to a drop in oxygen levels, and if oxygen doesn’t get everywhere that it’s supposed to, this can have a negative impact on organs in the body. Breathing is tremendously important, and during sleep it is especially dangerous not to get enough oxygen into your body.
This condition also increases the risk for other health problems such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes. It’s definitely a condition that is necessary to prevent, and green tea may be an aid in sleep improvement.
Green tea can help
Green tea is packed with antioxidants which may help improve memory and other cognitive functions. It also contains polyphenols which counteract oxidative stress that occurs in the brain. Damage to cells caused by free radicals, a type of harmful molecule, causes oxidative stress. This in turn causes other types of complications and illnesses. It can also affect memory and learning skills.
Fortunately, the polyphenols that occur in green tea work to counteract oxidative stress. They are found in abundance in loose leaf green tea and also in various fruits and vegetables. Loose leaf tea is also the best way to get all the nutrients from the tea. It is more natural, healthy, and hasn’t been processed to the point of beating out all the nutritional value. Loose leaf green tea is also much more flavorful, and far superior.
Tea bags have pounded and processed the leaves, leaving you with a bag full of tea dust that is, while not entirely void of, lacking in many nutrients found in loose leaf tea. Organic tea is even better for you, as tea that is not organic may have traces of harmful chemicals. When you drink tea, you want to be drinking the tea that is going to actually give you the health benefits that you need to improve your sleep.
21. June 2010 07:19
What is Rooibos?
Rooibos tea, also known as Aspalathus linearis, is a common drink in South Africa and has been consumed there for years. It’s a unique type of tea, and isn’t quite as common just yet in the Western world. It is a mild flavored, fruity type of tea and is already growing in popularity with the rest of the world due not only to its delectable flavor but to its many health benefits. It is grown in the mountains of the Western Cape Province of South Africa and is sometimes called the African rooibos tea. It can be brewed and consumed hot, or made into a delicious iced tea. It has numerous health benefits and can truly add to a healthy lifestyle.
What does Rooibos Mean?
Rooibos means, “red bush.” It is an African word for the flowering shrub that grows in the Western Cape, north of Capetown, in the mountain region. It grows to five feet or so in height, with a red brown stem and needle like, vibrant green leaves. It is a legume shrub which has roots that are able to withstand the poor soils of the mountain region. Its roots can tolerate the acidic soils due to the abundance they have in nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Antioxidants and Nutrients
The tea that is produced from this plant is delicious and it also has been recently discovered to have high antioxidant contents, like many other teas. Its vitamins and nutrients have led to its increase in popularity in the Western world. It has many health benefits, as do other teas, and is deliciously fruity flavored. It is sometimes blended in with herbal teas that are available today.
The Health Benefits
This tea is sweet on its own. It doesn’t have all the artifice and preservatives and additives of other teas, which makes it a much healthier choice. This tea is incredibly healthy with many benefits.
Research shows that rooibos tea can help with health problems such as headaches and that it may help to lower blood pressure as well. It can even help to prevent anxiety attacks, and helps to alleviate insomnia, and irritability. The tea has already been being used in South Africa to treat asthma, eczema, and hay fever. It is, like most teas, almost like a magical panacea in some ways. It has many other benefits as well. Rooibos can also help maintain healthy teeth, act as an anti-inflammatory, and help to fight off viruses. It has been shown to help with alleviating abdominal pains as well. And it contains elements which are beneficial to healthy skin. This type of tea also contains properties which help maintain healthy circulation of the blood and also helps to fight aging. It of course helps the body’s immunes system as well, like other teas, with all of its antioxidants. Here’s another benefit: Rooibos is free of caffeine! In this way, it is effective at helping alleviate stress, insomnia, and tension and can help relax a person.
It’s fruity and delicious, and healthy too!
16. June 2010 15:06
Tea is delicious and healthful, but there are so many different kinds it can be difficult to navigate through them to choose the right tea for you. Teas have thousands of different varieties and flavors, and the health benefits vary also among the types of teas.
Most teas today are blends, because pure tea is rarely ever the same. Oolong tea, for example, will vary from being very close to a black tea, to being very similar to green tea, depending on how long the leaves are left to oxidize. Teas will also vary depending on the weather, climate, where they were grown, altitudes, and so on. There are many factors that can change the flavor of a tea.
