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 #47 – Magnesium

It’s not essential to understand the role of vitamins and minerals but there is one macro mineral that is very useful to be aware of – and that’s magnesium.

Magnesium is an integral part of over 600 reactions in our body, including the metabolism of food, the transmission of nerve impulses, the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. It helps balance our blood sugar and maintains the electrical impulses in our heart. Magnesium is critical for the mechanical functioning within tissues such as nerves and muscles and blood vessels.

We need to consume about 100 milligrams of magnesium per day. Unfortunately Magnesium levels are at much lower levels in our soil these days…..and Chemicals like chlorine and fluoride deplete it as do the regular intake of caffeine and sugar.

So what’s the food solution to keeping our magnesium levels up? Spinach, bananas, almonds, cacao  or really good dark chocolate, and seeds like Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp and flax are all excellent sources of magnesium and easy to include in our diet.

Just at an every day level magnesium is really helpful. It plays a major part in balancing out anxiety and depression, it helps with the symptoms of PMS, helps calm those restless legs, eases muscle cramps and migraines. Magnesium also helps with memory retention and can assist with leveling out breathing problems and arrhythmia.

You can of course look at a magnesium supplement, if you think you are deficient or want to boost your levels, but I find that just making some of these food tweaks really make a difference to me. Well food is always a good place to start don’t you think?

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Tweaklet #39 – Yoghurt

So you’re shopping in the supermarket and you decide to do a little survey in the yoghurt aisle. What are you likely to see? Mostly likely more women than men buying yoghurt and it turns out there is some genetic bias to support this notion, apart from the fact that men want to appear more macho by buying meat and spicy foods.

Women instinctively understand that yoghurt can be beneficial for their specific needs – like preventing vaginal infections. People who eat yoghurt generally understand that this fermented dairy food is packed with probiotics, the good bacteria that maintains a healthy gut.

What you might not know is that it is also a balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. And when made from grass-fed cows or goats milk, then yogurt’s nutrition is maximized. We’re talking omega-3 fatty acids, whey protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, enzymes and probiotics.

Of course we want to choose our yoghurt carefully. We need to read our labels and watch out for added hormones, sugar, artificial additives, colours or sweeteners that are used to make most store-bought yogurts.
Remember there are options – kefir is an excellent fermented yoghurt drink and labneh, which is soft cheese made from yoghurt – is another good source of probiotics.

So….. men with your yoghurt phobia, I doubt I’ll convince you to brave the yoghurt aisle any time soon but…… you could consider being pioneers and take to the kitchen and make some labneh or buy some kefir. Go on, I dare you!

And ladies, you just keep doing what you’re doing, just remember to check labels and, as always, buy from the best source.

Visit the Tweaklets YouTube Channel

Download my free E-Book here.