Coffee versus matcha: Which gives you better sleep? (Yes, sleep)

Coffee versus matcha: Which gives you better sleep? (Yes, sleep)

( Natural News ) Coffee and green tea are popular beverages, especially among those who need a pick-me-up to start their day. However, according to an expert, drinking green tea is ideal if you want to sleep better at night.

Caffeine is a stimulant and consuming too many caffeinated drinks can affect your sleep quality. But if you’re a hardcore coffee lover who can’t function without a cup of joe, you may want to switch to green tea, which offers many health benefits. Benefits of drinking coffee

Drinking coffee offers benefits, such as lowering diabetes risk. Coffee also helps reduce your risk for certain types of cancer and helps promote brain health.

Coffee is full of antioxidants, and it contains the same polyphenols you can find in matcha and other kinds of tea.

But drinking a lot of caffeine may trigger anxiety and aggravate your stress levels. Additionally, caffeine heightens the mental and physical indicators of anxiety such as an elevated heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and an overstimulated mind.

Caffeine keeps you alert until late at night, which can make it hard to fall asleep. Even if you fall asleep, the caffeine in your body keeps you in lighter stages of sleep. This then prevents you from reaching the deep, slow-wave sleep that is essential for restful sleep.

Consuming caffeinated drinks and drinking coffee isn’t particularly bad for you. However, it’s benefits are often enjoyed if you consume coffee moderately.

To make the most out of the benefits of coffee, limit your intake to no more than two eight-ounce cups per day. Benefits of drinking matcha

Matcha is a form of green tea that’s been ground into a fine powder. Matcha powder is made from the plant Camellia sinensis , which is also the source of other kinds of teas.

However, matcha is grown and processed differently. Unlike C. sinensis plants grown for other types of tea, those grown to make matcha are covered for a couple of weeks in their growth cycle.

When tea leaves are grown in shade, the plants increase their production of chlorophyll. This overproduction of chlorophyll is linked to higher concentrations of biochemical compounds in matcha, particularly polyphenols.

Polyphenols from plants are potent and they offer protective properties.

Ingesting foods or beverages with these compounds offer several health benefits , such as: Lowering your blood sugar levels

Lowering heart disease risk

Helping protect against cancer

Promoting healthy digestion

Improving focus and memory

Regular tea is steeped with hot water and strained, but matcha is combined with water or milk. Matcha contains more nutrients and beneficial compounds because the growing process creates leaves with greater concentrations of the tea plants’ healthy and natural biochemical compounds.

Drinking matcha means you ingest the plant leaves themselves instead of an infusion like when you consume regular tea.

While these benefits include some of the many reasons to add matcha to your diet, you must note that this kind of tea also contains higher levels of caffeine than regular green tea. L-theanine and why matcha is better for good sleep

Matcha’s sleep-related benefits are due to an amino acid called L-theanine . Tea is full of L-theanine, and matcha has a greater higher concentration of L-theanine than regular green or black tea.

This amino acid promotes alertness and a sense of calm at the same time. If you drink matcha, the beverage helps put you in a state of wakeful relaxation.

Unlike coffee, matcha will reduce stress and anxiety as it improves your focus and concentration.

L-theanine in matcha triggers the production of “calming” neurotransmitters that boost your concentration and mood also promotes restful sleep. The amino acid also reduces “excitatory” neurotransmitters that can make you stressed or anxious.

L-theanine boosts levels of alpha brain waves that are linked to calm alertness and mental focus. Finally, the amino acid can help reduce blood pressure and your resting heart rate. (Related: Does green tea really deserve its health halo? Experts say yes .) Considerations when drinking matcha

Matcha also contains caffeine. While the stimulant effects of caffeine are reduced in matcha because of L-theanine, they can still affect your overall health.If you want to consume matcha to take advantage of its focus-enhancing effects, don’t drink your cup of tea immediately after you wake up. When you get up, your body’s own cortisol is already in high gear to help you stay alert and energized.Wait a couple of hours before enjoying a cup of matcha . This ensures that your cortisol levels are making the first of several dips in the day.Ideally, you shouldn’t drink caffeinated beverages any later than mid-afternoon if you want to have a good night’s sleep. Sources include:

Read more at www.naturalnews.com

Why we should All be having More Orgasms—from the Period Guru.