Most teas that are widely available in grocery stores and online stores today are tea blends. A common reason to blend tea is to blend higher with lower quality to price the tea at the higher quality level. But the other main reason to blend teas is to create a new, consistent flavor.
Where Tea Comes From
All teas come from the Camellia sinesis plant, which may be surprising considering that there are thousands of varieties of teas. But depending on where the plant is growing, the altitude, weather, climate, and so on, the plant is affected differently. The processing of the tea leaves also affects the variety and flavor of the tea. The tea plants today are grown to about three feet and then harvested; though in the distant past tea plants would grow to be much, much taller. After the tea leaves are processed they are kept protected from air and sunlight so that they maintain their flavor and aroma.
Tea is produced by over twenty-five different countries in the world today, which of course include the main producers: India, China, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Nepal. There are four main types, or varieties, of tea, and they are: white, black, green, and oolong. But among these there are thousands of varieties. These teas all come from the same plant, surprisingly enough, but they vary based on the different climates and altitudes of where they were grown.
The Different Types
But among the four main types the differences depend also on the processing. Black tea is oxidized more than the other types and has a much higher level of caffeine. White tea is the least fermented of all the types. Green tea is sweet with an almost plant-like taste. Oolong varies between being more like black tea or more like green tea, depending on the process.
Green tea has many health benefits. It’s almost like magic. It helps with reducing inflammation, even with keeping teeth healthy. It can improve heart health and has been shown to help lower cholesterol. It can even help prevent or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It can help fight off diseases and help prevent cancer, and it can also help boost your energy and metabolism. Teas are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s delicious and healthy. Drink up!
15. June 2010 10:00
As you probably know, tea has numerous health benefits. Green tea especially is loaded with a plethora of health benefits. It’s a powerhouse for your body and your immune system. And one doesn’t have to drink hot tea. You can have it iced, and it’s just as delicious, with many health benefits. Nothing is more satisfying on a hot summer day than a delicious, tall glass of iced tea. And iced tea is still one of the healthiest drinks you can enjoy. It’s healthier by far than sugary, processed soda pop or fruit drinks, and it’s quite tasty.
Adds To a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to maintain a strong immune system, a healthy weight, and to help boost your metabolism as well. Exercising regularly and eating healthy are all a part of it. But tea can add to a healthy lifestyle. Adding some brewed tea, hot or iced, to your daily experience is a very easy way to add a glass of health to your life. It can have a huge impact on improving your health in many ways, as tea is packed with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s a delicious drink that’s just loaded with health benefits such as boosting your immune system, giving you energy, and helping to fight off illnesses and even cancer.
Buy and brew some loose leaf tea. Loose leaf is by far superior to flavorless tea bags. Loose leaf tea has been maintained in its natural state, and in the brewing the water is able to circulate around the leaves. This brings out the flavor of the tea. Loose leaf tea has also been processed naturally most of the time, which means that it has retained the naturally occurring antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. It’s healthier by far as it is still packed with nutrients. There’s really no competition between loose leaf and tea bags. Loose leaf is the way to go.
Have Iced Tea All Week
There are also many flavor pairings that can enhance the natural flavor of the tea as well. After brewing some tea leaves, wait for the tea to cool off and you can even refrigerate it for days and have delicious iced tea all week long. Just add some ice and drink up. Iced tea is delicious and is a far better choice than soft drinks or concentrate juice. It’s absolutely delectable, and yet also has nutritional value and health benefits.
Certain types of tea, such as green tea, have a myriad of health benefits. It can help fight off cancer, improve your memory, help with those trying to lose weight, and can even help to prevent cavities. It has been shown to lower cholesterol and increase the “good” cholesterol, which improves heart health. And tea helps fight off infections and illnesses. It reduces inflammation and also gives you energy and boosts your metabolism. Avoid using sugar in your tea. There are alternatives such as stevia or xylitol which are much healthier to add to iced tea.
14. June 2010 13:57
Is there even an argument of loose leaf over using tea bags? Loose leaf tea has been left in its natural state and the brewing of it brings out the flavor of the tea. It’s not really a contest over flavorless tea bags.
