Saturday, December 29, 2007

ORAC Values of Acai Berry, Goji Berry, Pomegranate and Mangosteen

ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a measure of how well antioxidants absorb free radicals. Superfruits such as the Acai berry, Goji Berry, Pomegranate and Mangosteen has quite high ORAC values. The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) ARS (Agricultural Research Service) in their 2007 ORAC values for selected foods has not provided data for these superfruits aside from pomegranate juice which scores 2,341.
To achieve optimum health, USDA recommends an intake of 5,000 ORAC units per day. Daily food consumption for an average person attains only about 20% to 30% of this recommendation. This means a lot more of foods with good ORAC scores like fruits and vegetables must be included in one's daily food intake.
Approximate ORAC scores taken other research institutions like Tufts University and manufacturers of superfruits has come up with the following data:
Superfruit- 1 gram ORAC Value
Acai Berry 3,800
Pomegranate 105
Goji Berry 253
Mangosteen >3,000
Although fruits high in ORAC value gives a lot of antioxidant benefit for the body, the combination of other nutrients and vitamins contained in these fruits raises the overall benefit it gives to our body.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dr. Razavi's Good to Know Info: Fruit and Vegetable Juices and Alzheimer's Disease

Drink fruit and vegetable juices 3 or more times per week and reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.... more of this on the following article:

Dr. Razavi's Good to Know Info: Fruit and Vegetable Juices and Alzheimer's Disease

Solubility of Antioxidants

Not all antioxidants can scavenge free radicals located at diferent parts of the body. Free radicals that are formed in the fat or lipid sections of the body are handled by the fat soluble antioxidants. Those that are formed in the watery or aqueous sections of the body are handled by the water soluble antioxidants.

Groups of antioxidants in terms of solubility

  • Water soluble antioxidants

    These are the antioxidants which can be found or can penetrate in the cytoplasm of a cell (intracellular) as well as outside the cell (extracellular). The body cannot store water soluble antioxidants, unspent or excess of these are simply excreted from the body through the urine so a person cannot theoretically be overdosed Some examples of water soluble antioxidants are:

    • Vitamin C - A powerful antioxidant capability and immune system booster are only two of several benefits that the body can gain from this vitamin. It is unfortunate however that our body cannot manufacture its own vitamin C, unlike some animals like the rat. It must be ingested from food or through supplements. Studies have shown that aside from being a potent antioxidant, it also aids in the regeneration of oxidized glutathione (our body's internal antioxidant).
    • Glutathione - Our body's natural and potent antioxidant.
    • Catechins - Abundant in green tea.
    • Punicalagins - It can be found in pomegranate.
    • Xanthones - The major antioxidant component in mangosteen
    • Anthocyanins - The substance which gives color to fruits and vegetables. Acai berry has plenty of it.
  • Fat soluble antioxidants

    As the name suggests, it blends with the fat or lipid portions of the body. Excess or unspent amounts of these antioxidants are stored in the body's fat. High amounts stored in the body can become toxic. Some examples of fat soluble antioxidants are:

    • Vitamin E - A very effective antioxidant to scavenge free radicals in the fatty portions of the body. Protection against cancer: lungs, colon, breast, mouth are some of its strong properties. It can also remove toxins from the body like lead and mercury. Just like glutathione, vitamin C can help regenerate oxidized vitamine E. High concentrations of vitamin E can be found in soybeans, corn, cottonseed oil and wheat germ. Recommended amount is from 400 to 800 IU and lesser for persons with high blood pressure.
    • Vitamin A - Although less effective than vitamin E, it still is an important antioxidant. It also responsible for aiding our body in producing epithelial tissues which can be found mostly in the respiratory system and some in other parts of the body. Epithelial tissues are important to make our cells cancer resistant. Toxic levels for vitamin A is 10,000 IU. Cod liver oil, beef liver, chicken liver and sharks have high concentrations of vitamin A. Other sources of vitamin A are the carotenoids:
      • Lycopene - Abundant in tomatoes and watermelon.
      • Lutein and Zeaxanthin
      • Beta carotene

What antioxidant group should you take?