Why we should All be having More Orgasms—from the Period Guru.

As a women’s health practitioner, specializing in hormonal health, I’ve seen and helped hundreds of women in my virtual practice.

I’ve discovered that all of them share one thing in common—they’re overstressed, and it’s wreaking havoc on their hormonal health , which essentially affects all aspects of health.

One of my favorite self-care remedies that I recommend to my clients for destressing and bringing the body back into balance is something that is free and available to all. GET SOME SUNSHINE IN Botanical CBD TEA

The magnificent orgasm.

People are having less sex these days. And we can’t blame the current world situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as this trend has been brewing for some time. According to a 2017 study in Archives of Sexual Behavior , we’re having less sex than we did 10 years ago, and the younger Millennial and iGen generations are having the least amount of sex compared to all other age groups.

We should all be having more orgasms not just because it’s fun, but because it’s beneficial for our overall health. So whether we’re bringing ourselves to climax solo or with a partner, all that matters is that we’re getting regular doses of Vitamin O . Besides being fun, here are 11 compelling reasons to have an orgasm:

1. Make us smarter.

Orgasms spike DHEA levels in the body and this hormone improves brain function. They also promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus, an area associated with learning and memory.

2. Better sleep.

An orgasm releases the feel-good hormones, called endorphins, that have a sedative effect, which can lead to better sleep and relaxation.

3. Fountain of youth.

Orgasms can make you look and feel younger thanks to spikes in DHEA, which is an anabolic hormone that helps repair and maintain tissue health, as well as promote healthy skin.

4. Reduce anxiety.

During an orgasm the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex switch off momentarily. Since these areas of the brain are involved in fear and anxiety , it allows for a moment to forget all of our worries.

5. Mood booster. Read Next:

Orgasms activate the release of the mood-boosting neurochemicals, oxytocin , serotonin, and dopamine that make us feel elevated.

6. Help to control our junk food cravings.

Dopamine levels increase just before an orgasm, which helps to reduce our appetite, decreasing the desire for snacking.

7. De-stress.

Orgasms flush out the inflammatory hormone cortisol, thus promoting a state of calm.

8. Strengthen the immune system.

Sexual activity provides lymphatic massage, which supports the body’s natural detoxification process.

9. Alleviate cramps and headaches.

Orgasms boost levels of endorphins and corticosteroids that have an analgesic effect.

10. Regulate our menstrual cycle.

A series of studies have found that women who had sex at least once a week have more regular cycles than those who are abstinent. The women in the studies engaging in regular sex had an average cycle length of 29 days with three days of bleeding , whereas the participants who didn’t engage in regular sex were prone to shorter or longer cycle lengths. 11. Optimize fertility. Sexual activity triggers physiological changes in the body that increase a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, largely because they help lower cortisol, which has a positive impact on our steroid hormones.However, faking an orgasm does not reap the same rewards. Better communication with our partners, as well as self-exploration, will assist in experiencing the real deal .And remember, you don’t need a partner to have an orgasm, but you’ll still get all the health benefits.~

Read more at www.elephantjournal.com

Lockdown is taking its toll on sleep cycle of Indians

Lockdown is taking its toll on sleep cycle of Indians

New Delhi: Binge-watching till dawn, playing endless online games, video chats until the sun rises or simply staring into darkness while everyone around is in deep slumber wakeful nights are no longer about once in a while but too often for comfort.

As India navigates the ninth week of the nationwide lockdown that pushed millions of people into the confines of their homes, distress and anxiety are on the rise, manifesting primarily in the form of sleep disorders.

Medical experts said the number of consultation calls over erratic sleep cycles have shot up since the country went into lockdown on March 25 to stem the spread of COVID-19. “People are living with many uncertainties and insecurities. Worrying about health, job and financial security and managing household chores alongside office deadlines, all the while working from home are among the factors influencing our sleep quality,” said Gulshan Kumar, a neurophysiologist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).

