green tea

  1. More benefits of green tea – it protects your DNA

    One of the many newly discovered benefits of green tea is  that is protects your DNA. That‘s now a proven scientific fact, thanks to the work of Professor Iris Benzie. And her powerful new discovery helps explain why green tea drinkers seem to avoid weight gain, depression, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer‘s disease.

    Three reasons to drink green tea

    We already knew that there are many benefits of green tea. First, it purifies the body by eliminating free radicals. Free radicals are those unstable molecules that cause disease and age your body.

    Secondly, drinking green tea promotes the healthy turnover of cells in your body. Technically, it‘s called "apoptosis." And it prompts old cells to die off so that new, healthy cells can take their place. Apoptosis also prevents cancer by blocking the uncontrolled growth and spread of damaged cells.

    And lastly, we now know that green tea also protects your DNA, the tiny building blocks found inside nearly every cell in your body. Many scientists compare DNA to an elaborate set of blueprints or instructions. Think of your DNA as "ground zero" for good health. It all starts in the tiniest building blocks of your cells.

    So what damages your DNA?

    Radiation, UV rays, toxins, chemicals, free radicals, and unhealthy diet can all -- over time -- damage your DNA. Fortunately, your body finds and repairs most damage on its own. In fact, special proteins -- I like to think of them as DNA "watch dogs" -- tirelessly scour your body looking for problems.

    When they find a damaged strand, they immediately tell the cell to stop dividing, so the problem won‘t pass on to the next generation of cells. And then your body goes to work repairing the DNA. This ensures that you will go on to live a long, healthy life.

    But sometimes the DNA cops miss a strand. And these damaged strands can cause problems down the road, such as premature aging and disease. The good news is green tea can help prevent problems from even occurring in your DNA in the first place.

    Green tea protects your DNA

    Iris Benzie and her team of researchers recruited 18 healthy volunteers to participate in a study examining the effects of green tea on DNA. They divided the volunteers into two groups. One group drank two cups of one percent green tea (longjing green tea or screw-shaped green tea) every day for four weeks. The other group drank water every day for four weeks.

    Researchers took samples of the participants‘ blood and urine before and after the month-long study. Their analysis showed that the group who drank green tea reduced their DNA damage by 20 percent. And that was after just 30 days of drinking green tea! Imagine how good your DNA would look if took advantage of the benefits of green tea for one whole year of five years or 20 years.

    Plus...

    Why stop at one cup, when three is better?

    Research from earlier this year shows that drinking three cups of green tea every day may significantly increase your lifespan.

    This time, scientists compared the length of telomeres among green tea drinkers. (Telomeres are DNA sequences at the end of your chromosomes. They shorten as your cells replicate and age. So the longer your telomeres are, the "younger" your cells.)

    Scientist found that men and women who drank an average of three cups of green tea per day had a big advantage over one-cuppers. In fact, their telomeres were 4.6 kilobases longer, which translates into about five years of life.

    So go ahead and have that second (or third) cup of green tea today. The benefits of green tea may just add five years to your life! Just make sure to drink the real stuff, made by you with tea bags. Don‘t fall for the sweetened kind found in bottles. These only contain a fraction of the antioxidants found in real green tea. Instead, it‘s mostly sugar and water.

  2. Simple lifestyle change may guarantee you will never need dentures (And it is easier than flossing!)

    Gum disease is a serious condition that you'll most likely face in your golden years. In fact, as many as 90 percent of men and women over 65 suffer from it. It's also THE main reason why older adults lose their teeth.

    But a new study shows there's something--in addition to flossing--that you can and should do to keep your teeth healthy throughout your life. All you have to do is make one simple lifestyle change. Keep reading to find out more...

    Rooting out the causes of gum disease

    Unfortunately, many of us view gum disease as a minor nuisance. And that's a mistake...because solid evidence links gum disease with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

    That said, the disease often starts out benignly enough.

    For instance, did you know clenching (or grinding) your teeth--also known as bruxism--could bring on gum disease? According to one dentist I know, it's the biggest problem he sees in new patients visiting his office. And unfortunately, most people don't even realize they do it, often because they do it at night.

    Further more, certain types of medication can cause gum disease. For example, many of the drugs used to treat allergies, depression, high blood pressure, seizures, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer might increase your risk of gum disease.

    But--by far--the biggest cause of gum disease is bacteria. It builds up along your gum line and forms plaque (and eventually tartar). This irritates the gums, causing them to become infected, swollen, and tender. Eventually, your gums will separate from the tooth and form pockets where even more bacteria are able to hide.

    Plus...

    Bacteria in your mouth can also affect your overall health. Mounting research suggests that after brushing or flossing, bacteria may enter your bloodstream. From there, it latches onto plaque in your arteries contributing to blood clots and raising your risk of stroke or heart attack. One recent study conducted at the University of Buffalo showed that bacteria stemming from gum disease cause your liver to make C-reactive protein, a serious risk factor in heart disease.