And green tea is delicious; it has a sweet, natural flavor. It can be paired with certain fruits or sometimes spices or nuts to complement its flavor. Beyond being completely delicious, green tea is a healthy choice.
Green tea has just enough caffeine to give you energy, but doesn’t lead to the crash effect that coffee or espresso can give. The way caffeine is released from tea is in such a way that regulates how the caffeine is released, due to a compound that exists in the tea itself.
Green tea also reduces stress. There are compounds that occur naturally in tea leaves that have a calming effect, which decreases the stress response in your body. Try brewing some green tea when you’re worried or stressed.
Research has also shown that tea may help speed up the metabolism. This would help people who are trying to lose weight. Newer studies have found catechins in tea which help reduce fat in the abdomen. Catechins are found in weight loss supplements, but why take those when you can drink brewed, naturally occurring tea leaves?
This tea has also been proven to fight off cavities. It reduces gingivitis and it reduces the bacteria in the mouth. The tea leaf has fluoride which occurs naturally, and is a substance that helps build up strength and health in teeth. Green tea also destroys the bacterium that causes strep throat.
Green tea helps ward off many viruses and sicknesses. It has the most antioxidants among the four types of teas, and also has naturally occurring polyphenols, catechins, and many other naturally occurring compounds which increase immunity in the body.
It also helps reduce inflammation. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which are natural. It’s a better choice than taking even over the counter chemical compounds.
Another benefit of green tea is that it can reduce cholesterol. Studies have shown that consuming green tea regularly can reduce levels of the “bad cholesterol” while increasing “good” cholesterol.
Helps Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease
And green tea also helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia. Research shows that green tea can help improve memory related learning and have also been shown to help reverse mental deterioration.
Green tea may also protect against cancer, and it possibly kills off existing cancer as well. Research has shown that drinking between four and eight cups of green tea every day can really help when fighting off these diseases.
Beyond all this, remember that green tea is also delicious. The most benefit of course comes from high quality loose leaf tea. These have less caffeine and more antioxidants. It doesn’t even seem like that difficult of a choice. The loose leaves can be brewed again to make three to six cups of tea. It’s affordable, delicious, and helps with everything from maintaining healthy weight and teeth to fighting off infections, preventing cancer, and even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea truly seems like a magical elixir.
11. June 2010 07:34
The choices of flavors of teas can be overwhelming. There are literally thousands of different types and flavor pairings of teas. There are more types of teas in existence than a person could ever possibly try even in an entire lifetime. So, there are some things you should take into consideration when choosing a tea to taste.
There are four main types of tea: black, oolong, white, and green. Among these there are many varied flavors, but most teas fall under one of these varieties. Another thing to consider is the quality of the tea. Tea that has been processed by hand has the best flavor, much better flavor than teas that have been processed by other means. The quality of the flavor is another thing to take into consideration. Natural flavorings are always the best choice.
Among the different types of teas, it’s important to know the main differences to begin trying out which ones you might like. Black tea is the most consumed worldwide but it has a strong flavor and the highest level of caffeine. It can handle strong flavors such as chocolate and strong fruits.
Green tea tastes sweet but has a very natural almost plant-like flavor. Most fruit flavors work well with green tea, as do herbs and spices. There are some flavors that could overpower the tea, however.
White tea has a sweet flavor and aroma but its flavor can be overpowered by others very easily. Certain flower or fruit flavors do enhance the tea quite well. Melon and jasmine are examples which enhance the white tea flavor. Peaches, pears, and roses are also excellent to be paired with this type of tea.
Oolong tea has complex flavors, and it varies in flavor depending on how it is processed. It can range from being very similar to a black tea, to being very close to green tea. Peaches, apples, or oranges can be paired with this type of tea to enhance its flavor, but almonds or other types of nuts make good parings as well. Some spices and flowers can be paired with oolong tea as well.
The Health Benefits
There are many flavors of tea, but the health benefits of certain types of tea may alter your decision as well. Green tea and white tea have the most natural antioxidants of the other types of teas. When pairing these teas with healthy fruits full of antioxidants, you’ve brewed a drink exploding with health benefits. There are many fruits, spices, and nuts which have health benefits of their own that can be deliciously paired with white or green teas.
