Is #white tea the next #green #tea?

The comparisons between the two beverages and some of the benefits of consuming white tea!

White-tea-jpg“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me,” said famous writer CS Lewis. And for tea lovers, choices are aplenty when it comes to choosing flavours. But the latest fad seems to be white tea. Though the hot beverage comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as green tea, white tea is said to have higher health benefits as compared to green tea. And what’s more? White tea is also one of the most expensive teas in the world.

What is white tea?
City-based consultant dietician Dharini Krishnan, who has done a presentation on white tea explains, “Historically, white tea is derived from the first flush buds grown only in the Fukien Province of China, but now manufactured in India and Sri Lanka, among other places. While the tea is not white in colour, it has got its name due to the silvercoloured, white hair-like picked tea bud. The beverage is pale yellow in colour.” The reason for its exorbitant rate is because white tea is plucked in a very short time. “White tea is produced from unopened buds of tea shoots. These buds are withered and dried under special conditions. Anything that is rare becomes expensive. It is also produced in small quantities, which is one of the reasons why it is very expensive,” she says.

Benefits of white tea
Similar to green tea, white tea also has a lot of health benefits. Dharini advises to have this tea in between meals to see its yield. “The benefits of this tea can be given to its flavonoids as they help in various ways such as improving vascular health, which further helps in the prevention of heart diseases. White tea also helps in weight management,” she says. Chinese and Japanese people consume substitute white tea with water since it also helps in hydration to the body.

Green tea vs white tea
While several people draw comparisons between green and white tea, Dharini says that both has high nutritional values. Krishnan says, “They have only catechins (antioxidants) as the flavonoid (compounds) present. Other mature teas have catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins (other antioxidants in tea leaves). There are a lot of claims that white tea has more catechins as compared to green tea. But composition data has proved this wrong. However, the bitterness in white tea is lesser than green tea because the leaves are plucked at an early stage.”

5 must-have #nutrients for #women’s #health

Here are five nutrients that may help protect women from heart disease, as well as lower the risk of other chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer and high blood pressure, as she ages.

18_08_2014_025_013_016As women age, they must stash themselves with five nutrients to stay in top shape As women age, their risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and stroke increases. This hap pens because women have a limited amount of oestrogen once they go through menopause. Once they’re oestrogen-deficient, they’re at risk for heart disease. Heart disease, which could include having a heart attack or heart failure, is the leading cause of death among women, and stroke is the third leading cause of death, according to medical science. Therefore, women need to satiate themselves with enough nutrients that’ll protect their immune system.

Here are five nutrients that may help protect women from heart disease, as well as lower the risk of other chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer and high blood pressure, as she ages.

NUTRIENT: VITAMIN D

Women who don’t get enough Vitamin D could develop brittle bones, or even worse, osteoporosis, as the nutrient helps the body absorb calcium, which helps keep aging bones strong. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found taking high doses (800 international units) of Vitamin D daily could reduce the risk of hip fractures in older women by 30 per cent. Source: There are three ways of getting Vitamin D: from the skin, from your diet and from vitamin supplements. Unfortunately, as the skin ages, it has less ability to produce Vitamin D in response to sun exposure. But women can boost their Vitamin D intake by increasing their dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and hard cheese.

NUTRIENT: FOLIC ACID (VITAMIN B9)

While folic acid, or folate, is a B-complex vitamin is a vital nutrient for expectant mothers, a daily dose is necessary for older women, as it is also cardio-protective, so it helps build new tissue. Signs of low folic acid levels include anaemia, weight loss, weakness, headaches and high levels of homocysteine in the blood, a risk factor for heart disease.

Sources: Women must consume the recommended daily allowance of 400 micrograms of folic acid a day, which can be found in leafy green vegetables, citrus, berries, nuts and olive oil.

NUTRIENT: CALCIUM

Calcium helps the body make new bone cells, and as women approach menopause, the ability to make new bone cells decreases. Sources: Drinking milk does not provide enough calcium to make up the difference. Besides dairy products, calcium can also be found in tofu, cereals, soy and rice beverages, vegetables such as kale, broccoli and Chinese cabbage, and fish with soft bones such as sardines and salmon.

NUTRIENT: OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Eating a higher amount of fish and Omega-3 fatty acids is linked with a lower risk of heart disease among women. Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat. This healthy fat may also help slow down the growth of plaque build-up in the arteries and lowers blood pressure.

Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can increase the good cholesterol, and decrease the bad one.

Sources: Several studies have found that fish oil supplements reduced triglyceride levels by 20 to 50 per cent. Eat fatty fish like salmon, tilapia or codfish -at least twice a week. Olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fatty acids, has also shown health benefits.

NUTRIENT: VITAMIN B12

Low levels of vitamin B12 tend to occur in women as they age. Older adults may not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin. Women who don’t get enough of B12 can experience fatigue, weight loss, poor memory, dementia and depression. According to a study, postmenopausal women who lack nutrients in their diets, including vitamin B12, have an increased risk of becoming anaemic.

Sources: The recommended daily amount of B12 is 2.4 micrograms daily for adults, and the vitamin can be found in foods such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and fortified breakfast cereals.

A #garlic a #day for good #health

Add a couple of cloves of garlic to your diet to boost your immunity!

