green tea http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3416/all en-US Make These 5 Diet Moves Now or You'll Regret It in 20 Years http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000046643118.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I know I've heard it, and I'm pretty sure you have, too. &quot;Eat healthy,&quot; we are warned, so that we can live long, happy, productive lives.</p> <p>Sure, it sounds good, but anyone who has tried to improve their diet knows that it is hard to do. We are surrounded by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diet-trends-that-can-hurt-you">unhealthy food</a>, and it can be difficult to know what is and is not actually going to improve our health, since different people make different claims and all swear that science is on their side. So what can you do?</p> <p>There are a few small changes that you could make to your diet today that are likely to help you reap rewards in the years to come. Most of these aren't too hard to do, once you realize they are important. While they won't change your diet completely, they're a great place to start if you want to eat with your health in mind.</p> <h2>1. Reduce Sugar Intake</h2> <p>Unless you already monitor your sugar intake, you probably eat more of it than you think you do. Why? Because it's in everything from ketchup to soy sauce.</p> <p>Eating less sugar can have all sorts of good benefits for your body over time. It will lower your blood pressure and your bad cholesterol, keep your brain sharp, lower your risk of fatty liver disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, and improve your immune function. These are only a few of the ways sugar can affect your body. While you may not be at risk of something like diabetes right now, if you continue to eat so much sugar, you might be in 20 years.</p> <p>To start the process of cutting back, track your sugar intake for a few days or a week. Learn where the sugar in your diet comes from, then choose to cut one of those things out. If you keep replacing sugary foods with other options, you will slowly reduce the amount of sugar you eat.</p> <h2>2. Drink Green Tea</h2> <p>I know, I know &mdash; everyone and their mother says to drink green tea, these days. Apparently, there's a good reason for that. Green tea, when consumed in conjunction with a regular fitness regimen, apparently <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429114739.htm">aids in fat burning and weight loss</a>. In 20 years, you will weigh a lot less if you start drinking green tea now than you will if you don't. Even if you don't need to lose weight, the tea clearly helps your body function better and may protect you from some age-related weight gain.</p> <p>My problem with green tea is that it tastes like grass. Fortunately, they now make it in all sorts of flavors. In fact, if you like a particular flavor of regular tea, you can probably find that same flavor of green tea. It also comes refrigerated and infused with fruit essence, if you prefer an iced version.</p> <h2>3. Leave Food on Your Plate</h2> <p>Overeating is a big deal, and it's way more common than it should be. It's one thing to eat a lot on Thanksgiving and your birthday, but entirely another to lose touch with your body's satiety signals and overeat all the time. <a href="http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2014/02/diet-changes-with-big-results/">Leaving a bite or two</a> of food on your plate can help you learn to listen to your body again, because you won't be relying on an empty plate to tell you you're done.</p> <h2>4. Get Healthy Fats</h2> <p>As it turns out, healthy fats <a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/diet-and-weight/">don't make you gain weight</a>, nor do they lead to higher chances of any disease. In fact, some people find it a bit easier to lose weight, over time, when they are sure to include healthy fats in their diet. Fats also help you feel less hungry, so you can consume less food overall and still feel satisfied.</p> <p>The key, when it comes to fats, hinges on which types you eat. Most of all, be sure to avoid trans fats. After that, limit your saturated fats but do not feel like you need to avoid them entirely. Beyond that, you can consume healthy fats as they fit into your diet and as you desire them. Eat a lot of nuts and avocados, and you should feel full and maintain your weight over time.</p> <h2>5. Eat More Yogurt</h2> <p>Yogurt seems to <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/05/02/5-top-foods-for-quick-weight-loss/">help people maintain their weight</a> as they get older. In an analysis of the diets of over 120,000 people, those who lost weight and maintained that loss, or maintained a healthy weight, seemed to eat a good amount of yogurt. No one is quite sure how all the pieces fit together here. Yogurt has live bacterial cultures, which may help the gut function better and so help the body find a healthy weight and stay there.</p> <p>It's important to find a yogurt that does not have a high sugar content. Many people find that they like to eat plain yogurt with a spoonful of honey or jam mixed in. It's likely an acquired taste, but one worth figuring out if it will keep your body healthy and strong for years into the future.</p> <p><em>What dietary changes have you made with the long view in mind? How do you plan to stay healthy over the next 20 years?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-to-stop-eating-sugar-forever">12 Reasons to Stop Eating Sugar Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">10 Reasons to Drink Tea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">Small, Cheap Steps to Weight Loss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-putting-on-recession-pounds">How to Avoid Putting on Recession Pounds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diet eating healthy fats green tea sugar weight loss yogurt Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:00:20 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1553989 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Terrific (and Surprising) Uses for Tea http://www.wisebread.com/10-terrific-and-surprising-uses-for-tea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-terrific-and-surprising-uses-for-tea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drink-181442691.jpg" alt="tea" title="tea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tea might be your beverage of choice if you&#39;re trying to stay refreshed on a hot summer&#39;s day or warm during the winter &mdash; and for good reason. Tea is a great alternative to soda, and it&#39;s full of rich antioxidants that help revitalize cells. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/go-tea-go-the-10-best-online-tea-merchants?ref=seealso">Best Online Tea Merchants</a>)</p> <p>However, the benefits of tea go beyond the obvious. Here is a look at some of the most surprising uses for tea and tea bags.