So How to Choose?
Learn what flavor teas you enjoy the most. Take some daring risks and try some flavor pairings you might not think would go well together. There are many different combinations of flavors of tea. Try out some different flavors and see which types of tea and which pairings you like the best. And by all means have some tea adventures and risk trying some bold new flavor pairings.
10. June 2010 10:11
There are thousands of varieties of tea throughout the world, and even among these the tea can be processed in a unique and different way. India’s Assam region harvests the most tea, and second in total world production is Sri Lanka. Among the varieties of tea are oolongs, assam, darjeeling, silver needle, wuyi, gyokuro, sencha, dragon well, white peony, and ceylon. There are thousands of types of teas, and the choices can be overwhelming. Most of these different types fall under four main types. These four main ones are ones which you are probably familiar with if you are a regular tea drinker: green, black, oolong, and white teas.
Do the Different Types of Teas Come from Different Plants?
There is only one type of plant that tea comes from, which may surprise someone who is new to the world of tea. All tea comes from the Camellia sinesis plant. There are some teas, called tisanes, which don’t come from Camellia sinesis. These include chamomile and herbal teas. But a newcomer might wonder how the single plant produces so many different types of teas.
If Teas All Come from the Same Plant, What Makes Them Different?
Anything can change the outcome of a tea. And there is a lot that affects the Camellia sinesis plant. Changes in the weather or different altitudes can impact how a tea turns out. Different parts of the world have different climates and different compounds of soil. These account for very varied types of teas that exist in the world today. A look at the four main types of tea:
Green tea is pretty well known these days and it offers many health benefits. It’s harvested in the spring, and after harvesting the oxidation process is stopped. Green tea is fermented a little longer. Some types are grown in the shade, and some are grown in sunshine. It’s a common variety of tea and can be found in most grocery stores, but there are certain types of this tea which are incredibly expensive. Some types of green tea can cost hundreds for a few ounces.
Black tea is oxidized more than the other three types of teas. The leaves are left to dry until they turn dark. It is also known to have health benefits as the other types. Black tea has much more caffeine than the other types of tea, and is consumed more world wide than the other types of tea.
Oolong, also called wu long, has a longer oxidation process, like black tea. Oolong tea varies in taste, but can have a woody or flowery flavor. Oolong is similar to green and black teas, and is a cross between the two.
White tea is harvested in the spring, like green tea. It’s sweet in taste and has a delicious aroma. It is the least fermented type of tea and goes through a very simple process. It’s simply left out to be dried by the sun or in a room with specially controlled climate. It has health benefits that include its ability to fight cancer and fight off organisms that cause disease.
9. June 2010 07:17
Many teas have health benefits, and black tea has many such benefits. This tea, which has been used for thousands of years in China, has many positive effects on the body, including lowering blood sugar.
Black Tea and Diabetes
Black tea is known to improve the health of the heart and to improve the immune system. Recent research also indicates that black tea can lower blood sugar. This would help people who suffer from diabetes. Research studies have found a substance in black tea that works in the same way that prescription medication which is used to control blood sugar levels work. These medications are used in patients with type 2 diabetes, and a substance that works in the same way is in black tea. This naturally occurring substance is found in higher levels in this type of tea than in others such as green tea.
How Does it Work?
The polysaccharides found in black tea help to inhibit an enzyme which changes starches to sugars. This decreases blood sugar levels, and this is the same process the prescription drugs use. Polysaccharides help to stop the absorption of sugar, and research has pointed out in the past that this might help people who have diabetes. Black tea also is shown to possibly help prevent cancer and other diseases.
So Can You Drink Black Tea in Place of an Oral Diabetic Medication?
No. Talk to your doctor before ever making a change in your treatment. These studies are not clear whether drinking the tea would be enough for treating diabetes. The study extracted the polysaccharides from the teas using chemical methods, which is not the way you brew tea at home.
Why is the Tea Black?
Traditional teas actually come from the same plant. The difference in color is due to the amount of processing. The black interacted with oxygen until the leaves darkened, in a process called oxidation. The process of the black variety only involves the tea leaves and oxygen. There’s no yeast or fermenting involved in this tea making process.