    So what's the simple lifestyle change that can make all this go away?

    Just drink a cup of green tea each day.

    Now I know most people associate drinking green tea with fighting cancer. But according to the new study, drinking green tea can also help improve your oral health. It could even make the difference between whether or not you get to keep all your teeth in your golden years.

    You see, green tea is one of the world's oldest natural antibiotics. In fact, it contains a special kind of antioxidant called a catechin, which kills bacteria, especially the kind of bacteria in the mouth.

    In fact, last year scientists proved just how well these nutrients work at keeping your mouth a bacteria-free zone. They found that men who regularly drink green tea have "superior" gum health compared to men who drank less of it.

    Plus, an even newer study from last month proves that not only does green tea help prevent gum disease...it may even help you keep your teeth throughout your life!

    For this study, Japanese scientists analyzed data from 25,000 men and women between the ages 40 and 64 who drank green tea. They found that men and women who drank one to two cups a day decrease their risk of tooth loss by almost 20 percent. More over, the men who drank the most green tea cut their risk of tooth loss by almost a quarter.

    Not bad results for drinking a cup of tea. Especially for one that's good for you in so many other ways too!

    Be careful to choose your tea wisely

    So when you go out to buy yourself some green tea, just make sure to skip the sweetened, ready-to-drink green teas you'll find on the shelves. These products contain little, if any, concentrated green tea. Instead, it's filled with high- fructose corn syrup and provides no nutritional value.

    In order to get the kind of green tea that has all the healthy benefits, buy a box of green tea bags and steep them yourself. Let the bags sit in the hot water for at least four to five minutes to release all the healthy compounds. And if you like to drink it cold, just keep it in the fridge after steeping.

    And if you like your tea sweet, you can always add a few drops of Stevia, a natural sweetener you can now find at most grocery stores. Stevia has become a great alternative to sugar as well as all the artificial sweeteners out there without all the negative health effects. Just don't go crazy as it can still send your blood sugar through the roof if you add enough of it to your tea.

  3. Tea drinkers have less depression than Web surfers

    I recently ran across a study encouraging seniors to surf the web. It may help cut your risk of depression by 20 percent, the article said. But, to be honest, the study lacked substance. (Probably just some "junk science" funded by a computer company trying to boost sales.) On the other hand, if you really want to cut your risk of developing depression, think tea. Green tea to be precise. Scientists in Japan found that green tea drinkers over 70 years of age were less likely to get depressed. Now -- you have to drink a lot of tea to get the benefits. In fact, more than four cups a day. But among men and women who did this, the occurrence of depressive symptoms was 44 percent less. Wow. Now, that's what I call an improvement! Plus, green tea has a long and spectacular track record for boosting your overall health. It's been proven to help ward off heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, stroke, and weight gain, just to name a few. So drink up (green tea, that is). And if you like to surf the net, go for it. Just don't expect Google to keep the blues away.
  4. Doesn’t anyone believe in prevention anymore?