</p> <h2>1. Add Flavor to Meats</h2> <p>If you&#39;re tired of the same-old seasonings and looking for a unique way to prepare chicken or steak, sweet tea can give your dish a flavor boost. There are plenty of recipes online for cooking with tea. (I like this sweet <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tylers-ultimate/sweet-tea-brined-fried-chicken-recipe/index.html">tea-brined fried chicken</a>.) You can even use the beverage as a tenderizer. Simply pour tea over meat and marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-sweet-tea-to-chai-delicious-homemade-tea-recipes?ref=seealso">Delicious Homemade Tea Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>2. Clean Mirrors and Glass</h2> <p>There are several products available to clean mirrors and glass around your house. And while many are effective, you may prefer an odorless or chemical-free cleaner. If you have freshly brewed tea in your refrigerator, the drink can <a href="http://www.diylife.com/2010/09/15/mirror-cleaning/">double as a glass cleaner</a>. Dip a lint-free cloth into the tea, and then use the tea-soaked cloth to remove dirt, water spots, and other stains from mirrors and glass. Tea also works as a cleaner for toilets, floors, and countertops. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-other-green-cleaners-already-in-your-house?ref=seealso">8 Green Cleaners You Already Have</a>)</p> <h2>3. Remove Warts</h2> <p>These small, hard growths on the hand can be unsightly and embarrassing. But with the help of tea, you don&#39;t have to hide your hands. The antioxidants in green tea are an <a href="http://diyhealth.com/9-effective-home-remedies-removing-warts1.html">effective treatment for warts</a>. Drink two to three cups of green tea daily to fight warts. Additionally, you can apply tea directly to warts. Brew a tea bag in hot water for about five minutes. Allow the tea bag to cool and then apply it to the wart for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat three times a day, and the wart will eventually dry and fall off.</p> <h2>4. Deodorize Closets</h2> <p>Poor ventilation, dirty laundry, pile of shoes &mdash; this combination can create some pretty foul odors in your closet. You can spray air freshener, but this product may only mask the odor. Tea bags, on the other hand, can <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/instant-air-freshener-for-smal-92542">absorb smells</a> and naturally freshen any area of your house. Place a few unused tea bags in the back of your closets and inside smelly shoes. You can also mix tea leaves in your cat&#39;s litter box to eliminate odors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners?ref=seealso">10 Natural Air Fresheners</a>)</p> <h2>5. Relieve Sunburns and Rashes</h2> <p>You probably know the benefits of applying wet tea bags to your eyes to reduce puffiness. However, thanks to <a href="http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/tannins.shtml">tannins</a>, tea can also relieve the sting from sunburns, razor burns, and rashes. Place a few chamomile tea bags in bath water and soak away skin irritations, or apply a wet tea bag or a tea-drenched cotton swab directly to affected areas.</p> <h2>6. Relieve Oral Pain</h2> <p>Whether you&#39;re dealing with a canker sore or a tooth extraction, biting down on a used tea bag can provide quick relief and reduce inflammation. According to the Cleveland Clinic,&quot;The tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to a scab on an open wound). It can reduce bleeding and soothe pain.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Prevent Dry Hair</h2> <p>If you can&#39;t keep your hair moisturized, experiment with a tea rinse. It&#39;s not your traditional hair care routine. However, &quot;tea lowers the pH of hair, closing the cuticle for extra shine, softness and manageability,&quot; says Philip Pelusi, owner of Tela Design Studio in New York City.</p> <p>Pour cooled, unsweetened tea over your hair after washing. Massage the tea into your hair and then rinse after 10 minutes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-luxury-hair-treatments-from-your-kitchen?ref=seealso">Luxury Hair Treatments From Your Kitchen</a>)</p> <h2>8. Feed Your Plants</h2> <p>Used tea bags can improve the health of your <a href="http://www.teamuse.com/article_060901.html">indoor and outdoor plants</a>. After brewing a cup or pitcher of tea, mix tea leaves within the soil. This trick works as a natural fertilizer and helps the soil retain moisture.</p> <h2>9. Eliminate Body Odor</h2> <p>Tea not only gets rid of odors inside closets and around litter boxes, but it can also quickly eliminate body odors. After handling onions, garlic, and fish, rinse your hands with tea to remove lingering odors. Additionally, soaking your feet in tea for 20 minutes can reduce odor. And if you deal with <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2114728/Green-tea-abolishes-bad-breath-say-scientists.html">bad breath</a>, gargling with tea can freshen your mouth.</p> <h2>10. Repel Mosquitos</h2> <p>If you want to enjoy your porch without being attacked by mosquitoes, burn dry tea leaves. After brewing tea, tear open the tea bag and dry out the tea leaves. Once dried, place the leaves in an incense burner and burn them when you&#39;re sitting outdoors. The combination of the smoke and scent will repel mosquitos and flies.</p> <p><em>Do you have more unusual uses for tea you&#39;d like to share? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-terrific-and-surprising-uses-for-tea">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-6-rules-of-frugal-living-you-need-to-know">The Only 6 Rules of Frugal Living You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Affording Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living black tea green tea tea uses Fri, 31 Jan 2014 10:48:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1121515 at http://www.wisebread.com From Sweet Tea to Chai: Delicious Homemade Tea Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/from-sweet-tea-to-chai-delicious-homemade-tea-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-sweet-tea-to-chai-delicious-homemade-tea-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3165217472_274dc1439c_z.jpg" alt="chai tea smoothie" title="chai tea smoothie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.&quot; &ndash; C.S. Lewis</p> <p>I have the drinking habits of an English pensioner. I pretty much require a cup of hot tea with every meal. I carry tea bags with me to insure that I never have to put up with bad restaurant coffee. The warm weather of Southern California has no impact on my tea drinking. I drink tea all day, every day.</p> <p>And why not? Tea is a remarkably versatile beverage. It never gets boring. As four-time British Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, once remarked, &ldquo; If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.&rdquo;</p> <p>Tea. It&rsquo;s an all-temperature problem solver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">10 Reasons to Drink&nbsp;Tea</a>)</p> <h3>1. Sweet Tea</h3> <p>&quot;American-style iced tea is the perfect drink for a hot, sunny day. It's never really caught on in the UK, probably because the last time we had a hot, sunny day was back in 1957.