Black Tea has a Higher Level of Caffeine
This method does, however, leave much higher caffeine content in the tea. Black tea has a much higher level compared to other teas, including green and white teas. A cup of black tea has just about 50% less milligrams of caffeine in it than coffee has. A cup of black tea is used in many parts of the world instead of coffee in the mornings.
Where Can I Buy Black Tea?
Black teas are available at most grocery stores. Organic brands are becoming more readily available in stores, or they can be purchased online or at local health food stores. It may be available as a single tea packet, or in a blend. There are many different brands, and the choices can be a little overwhelming. Try a few different brands and types. Find the flavor you most enjoy. Brew the leaves in a pot-bellied teapot for the most delectable experience of the drink.
And drink up the deliciousness, and know that’s good for you too! The benefits of this drink are many, and it perhaps could lead, with more research and study, to another breakthrough for helping to lower blood sugar.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
7. June 2010 10:43
Organic tea is a healthy, delicious choice and has been becoming more and more popular in recent years. The demand for organic products has led to these types of teas being available from mainstream tea companies and in most supermarket chains. It’s easier than ever to buy organic tea.
Why is Buying Organic Tea Important?
Avoiding toxic chemicals is one of the main benefits of buying organic tea, and of course there is also the benefit of helping to protect the environment.
Non-organic teas may have traces of harmful, toxic chemicals due to the use of pesticides in the production. Much of the tea available in stores comes from China and India, where the environmental regulations are not as stringent as those in the United States or countries in Europe. The toxic chemicals in pesticides can be dangerous to ingest and be a risk to the health of people drinking the tea. There are many benefits to drinking tea, such as properties that may help prevent cancer, but this is outweighed by the toxic effects of the chemicals used in the production. Some of these chemicals are known to have carcinogenic effects and toxins.
The consumption of teas that have used these chemicals in their production can cause health problems for people who drink it. It’s dangerous as well for people who live near the area of production as the areas may have become contaminated by the toxins. By buying tea that has been produced by such methods contributes to the environmental contamination and to the health problems the people in the area suffer from.
Nutrient Pollution from Fertilizer:
Beyond the toxins that are in the pesticides used for production, there is damage to the environment itself. The overuse of fertilizer can destroy the environment. Tea needs fertilizer to grow because as the tea leaves are harvested the organic matter is taken away. Overusing fertilizers can acidify soils and add nitrogen to runoff. This is incredibly destructive, as these damages entire ecosystems in rivers and streams and even in bays near the region or area that grows the tea. The effects of this are devastating and can destroy or damage the fishing industry as well.
Using organic fertilizer helps, but doesn’t completely eradicate this problem.
What does Organic Certification Mean?
Organic certification has certain requirements that the tea is produced without the use of synthetic chemicals. This generally includes pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. The organic cortication does vary depending on the organization that determines the certification, or on the product that is being certified. The certification also prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms. It also requires a certain number of years that the land has had to have been maintained free of synthetic chemicals. The organic certification also requires records to be kept to make certain that organic materials are kept separate from non-organic materials.
In the United States, the USDA is the organization that determines organic certification. In other countries there are a number of other agencies that certify products as organic.
Organic Agriculture is not Perfect:
Of course organic agriculture is not the end-all solution to all environmental problems, but it is a step in a positive direction. There are flaws with the process of course. Some products are falsely marked as organic by some companies so that they can sell them at a higher price. It’s important to check the certification of the teas, to make certain that they do have the proper organic certification. But even when the product has been certified, organic agriculture itself is not without flaws. It can still have some damaging impacts on the environment. And the certification process doesn’t address other problems. There is a need for fair wages for workers, which is not addressed by the organic certification.
Is Organic Tea More Expensive?
It depends. Sometimes it is, but the prices of teas vary. Many organic tea prices are comparable to non-organic tea prices; they may be about the same or even a little less expensive. Organic tea is healthier and better for the environment and is becoming more readily available. It seems like common sense to buy organic. As buying organic becomes more and more common, and then the focus can be addressed to more environmental concerns and public issues. We can begin restoring the earth’s ecosystems, keep toxic chemicals out of our environment, and help people by addressing the needs for fair wages for workers.