Both water and fat soluble antioxidants should be taken together to protect yourself from free radicals generated from fat or aquaeous portions of the body. When taken together - vitamin A, C, and E - their potency becomes higher and more effective.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Free Radicals are Both Beneficial and Harmful for the Body

Our body has some beneficial uses for free radicals. They are atoms or molecules which are highly reactive because of an unpaired electron. They tend to balance themselves by stealing electrons from nearby atoms or molecules. Once they are balanced, the atom or molecule whose atom was stolen now becomes a free radical and just like the 'stealer', it will balance itself...and it goes on and on until an antioxidant quenches or scavenges the free radical by donating an electron without becoming reactive. That's the property of an antioxidant, it can donate an electron and not become unstable. There are instances when our body intentionally produces free radicals.

How our body uses free radicals

Our body's response to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses is to mark them as 'foreign' which is done by the antibodies and then have them terminated by killer cells(leukocytes). One way for the killer cells to kill the foreign invaders is to encapsulate them and produce free radicals to terminate its existence. The process is called respiratory burst or oxidative burst. Free radical chain reaction occurs inside the encapsulation which eventually kills the cells of the foreign invaders.

That's how free radicals can be harmful to cells, it can kill or damage cells. In the case above, the body benefits from free radicals by terminating the existence of harmful foreign invaders in our body. On the other side of the coin, it was harmful for the foreign invaders.

Antioxidant protection

The encapsulation for sure is also equipped with antioxidants to end the process because the encapsulation itself is composed of cells which are also subject to oxidative damage when the free radical chain reaction is left to do its thing. There are chances however that some free radicals can escape the encapsulation exposing other cells to probable oxidative damage. If there are antioxidants present outside the encapsulation, then there will be no problem.

Free radicals can really be beneficial for our body if it is intentionally produced by our body. If it was not intentionally generated to perform a specific task, then it would be harmful and antioxidants are needed to neutralize them. Free radical by products resulting from energy production in the mitochondria of our cells can also produce a chain reaction but if there are ample antioxidants nearby, the chain reaction would break before it can do damage to the cell.

We are constantly exposed to potential free radical chain reaction. Smoking, long exposure to sunlight, psychological or emotional stress, unhealthful eating habits are some free radical generators. If our body's supply of antioxidants fall short from the free radical generation, then its possible that it could do damage to our cells before the free radicals are 'quenched'.

Our body's supply of its own antioxidants like glutathione may not be adequate that's why eating fruits and vegetables could be very beneficial to us. It's not just the antioxidants contained in fruits and vegetables that our body can benefit, they are abundant in nutrients and vitamins that our bodies can surely utilize.

'Tis a holiday season and there are so much delicious food being served, some are good for the health and some may be not especially the sweets. Vegetables will likely be ignored in favor of those delicious looking preparations. Try to balance the quality of food you eat but don't overdo it. After all it's a holiday, a time for enjoyment! - there's always time to make up for it.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How to Get More Antioxidants From Garlic

Garlic has substances that can benefit the body

Some of the properties of these substances are: anti-fungal, antibiotic, can treat athletes foot and nail fungus, enhances blood circulation and keeps the circulatory system in check, helps lower LDL(bad cholesterol), boost the immune system, antioxidant, relieves bronchitis, stops phlegm, an expectorant, soothes gastritis and dysentery, anti blood coagulation and a lot more.

The strength of health benefits it brings to your body depends on how you prepare and cook the garlic. If not prepared properly, the antioxidant strength may be strong. weak or none at all. I'll tell you in a little while on how to prepare garlic in order to bring out it's health benefits but first let's take a look at the substances.

Allicin has antioxidant properties

The main substance of garlic that can give us the most health benefit is called the allicin (a sulfur compount). It has many properties aside from being an antioxidant. Allicin however does not exist when the garlic bulb is intact and undamaged.
Allicin is only formed when the garlic is crushed or sliced rupturing the cell compartments which contain many substances including alliin and allinase,

When alliin (an amino acid) comes in contact with allinase (an enzyme), it produces a chemical reaction which turns aliin into allicin. That's the time you can smell the pungent odor of garlic. Allicin is now formed which could bring many health benefits for your body.

How to choose garlic

  • The bulb and cloves must be undamaged, no visible cracks or cuts.
  • Don't choose the big ones called elephant garlic because it is less potent than the small ones. The elephant garlic are more related to the leek than to garlic.
  • The bulb or cloves must be plump and firm when you try to squeeze it.
  • There must be no sign of sprouting
  • The outer or papery covering must be dry.
  • No rot.

Storing garlic

  • Never store garlic immersed in oil at room temperature as it would give rise to botulism (a toxin which could bring stomach illness leading eventually to death)
  • Never store garlic in the refrigerator for a long time as it could also give rise to botulism.
  • Store it at a dry well ventilated location. It could last for 3 to 6 months.

