A cup of warm tea after a long day at work sounds like a comforting way to unwind, and for many, it is a daily ritual. In certain countries, this ritual involves a specific preparation process that could be considered an art. Drinking tea comes with many benefits, but also a number of questions. What are those healthy compounds in our tea? How many cups is too many? What about caffeine? Which tea should we choose to get the maximum benefit out of it? What about herbal teas? Does it matter if it’s organic? Let’s answer some of these questions!
WHAT IS TEA?
Drinking tea has a long history, especially in countries like China and Japan, and it was used as medicine long before anyone knew what antioxidants actually are. When we talk about tea in general, we include tea leaves, rooibos needles, and even dried herbs, but the real tea is actually only harvested from one specific plant. For the purpose of this post, let’s exclude herbal teas and other non-tea beverages and focus just on the tea leaves of Camellia Sinensis.
EMPowerplus Q96 is the most-researched micronutrient formula in the world, with over $25 million in independent research (no funding from Q Sciences) conducted at 16 universities in four countries, including Harvard University. It is also the subject of 22 studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, and has been shown to positively impact mood, brain health and behavior in a variety of conditions.
Essentially, The Gift is self-esteem in a bottle. Use it to empower personal growth and raising your consciousness. The Gift can simply “opens the door” – it does not force you through it.
High self esteem means self-acceptance and love, which helps to lower stress, generate success, and build healthy relationships. It opens the way for creativity and self-development. It armors us against negative messages, programming and subliminal suggestions. High self-esteem is also well correlated with good immune system functioning. The Gift can support a release from addictions too.
In part 1 of The Fat story we learned a lot, and today, we will learn even more. After reading this post, you will be armed with some serious knowledge no one has told you, even though you deserved to know. You might have a problem wrapping your head around the truth about cholesterol at first, but once you read it all, it will start to make sense. All you are going to need then are recommendations and some healthy tips – which are waiting for you at the very end of The Fat story!
WHAT ABOUT CHOLESTEROL?
Saturated fat used to be demonized because sources of SFA are also high in cholesterol. Cholesterol is one of the most important compounds in our bodies. It is not a fat as many believe, it is a waxy steroid. The word steroid has a bad reputation as well, but don’t confuse it with something chemical or illegal. Steroids are actually building materials, like for example vitamin D, hormones, or our new friend – cholesterol. Our brain contains 25% of our total body cholesterol. It is the raw material for making hormones like progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and estrogen, but we also need it to make our own vitamin D from sunlight (a particularly important vitamin for lowering inflammation).
Cholesterol is actually produced by our liver and our body is able to self regulate the cholesterol production, so if we eat too much cholesterol in our diet (which is again NOT a bad thing), our own production decreases. Very high levels of cholesterol are a symptom of some underlying problem in the body, not the cause. If your doctors says you have “high cholesterol,” you might want to look into why that inflammatory marker is there, but you actually should not freak out at all. Cholesterol is a health-promoting substance, and we want to have it in the body for sure. Dietary cholesterol (from the foods we eat) and cholesterol that is listed on the paper after our blood tests are two completely different things. Read the rest of this post
Fat. Even the word itself oozes with negative associations. Just say it out loud. Fat. What comes to your mind first? I doubt it is something cute or enjoyable. FAT. We’ve been given so much bad (and wrong) information about fat, that we tend to fear it, avoid it, and remove it even from foods that are naturally fatty (skim milk, anyone?). We are cutting the fatty pieces off of our meat, we are looking for “low fat” options in the yogurt aisle, and we are constantly looking for a way to remove those fat layers even from our own thighs and bellies. We were taught to diss fat in every way, shape, and form. “Fat makes you fat!” we hear, or “animal fat will clog your arteries.” These dogmas were born over hundred years ago, after partial hydrogenation was invented in 1900, and greater market saturation followed when margarine production doubled from 1920 to 1950. But now it is time to put these beliefs to sleep, just as we did the “Earth is flat” opinion in the past (and that one was believed to be true even by the smartest people back then). Forget everything you think you know about fat and learn about why avoiding healthy sources of fat might be the thing that’s blocking your path to optimal health and mental well being.
WHAT IS FAT?
Fat is one of the three macronutrients we recognize, along with proteins and carbohydrates. From a chemical perspective, fats and oils are large molecules called fatty acids, composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in a variety of patterns. We classify fats by either chain-length (depending on the number of carbon atoms, we divide these into short-, medium- and long-chain), and also by saturation. This is where it gets really interesting. Every fat source on the planet is a blend of three types of fat in different ratios – saturated fatty acids (SFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). And it is only the oil that is present in the blend in the highest amount that determines whether we call that particular fat saturated or unsaturated. Lard contains some saturated fat and some unsaturated, so does olive oil. But olive oil is mostly monounsaturated, so that is what we call it, even though it does contain the same saturated fatty acids as lard or coconut oil.Read the rest of this post
Today’s society is so driven by money, it’s scary. People, who make money by selling fitness programs, diet supplements, and cosmetic “must haves,” try to convince us that everything can be purchased – beauty, happiness, health. We feel like we have to look a certain way in order to be happy and we have to pay for it with hard earned money. Advertisements push products on us from every side, celebrities give us nutritional advice from the pages of magazines, and self-appointed health experts offer yet another magic pill as the cure for everything. Most sell us quick fixes, false promises, and an easy way out, and blinded by profit they try to camouflage the fact that long term, sustainable, optimal health requires investments other than money. Dollars can buy you just about everything, but the most important things in life don’t have a price tag on them.
A while ago a friend asked me to join her for a health related seminar hosted by one of the self-appointed health experts, for just a couple of bucks. My initial reaction was: “Why do you have to pay for that information? I can tell you everything for free,” but for some reason she did not value my point of view just because I do not have some authoritative letters by my name on my business card. But I really do believe that the ultimate “health secrets” should not be secrets at all. All I know I learned simply by reading the right materials, listening to the right people, and years of self-experimentation. A foundation of basic and simple information on how to achieve a healthy body and mind should be provided to everyone, free of charge. In today’s world it may seem like health really is just a privilege of the lucky wealthy few and if you want to join the healthy crowd, you have to show some cash. But we are here to tell you the simple truth, we are here to teach you how to be healthy, how to take responsibility for your health, completely for free. All you have to invest is your own time. Time is something we can never get back. If you run out of money, you can always make some, if you run out of food in the fridge, you can just go and buy some groceries, but time is something we can never get back. Be mindful of how you are spending yours.