Health Benefits of Tea

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In the past few years, more North Americans are drinking tea.  According to The Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed well over 79 billion servings of tea, or over 3.60 billion gallons in 2012. In addition, retail sales have increased 16% over the last five years.  Similarly, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada projected tea consumption expected to jump 40% by 2020.  Moreover, Canadian drink almost 9.7 billion cups of tea each year. This is huge for Both Canada and America because coffee drinking has always been the culture.

Tea consumption has increased due to the convenience and interest in the healthy properties of tea.  Here are some important health benefits:

1) Rich in Flavonoids –  In addition to containing no calories, salt or fat and being free of preservatives and addictives, tea is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in tea, fruits and beverages that neutralize the body’s naturally occurring but cell-damaging free radical molecules. Damage by free radicals over time is believed to contribute to the development of many chronic disease including cancer.  Moreover, both black tea and green tea has almost three times the amount of flavonoids as cranberry juice and six times the amount of flavonoids as orange juice.

2) Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke – In a issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published in 2006, it demonstrated that consuming five or more cups a day of green tea was associated with a twenty-six percent lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.

3) Strengthen body’s immune system – Published studies by researchers from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that tea contains theanine, a unique amino acid that primes the immune system in fighting infection, bacteria, virses and fungi. Furthermore, researchers found that participants’ immune cells produce two or four times more interferon that at baseline after drinking five cups of black tea daily for two to four weeks.  Interferon is a protein that helps improve and strengthen the body’s immune response in human clinical trials.

What is your favourite tea? What is your reason for drinking tea? Post your comments below.  Till next time!

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Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

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I have been drinking lemon water for years and I REALLY LOVE IT.  I drink it every morning and whenever I can.  I even bring lemon water to workout and people think I am drinking alcohol (haha! they are hilarious).  Not only lemon water tastes refreshing and give a KICK IN THE BRAIN in the morning, but apparently it brings lots of benefits to our body (I did not know until I did some research).

1) Rejuvenates skin – Lemon are vitamin C and antioxidants rich.  Lemon helps in decreasing wrinkles, scars and age spot.  As a result, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.

2) Boosts immune system – The vitamin C in lemon is also essential to protect body against cold and immune system deficiencies.  Lemon is also a very powerful antibacterial.

3) Cleanses your system – Lemon contains pectin fiber which is beneficial for colon health.  Also, lemon aids digestion and encourage the production of bile.

4) Maintains the pH levels in the body – Although lemon is acid when being consumed, lemon becomes basic once inside the body.  As a result, lemon keeps the acid-base balance in our body in check.

5) Reduces inflammation – Lemon decreases the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur.  Also, lemon removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

Above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot more benefits like decreasing pain, maintaining health of eyes et cetera.  As to the amount of lemon to put into the water, I juice one slice of lemon for every cup of water (and put the peel in the water as well) because I LITERALLY drink lemon water all day.  There are sources that uses body weight as a guideline, but I think personal preference is more important.  However, I high recommend using warm water to make lemon water because not only the juice penetrates better in warm water, but also drinking warm water is better for your body (drinking cold liquids make your body to work in reverse to warm them to body temperature before beginning to digest).

Do you like having lemon in your drink? What do you usually have lemon with? Post your comments below. See you next time!

Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie (2 Servings)

So our first blog is a smoothie recipe.  I figure we should start something easy.  This smoothie is super easy to make (takes like 5 minutes).  You can get everything from the grocery store and I usually drink smoothies after I shower from workout to replenish nutrients.  But this is also good for a quick-to-go drink for busy families because adding the oats make you stomach more filling. Here are the ingredients:

1 cup whole milk                                                                                                                             0.5 cups 100@ whole grain rolled oats                                                                                           1 banana, broken into chunks                                                                                                         14 strawberries                                                                                                                               0.5 teaspoons vanilla extract                                                                                                           1.5 teaspoons white sugar (optional)                                                                                               0.25 cups crushed ice (optional)

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Directions:

1) Put everything in the blender. You can omit the sugar if you like your smoothies less sweet and you can omit the crushed ice if you like your smoothies less cold. I just love my smoothies slightly cold.

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2) Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

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See!!! This is very simple to make and it is FREAKIN DELICIO.  If you are vegan, you can replace the milk with soy milk and sugar with coconut sugar.  You may also think putting rolled oats may be too much, but actually oat fibre helps reduce cholesterol.

Try this at home and please feel free to comment below about what you think about this recipe.  See you next time!