How to prepare garlic to obtain the most health benefit

To get the most out of garlic, it's pungent odor must be released because it is an indication of the presence of allicin. Some culinary techniques are used to lessen it's odor because some people does not like the smell of it. The health benefits however decline.

  • Smash the unpeeled cloves with the flat of a knife. These should create some formation of allicin.
  • Peel the leaves and slice the cloves into small pieces to have more aliin and allinase combine to create allicin.
  • Leave for several minutes before cooking to allow more reactions of aliin and allinase. The more the reactions, the better health and antioxidants benefits it will bring.
  • Pour the sliced cloves into the cooking pot only when you are almost done with the cooking. Allicin is very volatile and could be lost after a few hours. Long exposure to heat also shortens the life of allicin,

Your food is now loaded with antioxidants from garlic. Enjoy the holiday season with health in mind!

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Antioxidants in the Goji Berry
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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Punicalagin Antioxidants in Pomegranate

Antioxidants in Pomegranate

Punicalagins, a tannin, are the major antioxidant components of pomegranate. Other antioxidant present in the pomegranate fruit are anthocyanins(responsible for the color both inside and outside of the fruit), ellagitannins, and hydrolyzed tannins. This is how the fruit became popular and has come to be one of the so called superfuits or superfoods because of its health benefits.

The fruit is about 2.5" to 5" in diameter, roundish, and is riddled with many seeds inside. The flesh covering the seeds are edible. The color is green outside when raw but turns to a bright attractive red when fully ripe. The taste is semi sweet and semi sour.

Because of its antioxidant power, many manufacturers have produced juices, extracts and other health beneficial products from this fruit. Many studies have been done in testing the antioxidant capacity of punicalagins and anthocyanin together with other antioxidants found in pomegranate. The following is a list of some observations that were made.

  • inhibits the proliferation of human cancer cells - lung, prostate, etc.
  • it has anti-microbial properties - anti-viral, anti-fungs, etc.
  • helps in the reduction of LDL cholesterol to make the body's cardiovascular system healthy
  • lessens the effect of menopause
  • inhibits atherosclerosis

Different fruits, different antioxidants

The major antioxidant player in pomegrante is punicalagin, anthocyanin in acai, carotenoids in goji berry and xanthones in mangosteen. Other fruits for sure have different antioxidant contents. Each antioxidant has its own special interaction with the chemicals and cells in our body. Some antioxidants fat(lipophyllic) soluble and others are water(hydrophyllic) soluble.

Why do the antioxidants in fruit differ? Maybe its a hint we can gain from nature that it is best to eat a variety of fruits and not limit ourselves to a few to gain maximum benefit for our body. Thanks to science, these antioxidants have been identified and experimented with.

Not all these fruits are available in our locality. Thanks to the manufacturers who have produced juices, extracts and supplements from these fruits for they have made available the antioxidant health benefits specific for each fruit to other countries.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Antioxidants in the Goji Berry

Goji Berry is loaded with antioxidants making it one of the so called super fruits. Aside from antioxidants it also provides macronutrients (nutrients needed by the body in large quantities - carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber and fat), micronutrients (nutrients needed by the body in small quantities - 33 dietary minerals, 5 carotenoids, 6 vitamins., 18 amino acids, 8 polysaccharides, 6 monosaccharides, 5 unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols), phytochemicals and many others.

Antioxidant content


Polysaccharides found in the Goji berry has some interesting properties as this article suggests:

Goji Scientific Research

They refer to it as "master molecules".

Medicinal uses

Chinese medicine believes the body can greatly benefit from this berry. Some of these are:

  • Enhance the function of the immune system
  • Improve blood circulation
  • raise sperm production
  • protection of the liver
  • improves eyesight

That's just a few of the many medicinal benefits that this berry brings.

Is the Goji berry the best super fruit?

There is no best super fruit. Each one of has its own unique blend of antioxidants and nutrients. The acai for example has this anthocyanin as its major antioxidant, xanthones for mangosteen etc..

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Antioxidant Capacity Measurement - Food ORAC Values 2007

ORAC(Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) is the favored choice in the science community in measuring the antioxidant capacity of foods. Blueberries, blackberries, apple, eggplant and other foods have different orac values. ORAC measures how well the antioxidants in food neutralize free radicals.