&quot; &ndash; Tom Holt</p> <p>Somewhere in East Texas there is an invisible line where Sweet Tea Territory begins. Once you cross the line, it is just assumed that when you order iced tea, what you really mean is <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/southern-sweet-tea-50400000112194/">sweet tea</a>. As Dolly Parton says in Steel Magnolias, &ldquo;Sweet tea is the house wine of the South.&rdquo;</p> <p>Iced tea is an American invention, and sweet tea was the status cocktail of the early 1900s as sugar, tea, and ice were all expensive imported food products.</p> <p>The oldest known recipe for sweet tea was published in 1879 in a cookbook by Marion Cabell Tyree titled &quot;House Keeping In Old Virginia.&quot; The original recipe, like most pre-WW2 sweet tea recipes, called for green tea:</p> <blockquote><p>After scalding the teapot, put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls green tea. If wanted for supper, do this at breakfast. At dinner time, strain, without stirring, through a tea strainer into a pitcher. Let it stand till tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the pitcher. Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar. A squeeze of lemon will make this delicious and healthful, as it will correct the astringent tendency.</p> </blockquote> <p>(Due to anti-Japanese sentiment, Americans switched to using black tea from India during the War and have only recently reembraced green tea).</p> <h3>2. Arnold Palmer...and Other Golfer-Named Drinks</h3> <p>As much as I love sweet tea, my favorite summer tea beverage is the <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/columns/story?columnist=sobel_jason&amp;page=palmerblog">Arnold Palmer</a>, which is three parts iced tea to one part lemonade.</p> <p>Many people believe that an Arnold Palmer is an alcoholic beverage. These people are wrong. The drink that consists of lemonade, iced tea, and vodka is a called a <a href="http://www.drinknation.com/drink/john-daly">John Daly</a>.</p> <p>These drinks, and the Tiger Woods, (which is a blend of that horribly popular passion fruit tea that smells like bad cologne and lemonade), are all named after professional golfers. (The John Daly name is a nod to Daly&rsquo;s reputation as a drinker). Lemonade, iced tea, and Everclear is called a Happy Gilmore. A related, but non-golf cocktail is The Donovan, which was named after shipping magnate Andrew Donovan. The Donovan is a mix of lemonade and sweet tea vodka.</p> <h3>3. Thai Iced Tea</h3> <p>Another great summertime beverage is Thai iced tea. Made with evaporated milk, Thai iced tea can double as a desert. The unique flavor of Thai iced tea comes from the vanilla, cinnamon, tamarind, and star anise that are added to black tea. You can <a href="http://coffeetea.about.com/od/coldtearecipes/r/Thai-Iced-Tea-Recipe.htm">make Thai iced tea completely from scratch</a> using this basic recipe.</p> <p>However, since I live close to Thai Town in my city, I prefer to buy a premade, packaged mix of black tea and spices from my local Thai market, as it&rsquo;s easier and cheaper than buying the ingredients separately. You can also buy this mix online.</p> <h3>4. Chai</h3> <p>If you have a lot of random spices leftover from baking projects, chai is a delicious way to use them up at the end of the holiday season. My <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/planned-leftovers-house-chai-tea-recipe/">House Chai Recipe</a> starts with the cheapest black tea in my pantry, black pepper, and water, but I will throw in a mix of five or six other spices to vary the flavor.</p> <h3>5. Mulled Punch/Russian Tea</h3> <p>My mother is famous for her mulled punch, which is black tea mixed with orange, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons">lemon</a>, and pineapple juice, and spiced with cinnamon sticks and a tongue-numbing amount of whole cloves. This hot drink is often referred to as <a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1918,152162-232207,00.html">Russian tea</a>, even though it has nothing to do with that country).</p> <p>There are many <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Russian-Tea/Detail.aspx?prop24=RD_RelatedRecipes">recipes for instant Russian tea</a> floating around the internet. All of them feature a mix of instant ice tea mix, powdered lemonade, and Tang. (Russian tea. It&rsquo;s the drink of cosmonauts). Don&rsquo;t let the low-fi ingredients fool you. This tea mix tastes like nostalgia and makes a splendid, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">no-bake holiday gift</a>.</p> <h3>6. Apple Tea</h3> <p>A slightly fancier gift mix you can make at home is <a href="http://thegreenbacksgal.com/homemade-black-apple-tea-mix-recipe/">apple tea</a>. It&rsquo;s extra cute&nbsp;(and thrifty) packed into an apple-shaped Martinelli&rsquo;s Cider bottle.</p> <h3>7. Tea Smoothies</h3> <p>Tea can also be used as an energy boost to breakfast smoothie, like in this <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cran-berry-green-tea-smoothie-10000001694234/">cranberry green tea smoothie</a>.</p> <h3>8. Tisanes</h3> <p>Teas that are not made from the camellia sinensis plant are not true teas, but tisanes. Tisanes are infusions that are made with flowers, fruit, herbs, or other plants. Many tisanes are based on old medicinal elixirs that are so yummy, people have forgotten their original purpose. Honey lemon tea (also known as hot lemonade) is one of my favorite wintertime beverages. An array of herbs and flowers can be added to <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/feel-better-ginger-lemon-tea-236862">honey lemon tea</a> for additional flavors and healing properties, including mint, thyme, echinacea, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and lavender.</p> <p>Jamaica, one of the most popular Mexican aguas frescas, is a <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/agua_de_jamaica_hibiscus_tea/">cold tisane made from hibiscus flowers</a>. Many Mexican supermarkets carry dried jamaica flowers in bulk.&nbsp;Jamaica will forever ruin Kool-Aid for you. Fair warning.</p> <p>Also do not make the mistake I made the first time I saw this on a menu. It&rsquo;s pronounced the Spanish way, &ldquo;Hah-MIKE-ah,&rdquo; not like the island nation.</p> <p>Finally, wear old clothes when you make this tisane. In addition to being delicious, you can also use jamaica as a natural alternative to pink dye.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-sweet-tea-to-chai-delicious-homemade-tea-recipes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">10 Reasons to Drink Tea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-ways-to-use-chicken-stock">25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches">25 Great Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink affordable recipes green tea homemade gifts hot drinks tea Fri, 28 Dec 2012 10:48:42 +0000 Max Wong 955381 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons to Drink Tea http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-to-drink-tea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teapot.jpg" alt="Teapot and mug of tea" title="Teapot and mug of tea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I start most mornings with a cup of coffee, but at heart, I am a tea-drinking gal. Green, black, herbal &mdash; I love it all, and I usually drink a couple mugs of the stuff a day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It's Cracked Up to Be? It's Close.