Tweaklet #57 – Green Tea vs Black Tea

Are you a tea drinker? If you’re not then I might have a few incentives for you to consider.

Next to water, tea is one of the most consumed drinks in the world. Recently green tea has received more attention for its health benefits, than black tea, but actually, they both contain many beneficial substances that boost good health.

So black and green tea come from the same camellia sinesis plant. They are both harvested from the upper buds and leaves of the plant. Green tea is dried slightly and then heated to stop oxidation and enhance the flavour.

Black tea is crushed and rolled and allowed to oxidize and turn a dark colour before it is harvested. This gives it a stronger richer flavour.

Both green and black tea contain large quantities of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but different types. What they have in common are flavonoids which protect our bodies against chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more.

These flavonoids protect the heart and blood vessels to lower cholesterol, harmful plaque and blood pressure.

Green tea has some other powerful protective compounds that help to burn fat, boost the immune system, help with allergies and asthma. It also contains very useful amino acids and trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, chromium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc.

Green and black tea both contain caffeine, generally green has slightly less, and both have less caffeine than coffee. Interestingly though it’s the way tea affects brain chemicals that for many people make it preferable to coffee.

Tea helps us feel awake and alert but in a relaxed state of mind, which is a really beneficial balance for your brain and your general state of well being. Hmmm, I like it – calm and alert! Something to strive for!

If you’re wondering which type of tea to choose, studies show both types of tea contain similar beneficial health benefits, but green tea wins big in terms of the amounts of antioxidants it contains.

So all that’s left to be said is get brewing! As always choose a quality product and work out what feels good when you drink it. Sharpening our intuition around food that suits our body is a wonderful thing to practice.

Green tea, black tea another tiny food tweak from Tweaklets.

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Tweaklet #51 – Demystifying Food

These days it can feel like you need a science degree to understand what products you are shopping for, even what food you are buying! We live in an ever-expanding world, full of information and with that comes choices!

So let’s simplify some of the jargon that has crept into the food world, so that we can make better and more importantly EASIER choices when buying food!

Firstly, what are antioxidants? Our bodies generate their own antioxidants, as do plants and other animals. Antioxidants are molecules that defend the body against free radicals, so they are very important….which leads me to the next commonly asked question, what are FREE RADICALS?!

Free radicals are a little more complicated to describe. They are compounds which are natural by-products of chemical processes that take place in our bodies, such as metabolism.

Whilst natural, they can easily get out of balance, due to the food we eat, the medicine we take and even the air we breathe. It’s a delicate balance and just as things like fast food, alcohol and chemicals can increase free radicals, food such as good quality meat, vegetables and fruits can maintain a healthy balance.

So, let’s recap. Antioxidants keep free radicals in check which means antioxidants are essential for our survival.  Our diets are an the main source of antioxidants and we can find them easily in things like berries, green tea and dark chocolate.

We’ll demystify more food jargon as we go along so that we can make some healthy food tweaks to our diet.

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Tweaklet #41 – Cholesterol: Natural Solutions

Cholesterol is a big subject and the cause of it isn’t just food related but today we’re just going to focus on some simple food tweaks that can help lower cholesterol.

Essentially the mix is including a range of healthy fats, quality vegetables
Firstly there’s olive oil which is loaded with heart-healthy saturated fats which has been shown to drop bad cholesterol levels.

Good old vegetables are next as they are nutrient dense and high in vitamins and minerals.

Nuts are great all-rounders in lowering all the bad cholesterol markers. And they are high in fibre and healthy fats. Seeds like flax seeds are also excellent for heart health.

Fatty fish like salmon are packed with beneficial omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and decrease cholesterol.

Then there’s spices like Turmeric and garlic that play their valuable part. Other vegetables like beans and legumes and sweet potatoes contain active cholesterol-lowering compounds. Avocados are excellent too, as are persimmons, that unusual fruit.

Green tea, which is rich in antioxidants can be used to good effect as can gluten-free whole grains. The usual things to avoid apply – caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, refined carbohydrates and trans fats. To help with cholesterol, like COQ10 and fish oil…….and essential oils that help lower and manage cholesterol levels.

Once diagnosed cholesterol is something many of us can manage successfully with some tweaks to our diet and it certainly can’t hurt to tweak things in that direction anyway.

Visit the Tweaklets YouTube Channel

Download my free E-Book here.