The Agriculture Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has recently provided data on the ORAC values of 277 food items. The data is available for download at

For your info.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Anthocyanin Antioxidants in the Acai Berry

The antioxidant anthocyanin

Anthocyanins are plant pigments that provide fruits its vibrant colors. It also serves as a protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays which could trigger free radicals inside the fruit. They belong to a class of flavonoids making them potent antioxidants. Large quantities of anthocyanins can be found in dark colored fruits like blueberries and acai.
Among the many health benefits of ingesting anthocyanin are:
  • anti-cancer
  • anti-aging
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-inflammatory
Eggplant, oranges, berries and even cabbage contain anthocyanin but in varying degrees. The more anthocyanin the fruit has, the more antioxidant benefit you can get from them

Acai berries

acaiAcai berries are found in the Amazon rain forests and they are a good source of anthocyanins and hence antioxidants. Aside from antioxidants, the acai berry also contains many nutrients that our body can benefit well. See Acai Berry and Its Nutrient Value for a discussion on this topic.
The antioxidant properties of acai berry is best described in the article Acai Fruit - Super Antioxidant. Learn about the comparison of its antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Xanthones Antioxidants in the Mangosteen Super Fruit

A lot of the so called super fruits has come to the attention of consumers because of their antioxidants and healthful nutrients. Manufacturers have sprung to fill in the growing market.

One of these super fruits, the mangosteen, has become popular because they contain xanthones. Xanthones are powerful antioxidants as researchers claim. Out of 200 known xanthones, 40 of these substance can be found in the mangosteen fruit - each one having different antioxidant properties. The pericarp or rind contain the highest concentrations.

According to the article A Look at Xanthones and Mangosteen

"Scientific research has made it abundantly clear that no other fruit compares in its health benefits to mangosteen, due to its xanthones and other nutritional properties."

Does the xanthones in mangosteen deliver the health benefits it claims? Here are some testimonials that says it does indeed offer many health benefits.

Researchers say that the darker the peel or rind of a fruit, the higher the antioxidants it contain. Mangosteen has a very dark colored rind, maybe it really does contain a lot of healthful antioxidants.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

My Recent Awards

I've recently been presented with these awards from Colin, a good friend to be in the blogosphere.

Colin is the author of sooo many blogs; Golden eBooks for Newbies, Search Engine Optimization and Traffic Tips, Free PC Security. MySpace Blog, Safety Tips for Newbies, Golden eBooks Blog, 6 Ways to Make Money at Home, Top Affiliate Tactics, Life. He has presented the Be The Blog award and Best Blogging Buddies award to the following:

Lisa , Kim, Deborah, Pearl, Sandy, Jesse, Chris, Zubli Zainordin, Santa, Blog Elf, Jackie, Marzie, Adrian, Jos, NAFA SG, Polli, Sue, Kathy Maartje, Morgan, Greg, MaryAnn, Eric, Hawk, Carol, Diane, Ev Nucci, Surjit, Kuanyin, Christy Z, Sandee, Robin, Hanna, Maunie, Kim, Bobby, Billy, David, Jennifer, Aryst, Winston, Christy, LilyRuth, Jess, Rudy, Lynda, Lili, Sandy G, Ange, BlackWyrm, Vincent, Colin & Anne, Blandly Urbane, Marco, Mihaela Lica, John C, Aziz-sm, Ugyen, Lansy, Alex Badalic, Victors, Nostalgia Manila, Franco Yong, Herby, Rubie, Santaram & BVK, Jean-david, Namgay, Catherine, Yunita P, PJ Lighthouse, Lorimer Black, Dream Catcher, Fred Plimley, Anja Merret, Maria Lourdes, Jon B, Aayush, Denise, Dharmendra P, Brent D, Jerry & Daryl McCoy, Brian B, Calvin Innes, Pieter Marburn, Jessica Field, Taflas, Alex Sysoef, Norie, Justin Stanley, Ashish, David Ledoux, Thanate Tan, Kevin, Etienne, Gerbera, Christina, Abhishek d, Uprai, Texas_Jam, Azmiel, Daniel, Kristin B, Luwis, Adavait, Now Sourcing, Buen Amigo, Kiran Pande, Peterson Wong, Lynn, Chessnoid, Luis Hipolito, Joliveira, Jennifer & Pete, Team Dog, Megan, Mark, Raivyn, Mel, Andrea, Jen / domestika, Mimi, Bobo, Lynda Lehmann, Dread Bob, Julie, RennyBA, Bobbarama, Becky, Magdalena, Michelle

Thank you Colin for presenting me these awards.