</a>)</p> <p>I mostly like tea just because it's delicious, but here are a bunch of other great reasons to consume it:</p> <h3>1. To Wake Up</h3> <p>Depending on the kind of tea you drink, an 8 oz. cup of tea can have up to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">120 mg of caffeine</a>. Black tea has the most caffeine, followed by green.</p> <h3>2. To Calm Down</h3> <p>Not only can chamomile tea help you fall asleep, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that it can also <a href="http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/040310.htm">help relieve anxiety</a>.</p> <h3>3. To Soothe Your Stomach</h3> <p>Teas made from peppermint and ginger are both known for their stomach-calming properties. And there's no need to pay for tea bags here &mdash; dried peppermint (picked from your garden, if you have it, and hung to dry inside) or fresh chopped ginger placed in a tea ball or reusable tea bag work just as well. (Just be careful if you're prone to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-solutions-for-acid-reflux-disease">acid reflux</a>; mint can actually aggravate the condition.)</p> <h3>4. To Lower Your Blood Sugar</h3> <p>As Andrea reports in her piece about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">inexpensive ways to lower blood sugar</a>, green, black, and white tea can all help bring blood sugar down. She also notes that cinnamon can as well, which is often used along with black tea as an ingredient in chai.</p> <h3>5. To Help Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer</h3> <p>Studies have show that green tea&nbsp;&mdash; widely held as the reigning champion of teas when it comes to health benefits &mdash; might help prevent both cancer and heart disease thanks to the tea's awesome antioxidants, which are called catechins.</p> <h3>6. To Get Warm (or Cool Down)</h3> <p>Drinking a big mug of tea &mdash; or any other hot drink, really&nbsp;&mdash; will raise your body temperature. Put it on ice, and it makes a great summertime thirst quencher.</p> <h3>7. To Keep a Bright Smile</h3> <p>Researchers have found that drinking green tea can reduce your risk of <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/green-tea-is-good-for-your-smile">periodontal disease</a>. Yes, it's true that tea can also stain your teeth, but if you stick to lighter teas like green, that's less likely to happen.</p> <h3>8. To Get Flavor Without Calories</h3> <p>From tropical fruits to wintry spices, from delicate jasmine to the classic black, green, white, and oolong, tea comes in a variety of flavors and has pretty much no calories to speak of. (Well, until you start adding milk and sugar. I'm not going to tell you that your Starbucks chai latte is calorie-free, buddy &mdash; and don't get me started on those big ol' cans of Arizona.)</p> <h3>9. To Wean Yourself Off of Coffee</h3> <p>If you want to kick the coffee habit but aren't looking forward to the ensuing withdrawal headaches and cranky, yawning mornings, switch your mug of java for a mug of tea (green, ideally, since it has less caffeine than black) for a while to step yourself down slowly.</p> <h3>10.&nbsp;To Socialize</h3> <p>Whether you plan a fancy afternoon tea party (with potluck finger foods, perhaps?) or just meet a friend for a cup of the steeped stuff at a coffee shop (nobody calls them tea shops, do they?), drinking tea is a great way to catch up with friends.</p> <p><em>Why do you drink tea? Do you know of any awesome benefits I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-caffeine-is-in-that">How Much Caffeine is in That?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-being-a-slave-to-starbucks-how-to-quit-caffeine">Stop Being a Slave to Starbucks - How to Quit Caffeine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-benefits-of-caffeine">10 Surprising Benefits of: Caffeine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty beverages caffeine green tea tea Mon, 21 Feb 2011 12:36:12 +0000 Meg Favreau 491511 at http://www.wisebread.com Small, Cheap Steps to Weight Loss http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-steps-to-weight-loss" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007119511XSmall.jpg" alt="Take the stairs" title="Take the stairs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There really is no magic diet plan that can help you lose&amp; weight &mdash; the key is to burn more calories than you consume.</p> <p>Eliminating calories from your diet doesn't have to involve drastic cuts or detailed meal planning. You don't need a gym membership to get exercise. If you prefer baby steps to great strides, try these tips and tricks for cutting calories from your diet and burning off some extra pounds. The results may take longer than what you would see with a crash diet or personal trainer, but because these changes are more incremental, you might find them easier to stick with. [Note: this is not medical advice; I'm just a blogger who refuses to pay for a Jenny Craig diet. As always, consult with your doctor before making any big changes in your diet or routine].</p> <h2>Eat Less</h2> <p>Eating less can be a bit tough, because we are often so busy and in such a hurry that we scarf our food down while standing up, or in the car. Also, so many people are emotional eaters that gorging becomes the trend, rather than the exception. Here are some simple ways to eat less.</p> <h3>Fiber and Water</h3> <p>You've probably heard that eating more fiber can help fill you up faster and keep you satisfied longer. You've probably also heard that drinking water before a meal can help you eat less. Well, there's an easy way to combine these two bit of advice into one: Metamucil.</p> <p>[insert 'regularity' joke here]</p> <p>Yeah, yeah, I know it's sort of a grandma thing, but it actually works. Metamucil is a <a href="http://www.metamucil.com/metamucil-powdered-drink-mixes.shtml">fiber supplement in a powder form</a>. You mix a tablespoon with 8 ounces of water and drink it before it gets too gooey. The taste is rather like Tang, but less overtly sweet. The sugar-free versions only have 20 calories per serving. <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033">Increasing your fiber intake</a> can have a number of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of digestive issues in the future. It's important to get helpings of both soluble fiber (the kind found in Metamucil) and insoluble fiber (the kind you get in vegetables). Although they seem to counteract each other (soluble fiber absorbs water in your intestinal track, which means that it takes you longer to digest your food, resulting in a feeling of fullness; insoluble fiber sends the food through your intestines faster), they are actually complimentary.</p> <p>If taken before a meal, soluble fiber (like the kind in Metamucil) will help you eat less by making you feel fuller faster. But if you eat enough insoluble fiber in your meal, your food will still move through your system in a timely manner.