Tea, tea, tea

A few years ago, I decided to reduce my caffeine intake as part of an overall plan to cut back on acids in my system. I wasn’t a huge coffee drinker but knew I’d miss hugging a warm mug in the morning and decided to switch to lightly caffeinated green tea for my morning brew.

I’ve been very happy with the switch AND during the last Food Revolution Summit, was amazed to hear about many of the health benefits of green tea. One of the speakers this year said there wasn’t anything wrong with coffee except that if drinking it meant you were drinking less green tea, then you were missing out!

What’s so great about green tea? Here are some facts from Dr. Dean Ornish’s book, The Spectrum:

  1. According to The Journal of American Medical Association, a study of over 40,000 Japanese men and women over a seven to eleven year period, found that people who drank five cups of green tea a day had a 26% lower premature death rate due to illness than those who drank one cup a day.
  2. Drinking green tea produces nitric oxide which helps your body dilate blood vessels which lowers your blood pressure, lowers your cholesterol levels, and reduces the incidence of blood clots and heart attacks. “The polyphenols in green tea appear to have powerful antioxidant properties and are scavengers for free radicals that otherwise damage your cells.”
  3. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who drank two or more cups of tea a day were 32% less likely to have cancers through their digestive track. And that four or more cups helped reduce the risk of intestinal cancer by 63%!
  4. Chinese medicine believes that tea can help produce insulin and helps control your weight by reducing your appetite.
  5. Green tea inhibits bacterial growth which may reduce your risk of cavities.
  6. Dr. Ornish notes that black tea isn’t bad for you, but it has more caffeine than green tea, and it’s fermented which takes away many of the above benefits.

All of that seems so clinical to a girl like me who just likes a hot cup of deliciousness in the morning. But hearing this about green tea makes me want to drink a bit more. Isn’t it nice when something delicious is also good for you?

If you want to get stuff done, you have to be healthy. Getting and staying healthy is a series of habits you practice every day. Green tea is a great baby step to a healthy drinking habit.

Cheers to tea!

We spent part of the holiday weekend in Boston. Walking in a city is one of my favorite ways to stay in shape. Shots here are from the old North Church, and from the USS Constitution and museum. I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!

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