Now its my turn to present these 3 awards to deserving bloggers:

Mary K.

Congratulations to you all and keep up the good work. You make the blogosphere fun, informative and a joy to be in it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How To Absorb More Antioxidants From Green Tea

More than 80% of the antioxidant catechins are lost after green tea is digested in the body.

A study was conducted in comparing the catechin levels, in a simulated digestion, when green tea is combined with other beverages. Lemon juice ranked the highest causing only about 20% to be lost after digestion. Vitamin C also produced a good result.

The popular scene of an iced tea with a slice of lemon at the top of the glass is not just for presentation after all. It makes the antioxidants in green tea more absorbable by the body.

If you don't like the taste of green tea, mix it with fruit juices preferably lemon so you can enjoy the taste and at the same time get more antioxidant benefits.

Purdue University (2007, November 14). Citrus Juice, Vitamin C Give Staying Power To Green Tea Antioxidants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from­ /releases/2007/11/071113163016.htm

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Are the Ingredients in Green Tea?

In the past decade, green tea has become an increasingly popular choice of beverage for a number of reasons. Known to help people lose weight while also fighting off things such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and bad cholesterol, green tea has become a part of people’s lives who are interested in being healthy. Interestingly, most people are completely unaware of the ingredients in green tea, which we wanted to cover in this article.

With more than 3,000 different types of tea, it is fascinating to find that green tea is among the top choice. Grown on the Camellia sinensis bush, the leaves actually produce three distinct tea types depending on how they are processed. For instance, unfermented leaves produce green tea, semi-fermented leaves produce oolong tea, and fully fermented leaves from this same plant produce black tea. For green tea, the leaves must be dried quickly, which is typically done in Chinese form by pan firing or steaming, which maintains the beautiful color, as well as high content of catechin.

When discussing the ingredients of green tea, keep in mind that this is more a reference to the nutritional value. Of course, you can purchase green tea in various flavors, which would change the actual ingredients in green tea. For instance, you might find green tea blended with mint in which case the additional ingredient would be mint or perhaps green tea blended with jasmine tea, again the additional ingredient being jasmine. Therefore, we are referring to ingredients in green tea as the nutrients.

The most vital of all ingredients in green tea is the antioxidant known as polyphenol, specifically Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, more commonly called EGCG. This particular green tea ingredient provides significant health benefits such as preventing cancer, lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, and even fighting oral bacteria that causes plaque, thus the reduction or elimination of tooth decay.

Another ingredient in green tea is 0.06mg of caffeine. Then, one bag of green tea contain between 80 and 100 mgs of the polyphenols with EGCG accounting for about 25 to 30 mgs of that. Then, other ingredients in green tea include theanine, which is a type of amino acid, catechin, chlorophyll, butyric acid, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, F, P, and U, and certain minerals such as, saponin, saccharides, and pectin.

Each of these green tea ingredients works together to provide a wonderful product that is delicious, as well as healthy. Keep in mind that the way in which the product is made will determine the level of beneficial ingredients in green tea For example, the Chinese people have long pan fired or steamed the leaves, retaining the highest level of nutrients. The Japanese will also steam, as well as boil and dry to create powder.

Today, you can purchase green tea in bags for brewing, in loose-leaf form, which is great for steaming, in supplements to include tablet and capsule form, or in powdered form. With powdered green tea, you can use it for baking cookies, cakes, pies, breads, or mixing in with other ingredients to make smoothies. The bottom line is that no matter how you consume this substance, the ingredients of green tea will benefit your life while providing you with a relaxing beverage or delicious food.

Julie Health is a green tea lover who writes about the many and amazing health benefits of drinking green tea at her website

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ripe Fruit Has More Antioxidants Than Raw Fruit

Raw fruits contain a lot of antioxidants: bioflavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, etc. For most fruits, the color is green when raw like apples, pears, mango, etc.. Some fruits can be eaten even though they are not yet ripe like mangoes and guavas.

Chlorophyll is what makes the color of raw fruit green. When the fruit ripens, it turns into some other color and chlorophyll seems to disappear. It is transformed into what they call nonfluorescing chlorophyll catabolytes (NCC) which is a highly active antioxidant. It can be found in the peel and in the flesh nearest the peel

Therefore to get the most antioxidant power from fruits, it would be wise to eat the peel of some fruits like apples, pears and guavas. For mangoes and other fruits whose peel cannot be eaten, you can scrape the insides of the peel to get the flesh stuck in it for it contains a lot of antioxidants including NCCs.