Garlic-jpgGarlic with its antiviral and antibacterial properties helps boost your immunity and keeps you looking fresh and healthy. While in some cases garlic supplements are available and prescribed as a preventive measure for common cold, it’s actually very easy to incorporate a few cloves of garlic in our daily meals. Here’s how you can consume garlic without having to deal with that awful breadth.

Add it to your soup: Soup itself is a very good decongestant and helps warm up the body. Make your own vegetable or chicken broth soup at home and add garlic to it to enhance the flavour as well as get its antibiotic effect. Here’s what you can do:

Bring two cups of water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Add garlic (grated and made into a paste, for better flavouring), some thyme or oregano seasoning, one tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste to the water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the broth is fragrant. Add green vegetables (fresh peas, diced carrots, beans, spring onions, chopped capsicum, or other vegetables of your choice) to the broth and simmer uncovered for another five to eight minutes until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust salt. Beat one egg in a bowl, and add a little freshly ground pepper to it. Remove a small ladleful of the soup, and whisk it into the egg to temper it. Turn the heat off under the soup, and stir in the egg mixture. The egg should cloud the soup but shouldn’t scramble. Add some extra pepper on the top, pour out in a bowl and enjoy.

Make your own garlic drink: The smell of garlic makes it difficult to be consumed raw, but when you use other ingredients with an equally powerful taste, it’s easier. Here’s a drink you can try:

Take a large saucepan and add three cups of water. Grate five cloves of garlic and add it to the water. Cover the lid and bring it to boil so that the garlic fumes don’t escape. Turn off the heat after its boiled, add 10ml honey and the juice of one lemon to the garlic-water and stir well. Strain it into cups and sip it, while inhaling the garlic fumes.

Try garlic vinegar: Desperate times need desperate measure, and if you are dealing with a stubborn cold, you must try this garlic-vinegar recipe which is sure to benefit you instantly.

In a medium sized bowl, add vinegar (at least half the bowl). Mince one large bulb of garlic (at least 10-15 cloves) and add it to the vinegar. Cover it and let it sit for about an hour. The vinegar absorbs all the raw qualities of the garlic, making it a really strong solution. Strain it and drink the solution when you need immediate effects. Otherwise, use it as a salad dressing or in other recipes that use vinegar.

A #healthier #cookout

Smoke and direct flame contact with food increases cancer risk, say experts. Our guide to a fitter barbecue!

A-healthier-cookout-jpgWhile most of us worry about rain spoiling our fun, scientists raise a bigger concern: that eating barbecued meat, fish and poultry could cause cancer.

So, how much should we worry?
In recent years, a growing body of research has found that cooking meat over a flame increases our exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens known as PAHs and HCAs. These can damage the DNA in our genes, possibly leading to skin, liver, stomach and other sorts of cancer. While this risk also applies to other high-heat cooking techniques such as frying and grilling, PAHs and HCAs are caused by a combination of smoke and direct flame contact with food, so barbecuing poses more of a risk. The type of meat we tend to eat at barbecues poses a problem, too.

A higher consumption of burgers is associated with a 79 per cent increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. Processed red meat, such as ribs and sausages, has been linked to digestive cancers. The meat itself is a risk but the concern is also partly due to the chemicals used to preserve these products.

The build-up of carcinogens happens in one of three ways when we barbecue -by the surface of the food becoming contaminated by smoke, through the breakdown of fat, protein and carbohydrate as the food cooks, or as fat drips from the meat or poultry on to the hot embers and causes a chemical reaction. The third is by far the most common because the dripping fat also produces more smoke. So, the less fat meat has on it, the better.

Cooking over natural gas or propane grills reduces the pollution emitted, so it is much safer. But, of course, it doesn’t give the food that traditional smoky flavour. When coal is smouldering at its hottest and we cook on it, the smoke emitted contains poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide and PAHs.

Breathing in too much of it can be harmful to the lungs. It’s no coincidence that cigarette smoke also contains PAHs. When ingested, the PAHs go directly to our cells. Unlike meat, vegetables don’t create carcinogens when they char as the formation of HCAs depends on the presence of creatine, which is mostly found in muscle tissue. The lack of fat also means there are no flare-ups that can create smoke.

Smart barbie tips
Lower the temperature on your gas grill to prevent meat from burning. Ideally, use a barbecue that has a temperature control dial.» Part-cook larger items such as chicken pieces in a microwave or oven before you barbecue to reduce charring.» Marinate the meat to create a barrier be tween it and the formation of HCAs. Soak ing it in beer overnight tenderises it, adds flavour and reduces PAHs by 50%.» Use a smokeless BBQ with a built-in battery-powered fan to stop the BBQ from smoking and prevent carcinogens from being inhaled.» Switch to seafood, which typically forms fewer HCAs than meat and re quires shorter cooking time.» Opt for leaner meats and trim any fat before grilling to reduce dripping and flame flare-ups.» Cut down on grill time by oven-roasting or pan-searing meat.» Clean your grill after use to avoid trans ferring leftover chemicals.» Cut meat into smaller portions to re duce cooking time and flip food over frequently.» If you do nothing else, pick off the burnt bits before eating.