</p> <p>It might sound like you're in for a real <a href="http://www.hulu.com/watch/10304/saturday-night-live-colon-blow">colon blow</a>, but Metamucil is surprisingly gentle on your digestive track. I was surprised how much less I ate the first time I tried drinking a glass before a meal, and I didn't find myself stuck on the porcelain throne for days or anything.</p> <h3>Eat a Salad/Soup Course</h3> <p>I've written before about how eating meals in courses makes it easier to eat less. Anyone who knows me well knows that I really don't like preparing and serving food, but there are easy ways to break your meal into baby steps. One of these is to eat a <a href="/when-good-food-goes-bad-part-iii-the-crisper-from-hell">vegetable bisque</a> or salad course before you eat the rest of your meal. This can provide the aforementioned insoluble fiber, and will also fill you halfway up.</p> <p>By the way, one of the only problems I have with salad is that I often find myself forced to drench flavorless lettuce leaves in a creamy dressing in order to make them halfway palatable. There are two things I have done to change avoid this:</p> <p>1. Eschew romaine lettuce. I know it lasts a long time and is always crispy, but darn it, the flavor can be downright nauseating. I now try to buy more exciting lettuce (baby romaine or mixed spring greens or red leaf), especially when it's on sale for a 2-for-1 at Safeway.</p> <p>2. Use herbs like they are any other green. I use my plentiful herb garden all the time, and I tend to eat most of the herbs raw. I'll throw plenty of basil, oregano, arugula, thyme, and tarragon into any salad, and the wonderful flavors more than make up for the relative blandness of the lettuce. As a result, I don't have to use an excessively decadent dressing &mdash; just a light oil-and-vinegar dressing will be enough to dress the whole thing.</p> <p>By the time you finish your soup or salad, you'll probably notice that you're already partway full. Take advantage of this and only eat 50% of what you would normally eat for a main course.</p> <h3>Smaller Plates</h3> <p>American dinner plates are huge. I've quit using mine altogether, and serve my food on my salad plates. A very healthy serving looks positively HUGE when served on a smaller plate, and I can't really overload it in one trip to the stove.</p> <h3>Sit Down, Slow Down, Turn Off the TV (Mindful Eating)</h3> <p>It's much easier to overeat if you aren't paying attention to what, and how much, you are eating. Although it seems incredibly tedious to chew your food, put your fork down between bites, and drink small sips of water when you are finished chewing, it goes a long way into keeping you from eating too much. You might think it's purely mental, but the truth is, it takes between 12-20 minutes for your mouth and stomach to inform your brain that they are fully satisfied. Most of us can easily wolf down a foot-long Subway sandwich in 6 minutes.</p> <p>Eating while watching TV or surfing the internet is a sure-fire method for gulping down an entire meal without realizing it. It's OK to have some distractions (radio in the background), but while eating, try to <a href="http://www.mindfuleating.org/BMB.html">concentrate on the act of eating</a>. It's a form of meditation that we don't generally practice, and it can be hard to be &quot;in the now&quot; with such a mundane task, but try it once and see if it doesn't affect the amount that you need to eat in order to feel full.</p> <h3>Eat Decent Food</h3> <p>The key to eating slowly, of course, is to eat well. I don't mean that every meal has to be a gourmet masterpiece, but part of the reason we eat so fast is that we eat stuff that actually tastes pretty bad. Have you ever chewed a Doritos chip slowly and savored the taste? Probably not &mdash; chips are designed to be shoveled into our mouths at lightning speed. Try it one day &mdash; put a chip in your mouth and chew it very slowly, smelling the scent and noticing the texture. You may find, as I have, that it tastes odd and chemically.</p> <p>Contrast this with the slow, mindful consumption of a ripe tomato or slice of <a href="http://wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-the-rising-cost-of-bread">freshly-baked bread</a> with a smear of butter, and you'll understand why junk food and fast food are eaten quickly: because if you really take the time to taste them, you'll notice just how nasty they are.</p> <p>You don't have to shop at Whole Foods to get good-tasting food &mdash; frozen meats and veggies can be made into delectable pot roasts and casseroles. The trick, though, is to eat food that is not heavily processed, but rather largely made from scratch. You don't have to make Beef Wellington every night, but try substituting real meat and vegetables for canned food.</p> <h2>Cut Calories from What You DO Eat</h2> <p>Cutting calories doesn't really have to be about deprivation. Try these tricks to cut a few dozen calories out of your diet every day.</p> <h3>Change Coffee Habits</h3> <p>While I don't loathe Starbucks (I actually quite like the one in my neighborhood), I think that morning beverages have gone too far. I have a former coworker who has a real love of <a href="http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverage_detail.asp">Frappucinos</a>, so much so that during the summer, she would get one every day at 10AM. If this were her breakfast, it might be one thing, but this was a midmorning snack. A midmorning snack that contains 420 calories.</p> <p>A normal cup of drip coffee served black has roughly 8 calories.</p> <p>If you're in it for the caffeine, consider being a regular Joe and just...getting a cup of regular joe (I'm also quite fond of Diet Red Bull, despite my better judgment). If you crave the sweetness, ask for your drink to be made with half the normally allotted amount of syrup, and add Splenda if you need more sweetness. If it's the overall package (the sweet, the caffeine, the whip cream), order the same drink in a size smaller, or see if you can make such coffee drinks more of a splurge (every three days or so) rather than a daily event.</p> <h3>Skip the Beer/Wine (or water it down)</h3> <p>This one really pains me, because my feelings on alcohol are: it makes life worth living. However, beer and wine contain a lot of calories, and even if you limit yourself to one drink per night, that's still an extra thousand or so calories a week. A Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve has about 130 calories in it. A Jack and Diet Coke has under 70.</p> <p>A glass of red or white wine is still delectable if watered down into a spritzer using Fresca.</p> <h2>Exercise More</h2> <p>Exercise is one of the hardest things to desire once you are significantly out of shape. But you don't have to pour yourself into a pair of sweat pants and get tangled in a pilates machine to shed some pounds. Consider some of the easier options.</p> <h3>Park a Block Away</h3> <p>It's funny how some people will circle a parking lot for minutes trying to find a spot that is close to the entrance. Not only does it waste gas (and ultimately time, as it's faster to park far away and walk than to wait five minutes for a good spot), but usually, people who engage in this behavior are about to go into a mall and walk a good mile to two miles.