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2007, November 10). Ripe Fruit Contains Highly Active Antioxidants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 12, 2007, from­ /releases/2007/11/071106095637.htm

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Green Tea - An Herbal Wonder!

by: Patricia Zelkovsky

There are more than a hundred varieties of teas, but you may be surprised to learn that most teas have medicinal benefits, specifically green tea. If you are a tea drinker, you may be benefiting from its herbal tea remedies at this very moment. How about a cup of green tea as an herbal remedy?

Green Tea is fast becoming the tea of choice as one of several herbal tea remedies. Well known for its antioxidant properties, it also has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties as well. According to Jennifer Warner, "...drinking green tea may also fight fat. A study showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea." If that isn't an incentive to drink green tea, what is?

You've had a stressful day at work. The heat is overwhelming, and you just want to get home and relax. Have a cup of green tea. It will calm your nerves; detox and de-stress your body. No doubt you've seen all of the new green tea products in your local supermarket. Lipton, specifically, came out with green iced tea. How terrific is that?

Continuing research on the beneficial properties of green tea to human health has produced several new findings. "Most notable is a study by Japanese scientists of the Saitama Cancer Research Institute relating the delay of cancer onset with the consumption of green tea. The study shows that early stage breast cancer spreads less rapidly in women with a history of drinking five or more cups of green tea a day. As a result, there is a lower recurrence rate and a longer disease-free period."

Green tea antioxidants have been shown to have a direct effect on lowering cholesterol levels as well. Green tea also causes carbohydrates to be released slowly, preventing sharp increases in blood-insulin levels. This promotes the burning of fat. Many scientists believe there is a connection between all of the components of green tea; and these combined properties account for its health-enhancing properties. Unfermented green tea leaves, by the way, are the most natural way to gain these benefits.

Did you know that green tea can even help prevent tooth decay? Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria, which causes dental plaque. On another front, skin treatments containing green tea from deodorants to creams are starting to appear on the market. For those of you who have been drinking green tea for some time; good for you! It's time for the rest of you to consider its beneficial affects as well.

Patricia is a health focused content author, today helping you learn more about Green Tea Benefits

Article Source:

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Green Tea Secret

by Kristy Haugen

The chemical compound known as a phenol is characterized by an aromatic benzene ring with a hydroxyl group (OH) attached. This makes sense that poly-phenols refer to a chemical substance with more than one phenol group. Phenols function as potent antioxidants, reacting with free radicals. Phenols are responsible for the bright coloring in many fruits and vegetables. These fruit and vegetable phenols protect the plants from damage by disease and ultraviolet light.

Polyphenols are phytonutrients or phytochemicals. Phytonutrients are biologically active compounds in food. However, these phytonutrients are not classified as essential nutrients. This is because the body does not depend on these nutrients for proper bodily function. Phytonutrients do play a vital role in affecting our health just as significantly as vitamins and minerals do.

Polyphenols are classified as flavonoids, which is a class of phytonutrient. Polyphenols can form complexes with metal cations such as iron, zinc, and copper. This reduces the absorption of the mineral. This is beneficial because excess levels of these cations promotes the generation of free radicals. Polyphenols are potent free radical scavengers in the body. Polyphenols also protect and regenerate other dietary oxidants such as vitamin E.

Polyphenols are plentiful in green tea. Polyphenols have been found to be more powerful as an antioxidant than even vitamins C and E. In particular, EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate is the major polyphenolic constituent of green tea. EGCG is a potent antioxidant. A number of chronic diseases have been thought to be caused by free radical damage such as cancer, aging, and heart disease.

Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage. What are free radicals? Free radicals are caused by cigarette smoking, radiation, pollution, and herbicides. Free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons in the outer shell. The unpaired electrons make free radicals unstable. Free radicals want only to be stable. Free radical stability requires the electrons to be paired. Free radicals are extremely reactive and will oxidize the nearest molecule.

Oxidizing causes the free radical to gain an electron but also creates another free radical. This creates a chain reaction continuing until the disruption of a living cell. Free radicals can attack proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and DNA. However, DNA is usually preferred. DNA and free radical interactions usually result in mutations that adversely affect the cell cycle and potentially lead to malignancy. In fact, researchers believe this is how many forms of cancer arise.

Antioxidants protect the body from damaging oxidation reactions. Antioxidants safely interact with free radicals to prevent damage to vital molecules. Antioxidants donate an electron to the free radical, hence stabilizing the free radical and preventing damage. The antioxidant is stable with or without the electron, making this a win-win situation.