    Some cancer researchers estimate that we could prevent up to 40 percent of new cancer cases in this country with better nutrition and simple lifestyle changes. I tend to agree. In fact, I‘d push those estimates even higher if you‘re talking about preventing colon, breast, and prostate cancer. The Chinese have known this for centuries. That‘s why two "super foods" have been part of their family meals for literally thousands of years. Of course, I‘m talking about mushrooms and green tea. It‘s not any big secret among followers of alternative medicine that these two foods build your immune system and can help protect you against cancer. But on main street U.S.A., the idea isn‘t setting off fireworks. And that‘s a shame, because literally hundreds of studies have shown that mushrooms and green tea can help protect you against cancer. Plus--a new study I just read about in the International Cancer Journal makes that claim even stronger. In this study, Australian and Chinese researchers showed that mushrooms and green tea--when consumed daily--can almost wipe out any risk you have of getting breast cancer. Here‘s how… Breast cancer rates slashed A team of scientists from the University of Western Australia and Zhejiang University, China studied the dietary habits of 2,000 women between the ages of 20 and 87. The women lived in an affluent part of southeast China and about half of them had breast cancer. The other half did not have breast cancer. Researchers asked these women about their daily consumption of mushrooms and green tea. Researchers found that the most common types of mushroom eaten were fresh white button mushrooms, Agaricus bisporus, and fragrant dried mushrooms, Lentinula edodes. They also surveyed other known risk factors, such as education level, weight, exercise, and smoking status. What they found was remarkable. The women who ate just 1/3 of an ounce of fresh mushrooms daily were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Plus--women who ate fresh mushrooms and drank green tea daily were about 80 to 90 percent less likely to get breast cancer compared to their counterparts who didn‘t consume the super foods. Wow... 80 to 90 percent less likely to develop breast cancer! And these women weren‘t even eating shiitake mushrooms, known to have anti-cancerous properties. They were eating regular old button mushrooms you can find in any grocery store in the U.S. That certainly got my attention. We‘re talking about non-toxic, non-drug options for preventing cancer. How can you argue with 2,000 years of experience fighting cancer? Green tea and mushrooms are traditional foods in China. They‘ve been served at family dinners for literally thousands of years. Clearly, this is a very healthy tradition. And that‘s because edible mushrooms (such as shiitake mushrooms) contain lentinian, a compound that boosts the immune system and prevents tumor growth. Green tea contains polyphenols called catechins that helps block the spread of cancer cells to healthy tissues. Is it any surprise, then, that women in China are 4 to 5 times less likely to get breast cancer compared to women in the U.S.? In China, only about 19 women per 100,000 get breast cancer. In the U.S., more than 100 women per 100,000 get breast cancer in their lifetime. Getting angry at the Genentech Of course, after reading about these powerful results among Chinese women, I got angry. What’s it going to take for health practitioners in the U.S. to get serious about preventing cancer with good nutrition? Does anyone in the U.S. really want to prevent cancer? Of course, I‘m a bit of a cynic. So I jump right on the money trail. Money--not lack of knowledge--is a big part of the problem. For instance, without a burgeoning cancer population, what would all the oncologists do? What would Big Pharma do if we all could prevent cancer naturally? Let‘s consider how much Big Pharma makes from just one of their cancer drugs. Two years ago, the New York Times reported that a colon cancer patient would have to fork over almost $100,000 a year to pay for Genentech’s new drug Avastin. That’s double the cost of the next most-expensive cancer drug. And now, two years later, Avastin is used to treat breast and lung cancer patients. This new "wonder drug" works by cutting off blood supply to cancer tumors. Just imagine the profits! Avastin pulls in more than $3.5 billion a year for Genentech. In fact, cancer drugs like Avastin rake in the most money for Big Pharma, second only to popular cholesterol-lowering drugs (like statins, which we covered in last week‘s Guide to Good Health: http://www.northstarnutritionals.com/article_list.php?docs_id=120). So--with such a hefty price tag, Avastin must save lives and cure cancer, right? Well, I‘m not so sure. Now that it‘s been on the market for a few years and we have more data to look at, the numbers don‘t look so great. Studies show Avastin only prolongs a cancer patient‘s life by a few months at best.
    Of course Big Pharma‘s out for money, but there‘s got to be somebody who still believes in prevention.
    Okay, what about the American Cancer Society? Don‘t they want to help you prevent cancer? Well, sometimes I wonder. Think about all the people they employ... the dinners, the daffodil sales, the golf tournaments. Are they really serious about preventing cancer or are they happy hosting their annual Walk for Life?! It‘s a legitimate question, especially after reading how so many Chinese women are preventing breast cancer naturally. Just how much does the ACS care about preventing cancer? According to their web site, they spent 18% of their funds (or $189 million) on prevention in 2008. Sure-- that‘s a lot of money. But in my book, it‘s not enough. Especially when you see that they spent more than that on their fundraisers. So I was wondering, what does the American Cancer Society have to say about mushrooms and green tea? Research abounds on these two nutritional powerhouses, so I ran a quick search on the ACS web site and decided to type the word "mushrooms" into their key word search. Any guess what I found first on their list of matches? It was an article dating from 3-28-2000. Yes, the article was positive. But it dated back almost 10 years, folks! So much has happened in that span of time. I hardly consider a 10-year-old marginally helpful article about mushrooms a real tool in preventing cancer.
    Okay, enough ranting for this week!
    It‘s time I step off my soap-box and give you some real tips for eating healthy that hopefully will keep cancer from ever taking hold in your body. Here‘s what I recommend:
    • Add mushrooms to your daily diet when you can. Toss them into salads, sautés, and stir-fries whenever possible.
    • Drink two or three cups of green tea a day. Go straight for the good stuff from an actual tea bag…not the sugary kind made by some of the popular manufacturers.
    • Limit red meat to 2-3 times per week. Choose only fresh meats that have been raised without hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. Avoid meats that have been cured, like bacon, ham and lunch meat as these contain nitrates, a known carcinogen.
    • Avoid processed foods (along the inside aisles of the grocery store) made with preservatives and food colorings.
    • Eat as much fresh produce as you can. Especially go for green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Also, choose colorful foods like peppers, blueberries, and tomatoes. Shoot for eight to 10 servings per day.
    • Get plenty of fish into your diet.
    • Eliminate your intake of refined carbohydrates, especially sugar.
    That’s a good start. For more comprehensive dietary guidelines, look back at my Christmas list from 2008. Here‘s a link: http://www.northstarnutritionals.com/article_list.php?docs_id=73

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