</p> <p>Rather than looking for that perfect spot, save time and money and just park a block away from the entrance of wherever you are going. It's not the biggest workout in the world, but the added exercise makes a difference over time.</p> <h3>Stride Around the Mall</h3> <p>Shopping burns calories. If you can happily window shop without blowing all your money, do it. Malls are generally comfortable and safe places to walk around, especially during cold winters.</p> <h3>Take the Stairs</h3> <p>Lordy, I hate taking the stairs, but the difference that it makes in your quads and hamstrings IS remarkable. If you have fewer than ten flights to go up (any more than that gets ridiculous), see if you can avoid the elevator.</p> <p>Climbing actual stairs is much more difficult than the &quot;stair climber&quot; at the gym, so even people who work out regularly find themselves struggling to keep their breathing even after a six-flight traipse. Take your time &mdash; if you get winded, you can stop and rest. When I first started taking the stairs, I used to stop after three flights, walk across the length of the office building hallway, and then finish the rest of the flights.</p> <h3>Dance Around Your House</h3> <p>If you can't afford a Wii fit or just hate trying to get exercise in front of a TV, there's no reason you can't shake your booty all over your house for a decent workout. No one has to see you &mdash; draw the curtains or blinds, blast your favorite playlist, and make like a pudgy Paula Abdul (C-c-c-cold hearted snake! Look into his eyes...). Shake what your mama gave ya, and you'll find that, in time, you'll be jiggling less than before.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">10 Reasons to Drink Tea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheap-girl-s-guide-to-lowering-cholesterol-without-suffering">The Cheap Girl’s Guide to Lowering Cholesterol Without Suffering</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 5 Diet Moves Now or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Is Green Tea All It&#039;s Cracked Up to Be? It&#039;s close.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diet tricks eat less exercise green tea lose weight overweight weight loss tips Thu, 28 Aug 2008 22:41:59 +0000 Andrea Karim 2372 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Green Tea All It's Cracked Up to Be? It's close. http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/green_tea.jpg" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kankan/" title="Green tea by Kanko" width="250" height="188" /></p> <p>I&#39;ve been enjoying the snarky articles at Slate.com recently focusing on the commoditization of Eastern traditions, such as <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2162283/">yoga</a>. As someone who purchases but never uses yoga clothing, mats, and accessories, I can truly appreciate the hypocrisy in the American tendency to turn something that is supposed to be purifying and healthy into something that is really a money-making scheme.</p> <p>However, I have to take issue with Jacob Weisberg&#39;s recent article that more or less tries to <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2163503/nav/tap1/">dismiss the trend that is green tea</a>, mostly by linking to the myriad of products that use green tea as an ingredient. I&#39;m bothered by a few issues that he raises, mostly because, well, I really freaking love green tea.</p> <p>Now, I long ago discarded the notion that the East has much to teach us about metaphysical stuff. Don&#39;t get me wrong - I&#39;m an Asiaphile. But it&#39;s not because I find any deep and inherent wisdom in the cultures that make up &quot;the Orient&quot;. I like Asia because the land is stunning, the languages are fascinating, the history is long, and the men are handsome.</p> <p>That said, Easterners are as messed-up as as Westerners. Sure, there are some lovely traditions to be had all across Asia, both found in extinct rituals and current practices. But there are lovely traditions to be found in Portugal, too. Only we don&#39;t categorize the Portugese as particularly deep, whereas I think that Asians get put on a spiritual pedestal that isn&#39;t fair to anyone.</p> <p>Commercialism and greed are rampant everywhere in the world, and I don&#39;t think that someone who grew up in, say, Vietnam, has any more to teach the world than someone who grew up in Alabama. So my defense of tea-drinking isn&#39;t stemming from any illusion that the West is merely a commercial shell of a place with no soul, and Asia is the land of enlightenment or anything.</p> <p>There&#39;s no Ganesh on my bookshelf at home, get it?</p> <p>OK? Good. Now that that is out of the way. Green tea.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>It&#39;s an acquired taste...</strong></p> <p>Like coffee, beer, and avocados, your first impression of green tea might have been something like, &quot;Oh. That&#39;s, uh. Hm. Ick.&quot; When I first tasted green tea at the age of 12, I can&#39;t say that I was delighted with it, either. Our exchange student, who hailed from Tokyo, had brought packets of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matcha">matcha</a> with her for us to sample. To me, it was like drinking a ground-up version of the hay that we fed the horses in 4-H. Only bitter.</p> <p>It wasn&#39;t until I traveled to Japan for the first time that I started to really appreciate green tea, if not the long ceremonies surrounding it that caused me to experience some severe Charlie horses (I do appreciate the meditation and skill and patience involved in tea ceremonies, I simply can&#39;t sit on my knees for the length of one). After that trip, I developed a real love for green tea, of which there are many kinds. Also, I decided that green tea flavoring was the best. thing. ever.</p> <p>So, my feathers get ruffled when I read someone who wants to disparage green tea for no good reason, other than the fact that they are sick of hearing about it, and kind of want to make fun of a few products and their respective marketing campaigns. </p> <p>If Slate.com&#39;s Jacob Weisberg had written an article saying &quot;I&#39;m really sick of hearing about green tea&quot;, I&#39;d be fine, because that&#39;s honest. But alas, that was not his tactic. I understand the need to snark about some things, but the green tea attack feels forced and pointless. Also, there are some criticisms of the green tea fad that I just don&#39;t find legitimate.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Eastern Tradition Hijacked by the West</strong></p> <p class="blockquote">In the United States, &quot;Eastern&quot; tends to blur together Hinduism, Buddhism, and hucksterism. It inevitably involves something to buy and usually something to eat as well. Only this harmonic-entrepreneurial convergence can explain the invention of <a href="http://www.serendipitychocolates.com/detail_pages/greentea_truffle.htm" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">New Zen Green Tea Truffles</font></a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bissingers-Green-Gummy-Pandas-Three/dp/B000BNLF3W" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Green Tea Gummy Pandas</font></a>, snacks that transform a foggy idea of virtue into morsels of vice. </p> <p>Now, I agree that the whole <em>East=Wisdom &amp; Peace</em> thing can be tedious. I throw up a little when I see Chinese character stepping stones in gardens. But I don&#39;t think we can apply this to green tea. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: They Started It!</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s a fallacy, and kind of cocky, to assume that just because a trend is popular, it must have started in the West. Green tea is a very popular flavor throughout Asia, and has been for a long time. You can get green tea EVERYTHING in China, Japan, and Korea. Yogurt, Pocky, ice cream (the only ice cream I like, actually), mochi, chocolates, cookies, gum - the list goes on forever. (Also, there&#39;s lots of melon-flavored stuff, and I sincerely believe that honeydew-flavored yogurt is the closest thing to heaven that most people can ever hope to experience).</p> <p>The traditional Asian palette hasn&#39;t (yet) been tuned to super-sweet tastes, and green tea is a nice flavor in that it tones down the hyper-sugary taste of many desserts and treats. Desserts in East Asia tend to favor sweetened red beans, lightly sweet gelatin, and sometimes sweetened milk. But usually, dessert in Asia is fruit. </p> <p>Recap: the green-tea-in-everything trend didn&#39;t start in the US, but I&#39;m glad it being adopted here, because it&#39;s freaking delicious.</p> <p>Also, sure, &quot;Zen&quot; food might sound pretensious, unless you happen to understand the &quot;Zen&quot; that is a good piece of chocolate. &quot;Zen&quot; truffles are logical to anyone who finds <a href="http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/choco.html">bliss</a> (scroll down to &quot;Chocolate and The Nervous System&quot;) in cocoa.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Who Knows if It&#39;s Good for You? </strong></p> <p>Next, Weisberg attacks claims that green tea is really, really good for you.</p> <p class="blockquote">Under the Food and Drug Administration&#39;s policy of permitting &quot;qualified health claims&quot; for which there is <em>some </em>evidence—often based on industry-funded research—marketers can make all sorts of improbable boasts (see under <a href="http://www.pomwonderful.com/" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">pomegranate juice</font></a>). Even when it rejects such assertions, <a href="http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qhc-gtea.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">as it has for green tea and all cancers</font></a> as well as <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12718769/" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">heart disease</font></a>, the FDA seldom does anything to stop them. </p> <p>He has a point here, and the long-term benefits of green tea may not be well-established. In fact, I&#39;m sick and tired of studies that show <em>this</em> and studies that show <em>that</em>. Bran, beta carotene, vitamin C, chromium, soy - we&#39;re told to consume them like crazy to prevent cancer, and then told a few months later that they CAUSE cancer. </p> <p>Until we really buckle down and have some less biased studies, I wouldn&#39;t recommend that anyone drink lots of green tea, especially in the stead of actually exercising and eating well. I don&#39;t know if green tea can really prevent health problems or cancer or anything else.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: It&#39;s Good for ME </strong></p> <p>But I do know this: I am a diabetic (Type 2, for those who need to know), and drinking green tea<strong><em> lowers my blood sugar</em></strong>. </p> <p>I know this because I have tested my blood sugar before and after drinking green tea, and it will drop my sugar by as much as 30 points. I&#39;m not saying that it works for everyone (it has the opposite affect on my sister, who has a bad blood sugar spike with any caffeine), but it works for some people, and shouldn&#39;t be discounted. Not that my experience alone is enough to validate the health benefits - but I think it should be studied, in the same way that cinnamon was.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Coprorations Blah Blah Blah Fat Americans</strong></p> <p>Weisberg follows up with the familiar &quot;Well, BIG BAD COMPANIES put green tea in stuff that isn&#39;t healthy, but you <em>think</em> it&#39;s healthy because it has green tea in it, but it&#39;s <em>not</em> healthy because it&#39;s Starbucks&quot; spiel. He even goes so far as to diss my local favorite green-tea joint <a href="http://www.kootsgreentea.com/">Koots</a> (Holla!), as a seller or less-than-healthy green-tea-infused items (green tea cheesecake - try it when you&#39;re in town).</p> <p class="blockquote">This follows on the success of Starbucks&#39; <a href="http://www.starbucks.com/retail/nutrition_beverage_detail.asp?selProducts=185&amp;strAction=GETDEFAULT&amp;x=21&amp;y=7" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino</font></a>, which also uses matcha, green tea in pulverized form. A &quot;venti&quot; has 560 calories if you hold the whipped cream. (The unappreciated business genius of Starbucks is not charging $4 for a latte but rather giving adults permission to drink milkshakes, on the pretext that they are merely tea or coffee.) This is exceeded by the 640 calories in the &quot;power&quot; version of the <a href="http://jambajuice.com/menuguide/matchagreenteablast.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Matcha Green Tea Blast</font></a> from Jamba Juice, a <a href="http://www.jambajuice.com/talk/franchiseinformation.html" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">franchise chain</font></a> chasing Howard Schultz&#39;s caffeinated footsteps. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: It&#39;s Tasty, and No One is Lying About the Calories </strong></p> <p>You know, I don&#39;t think there&#39;s a single item at Starbucks that I enjoy that comes in at under 400 calories. And it is possible that people in line at Starbucks are saying to themselves &quot;Hm. The white chocolate mocha with raspberry... that sounds good. Oh, wait, green tea frappucino! That&#39;s GOT to be good for me!&quot;. But those people are dumb, and they&#39;d choose something terrible whether the green tea was there or not. </p> <p>[Also, I know a lot of women who have Starbucks for breakfast. Just a drink. 500 calories for breakfast isn&#39;t that bad. 3 meals a day x 500 calories + 200 calorie snack = 1700 calories a day. Now, if a 500 calorie drink is being consumed as a snack, then you&#39;ve got a problem, but I don&#39;t know many women who &quot;snack&quot; at Starbucks, and their frappucinos are a meal.]</p> <p>A trend is a trend, Weisberg! The next big push from Starbucks is going to be South American-influenced flavors. You got something against mangos and pretty Brazilian women in skimpy bikinis? Eh? Everyone loves a Brazilian!