Polyphenols can be found in white, black, and green tea. Of course, the level of polyphenols along with other nutrients is based on how the tea is processed. Steamed white and green tea retains more polyphenols and nutrients than roasting and fermenting. Black teas and some green teas are fermented and roasted, damaging the bioactive substances in the tea leaf.

Why should you drink green tea? Many studies have been done on the health benefits of green tea. Dietary intake of green tea has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Regular consumption of green tea shows no significant side effects. Green tea helps prevent cavities, strengthens teeth, and is thought to kill oral bacteria that is responsible for bad breath. Green tea has been shown to protect the brain from oxidative stress and lower monoamine oxidase activity; preventing age related brain degeneration. Green tea studies suggest an increase in exercise endurance by improving the metabolism of fat.

Green tea offers many health benefits to those who drink green tea regularly. Besides offering antioxidant benefits, green tea is excellent as a weight loss supplement offering weight loss results and safety. Of course, green tea should be used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program. If you take medications for a health condition, consult your doctor before adding green tea to your diet.

Copyright 2006 Kristy Haugen

Antioxidants in Green Tea and Black Tea

Antioxidants in green tea are higher compared to black tea because of the processing method. The article below shows you why green tea has more antioxidants(catechins) than black tea.

Catechins in Green and Black Tea

By Brigita Feltham

Although both green and black tea come from the camellia sinensis plant, the quantity and kinds of catechins found in green and black tea vary due to their different processing methods.

How are green and black tea processed?

When green tea is processed the leaves are immediately steamed after picking, this halts the oxidation of the leaves, which means a high concentration of catechins is retained in the leaves.

When black tea is processed the leaves are first withered. The leaves are dried in the open air or air is pumped through the layers of leaves. The leaves are left to oxidise for an extended period and this causes the leaves to change colour from green to coppery brown. During this process the catechins are converted to complex flavanoids known as theaflavins and thearubigins.

The processing of black tea produces the distinctive taste and aroma of black tea, but also means much of catechin content and goodness is destroyed.

What do the catechins in green tea do?

There are four catechins in green tea. The catechins found in green tea are epicatechin (EC), gallocatechin (GC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECg) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) The most active and beneficial catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

A cup of green tea contains approximately 40-90mg of EGCg.

A cup of black tea contains approximately 5-10mg of EGCG.

Catechins work by neutralizing and inhibiting free radicals which destroy healthy cells and tissues in the body and contribute to aging and disease.


The catechins found in green and black tea differ due to their different processing methods. Green tea is an unfermented tea (not exposed to oxygen after picking) and is able to retain its high catechin content. While black tea is fully fermented (extensively oxidised), which means much of the beneficial catechin components are destroyed.

Although both green and black tea contain catechins, green tea has the higher catechin content of the two. To fully reap all the health benefits of green tea, it is suggested you should drink between 3-10 cups a day. I personally recommend brewing your own green tea leaves rather than using tea bags. The flavour and quality of the leaves is superior and also you can re-brew with the same leaves a few times over.

Brigita Feltham is the creator and owner of Infusious Tea. After spending 4 years in Japan, green tea became a part of Brigita's daily lifestyle.

Brigita began to study tea ceremony and found out that not only does green tea have wonderful health benefits, but it also has a rich cultural tradition in Japan.

For more information on Japanese green tea please visit

Related Posts:

Decaffeinated Tea
Caffeine and Tea
Herbal Green Tea
Calming Effect of Theanine in Tea
Caffeine and Meditation

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Re-energize Using Mudras

Re-energizing your mind and body can be done in several ways. Caffeine can accomplish the task but the seemingly beneficial effects comes with its downsides like elevating your stress hormones. An alternative way is meditation which has no adverse effects since no chemicals are involved.

I found this post by Carole Fogarty which cites several ways to re-energize and calm the mind using mudras. Below is an excerpt:

"Mudras are hand postures that when held for as little as three minutes can encourage the flow of specific energy channels in your body. They are very subtle and allow the body when given the chance to re-balance itself." .... read the rest

Believe me it works. It's better than caffeine in giving you a lift.

Related Posts:

Meditation Can Give You a Lift
Caffeine and Meditation

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Meme: About Me

I was tagged several days ago by Mary Kearns who runs the website StellarSelf (Helping people to create clarity, productivity and joy in their lives) to participate in a meme sharing 8 factoids about myself.