</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Snark: Down with White-tea! (Get it? White-tea? Whitey? Har!)</strong></p> <p>Next, in what I can only assume is an attempt at humor, Weisberg goes after the beauty industry for putting green tea in its products, and says this [emphasis mine]:</p> <p class="blockquote"><a href="http://www.origins.com/templates/products/mp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY5756" target="_blank"><font color="#0066cc">Origins &quot;Perfect World&quot; products</font></a> are made with increasingly fashionable white tea, which is sort of baby green tea (think baby arugula). According to the company, white tea is &quot;among the most potent antioxidants, anti-agers, anti-stress, anti-smoke, anti-pollution antidotes.&quot; <em><strong>How is it that tea becomes more medically potent as it loses color and flavor?</strong></em> Next in this progression will be an invisible <em><strong>ghost tea with the regenerative properties of fetal stem cells</strong></em>. </p> <p>Ha! Stem cells! What a riot! It&#39;s funny AND it&#39;s topical! </p> <p>Well, it was topical a few months back, anyway.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>The Truth: A Lesson in Oxidation</strong></p> <p>First let&#39;s look at the beauty argument; beauty-wise, green tea is mostly good for tightening your skin. </p> <p>Bonus beauty tip: Steep a bag of green tea, and use the cooled water to water your houseplants. Take the tea bag (if you are using bagged tea) and swipe it around your face. It&#39;s like a tiny facelift. It doesn&#39;t last all day, but it&#39;s nice for a couple of hours. All caffeine is great for reducing puffiness, so you can dab a little aloe and green tea around your eyes to reduce puffy skin during allergy season. </p> <p>Next, there&#39;s Weisberg&#39;s unfortunate belief that white tea can&#39;t possibly be as good, medicinally, as green tea.</p> <p>Here&#39;s a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea">brief explanation</a> for those who, like Weisberg, think that young tea has LOST flavor, as opposed to NOT DEVELOPING THE FULL FLAVOR OF GREEN TEA:</p> <p class="blockquote">...[T]ypes of tea are distinguished by the processing they undergo. Leaves of <em>Camellia sinensis</em> soon begin to wilt and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidation" title="Oxidation">oxidize</a> if not dried quickly after picking. The leaves turn progressively darker because <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll" title="Chlorophyll">chlorophyll</a> breaks down and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannin" title="Tannin">tannins</a> are released.... The next step in processing is to stop the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxidation" title="Oxidation">oxidation</a> process at a predetermined stage by heating, which deactivates the enzymes responsible. In black tea this is done simultaneously with drying.... Young leaves (new growth buds) that have undergone no oxidation; the buds may be shielded from sunlight to prevent formation of chlorophyll. White tea is produced in lesser quantities than most other styles, and can be correspondingly more expensive than tea from the same plant processed by other methods. It is less well known in countries outside of China, though this is changing with increased western interest in organic or premium teas. </p> <p>Basically, the message is this: it&#39;s a leaf that grows until it is picked. After it is picked, it begins to oxidize unless it is dried. As it oxidizes, it gets darker. The darker it gets, the less beneficial stuff it has in it. It&#39;s still good for you, but not as good for you as it was when it was lighter and less oxidized. How difficult is that?</p> <p>Weisberg ends up by snarking some more about green tea-infused booze, which I think we can all agree simply isn&#39;t an argument worth making. It&#39;s alcohol. Ergo, it&#39;s good. </p> <p><strong>MY</strong> point is the green tea is da bomb, whether on your mug or in your mug. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Yeah, but it tastes... meh.</strong></p> <p>I know some of you are thinking this. I&#39;ve known a lot of people who claim that <em>they just can&#39;t get into green tea</em>. This is almost always because:</p> <ol> <li>They are buying crappy tea and</li> <li>They are burning the tea when they brew it</li> </ol> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Buying</strong></p> <p>If you want to enjoy a cup of green tea, you have a couple decisions to make. First, decide if you want to pay more for good tea. Yes, you can buy bagged tea, and yes, there are good bagged teas. But you might as well buy loose leaf tea. It&#39;s just better quality, and you have more choice over what you are getting. With ground-up, bagged tea, who knows what kind of leaf is in there?</p> <p>Tea bags are filled with ground up tea, either because ground up tea brews faster and the industry is worried that you won&#39;t wait more than 30 seconds for your tea, or because what you are drinking is the dust that is swept off of the floors in tea factories and farms around the world. Either way, you can guarantee higher quality tea if you buy it loose leaf.</p> <p>Don&#39;t go nuts. Go somewhere that sells the tea, like a Whole Foods or an Asian market, and buy a little bit. Not much. No more than $10 worth. Oh, and do your darndest to buy organic. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Brewing</strong></p> <p>White and green tea have more anti-oxidants, and for some reason, scald really easily. Scalded tea is really bitter, and one bad cup can be enough to put someone off of tea for a while.</p> <p>Although you can brew a tasty cup of Earl Grey with boiling water, you have to use cooler water to make a cup of white or green tea. In fact, in many tea houses in Asia, the water you use is close to tepid, just under steaming. Me, I just pour a cup of boiling water and then add about 1/5 cup of cold water, and that does the trick. I steep my tea for about three minutes the first time and about seven minutes on the second round (you can reuse the leaves).</p> <p>Enjoying green tea doesn&#39;t have to be a transcendental experience or a guilt-trip. It&#39;s just a tasty thing that might be good for you.</p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kankan/">Kanko</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-green-tea-all-its-cracked-up-to-be-its-close">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-drink-tea">10 Reasons to Drink Tea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-diet-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 5 Diet Moves Now or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-steps-to-weight-loss">Small, Cheap Steps to Weight Loss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes">10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-foods-that-will-keep-you-satisfied-for-longer">9 Foods That Will Keep You Satisfied for Longer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty antioxidants beauty diabetes green tea heart disease Oprah skin tea weight loss white tea Thu, 05 Apr 2007 18:22:35 +0000 Andrea Karim 460 at http://www.wisebread.com