The rules of the meme are:

1. Post the rules before you give the facts about yourself.
2. Link the the person/people who tagged you.
3. Share 8 facts about yourself.
4. At the end of your post, tag 5 people and list their names with links
5. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they've been tagged.
6. If you don't want to participate - no worries, no pressure.

8 facts about myself:

-I'm not a doctor, I'm not a nurse or anything related to medical science but my advancing age and a health related loss of a family member has pushed me into authoring this blog.

-Researching about antioxidants has led to a great improvement in my health and I hope that others would benefit from it too.

-I'm married to a pretty, loving and caring woman. Our one and only daughter has recently turned 18 and she's quite talented in music. I love music too but my voice doesn't seem to come along with it(lol).

-I enjoy reading and my favorite subjects are about health, spirituality, loa, seo, mysteries of the mind, etc.

-I respect people and always look for the good qualities in them.

-I tend to see the positive aspects of people and events.

-I love listening to the Eagles, America, Paul Williams and Whitney Houston.

-My favorite book is the Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.

I now pass this meme to the following persons.

Vivienne at DietInfoCare
Aparna at Beauty and Personality Grooming
Carole at The Healthy Living Lounge
Colin at Life
Dominic at Feel Good Health Now

Friday, October 26, 2007

Caffeine and Meditation

Caffeine and meditation have one thing in common - it gives you a 'lift' or boost your energy. Caffeine gives us a boost by the effects it has on our nervous system. Meditation on the other hand does it by relaxing our mind and body - no chemicals required, just putting our mind into a relaxed state and the body follows.

Our normal energy levels

After a night's sleep, our energy is renewed and diminishes as time passes as you can see in the illustration below. This is not an accurate representation of how our energy are depleted. It does not diminish uniformly as the illustration suggests. Several factors like excitement, anger or strong emotions can elevate the energy level any time of the day.

Caffeine boost

Caffeine molecules are similar to adenosine and it easily occupies the receptors of cells which adenosine should occupy when our bodies need rest to signal it to slow down. When caffeine is in the blood, it easily attaches to these receptor cells. Now when our body needs rest, adenosine are supposed to attach to the receptor cells but will not happen since caffeine are already occupying it. Unlike adenosine, caffeine signals the cells to keep working. This triggers a series of events that eventually triggers the adrenal glands to release stress hormones such as cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenaline. That's why a person performs better physically because adrenaline hormones are released.

Caffeine therefore fools the body into thinking that it needs to work instead of to rest. That's how it gives you an energy boost but when the effect subsides after a few hours, your energy levels will be lower than you would normally have in that span of time.

The red line at the illustration above shows the normal levels for reference and the blue line represents the the energy levels for a person who drinks caffeine sometime in the day. As you can see, several minutes after drinking caffeine, the energy level rises above normal and gradually diminishes. After the caffeine effect wears off, a person will be left with an energy level lower than when that person did not ingest caffeine. This prompts the person for another cup to give another boost or lift. In the long run, it will fatigue your adrenal glands, cause irregular beatings of your heart, cause a dull stomach ache, make you jittery, lowers your absorption of calcium and vitamin b6, etc.

Tea can give a similar caffeine effect of coffee even though it contains lesser caffeine. The action of caffeine combined with theanine is responsible for this. Caffeine without theanine gives a lesser energy boost and vice versa. Decaffeinated tea therefore does not provide as much energy boost than the caffeinated varieties. Theanine in tea however provides a stronger attention level and focus.

Meditation boost

After a meditation session, your energy levels will rise just like the rise that caffeine gives.

It does not however leave you at a lower energy level than normal after its effects subsides, much unlike caffeine. In just 15 to 30 minutes, meditation can give you a quality rest that re-energizes your mind and body. It's also a good stress reliever and makes you in frequent contact with your inner energy. Others use meditation not just to re-energize the mind and body but also to make positive changes in your health, well being and even in abundance and prosperity.

Related Posts

Herbal Green Tea
Adrenaline and Caffeine
Adrenal Fatigue Caused by Caffeine
Caffeine Intake and Pregnancy
How Much Caffeine Do You Take?
Caffeine Can Elevate Your Stress Hormones
Can Caffeine Make Your Heart Stop?
How Long Does Caffeine Stay in Your Body?
Decaffeinated Tea
Caffeine and Tea
The Calming Effect of Theanine in Tea
Meditation Can Give You a Lift

Caffeine Free Tea

Herbal Green Tea Extract

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