The Bangalore-based medical institution has also seen an increase in the number of queries related to sleep issues like insomnia since the lockdown started, he said. Quantifying the stress over jobs, working from home, a pandemic that shows no signs of ebbing and an uncertain future, a pan-India survey by wakefit.co revealed that 44 per cent of 1,500 respondents were getting less than six hours of sleep during the lockdown.

The number of people facing a sleep crisis before March 25 was significantly lower at 26 per cent, the survey by the Bangalore-based sleep solutions company added, While many complain of insomnia and sleep deprivation, there are some who are seeking treatment for oversleeping or hypersomnia.

And there are those like Gaganjot Kaur who have both insomnia and hypersomnia. The 33-year-old said she cannot remember even one night of restful sleep in the last two months. Most nights she can get barely get three hours of sleep, but there have also been days when she’s slept for 10 hours at a stretch and still wakes up feeling unrested.

“It’s not like I am consciously trying to stay awake. I find myself up at three in the morning for no reason. It’s almost like there is a disconnect between my body and its need for sleep,” the Delhi University philosophy professor said. She said she had been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) a few years ago and was seeing a therapist. But her condition aggravated in the last two months.

Gaganjot, who enrolled in a Phd course recently, said she was initially thankful for the lockdown, assuming it would give her a lot of time to focus on her research work. But as it kept getting extended, she found her mind inundated with panic-inducing thoughts.

“I think about hundreds of things when I lie awake in bed, but I immediately start spiralling when I think of my career. I constantly feel I am not being productive enough. Another thing I cannot stop worrying about is my parents, who are extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus infection,” Ganganjot, who lives with husband and sister-in-law, said.

The “new anxieties” combined with the lack of enough sleep have started affecting not just her professional productivity, but also her relationships. “Work wise I am not able to achieve even half of what I aim for. Besides, I find myself snapping and feeling irritated at my family members,” she said.

Priyanka Dass, who once had a “nearly perfect” 11 pm to 5 am sleep cycle, found herself struggling to stay awake as soon as the clock struck 7 in the evening, particularly the first few weeks of the lockdown.

“I would fall asleep in the evening, for not more than a couple of hours around 7-9 pm, and then would barely sleep through the night,” the Delhi-based publicist said. During most of these sleepless nights, the 25-year-old ended up “overthinking everything”, and once also had a panic attack. She then started watching Netflix and reading books to keep her mind occupied.

“Sometimes, I simply hop out of bed to whip up something in the kitchen,” she said. According to mental health expert Prakriti Poddar, carefully cultivated routines over the years have gone for a toss and the stress is natural.

“In times like these when everybody is at home, and routines have changed, people might feel low, and even depressed, creating a sleep crisis. “Stress and worry have an intense impact on the sleep cycle,” she said. Both Kumar and Poddar advise against ignoring irregular sleeping patterns, which can affect cognitive abilities, including learning and memory retention, over a long period.

“Research confirms that there is a strong link between learning, memory and sleep. During sleep, nerve cell connections in the brain are strengthened and this enhances the brain’s abilities to stabilise and retain memories. “With a disrupted sleep cycle or not enough sleep, it is very difficult for the brain to stabilise neural connections and consolidate memory effectively,” Kumar explained.

Sound sleep of seven-nine hours is an important aspect of recovery, added Poddar. Doctors recommend physical activity, yoga and maybe some music to calm the mind and body.

The list of don’ts includes using electronic devices like mobile phones and laptops before sleeping and caffeinated drinks such as colas, alcohol, coffee, and tea, particularly in the evening. “The bedtime and wake time should be consistent from day to day, including on weekends. Regular vigorous exercise for 20-30 minutes during the day promotes a good night’s sleep.

“If despite all this, an individual is not able to sleep within 20 minutes, they should move out of the bed and perform some light, non-stimulating activity like reading a book and wait until the feeling of drowsiness sets in,” said Vivek Nangia, director, pulmonology, Medical Critical Care & Sleep Disorders, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.

Read more at www.freepressjournal.in

Too little and too much: lockdown anxieties take toll on sleep cycles

Too little and too much: lockdown anxieties take toll on sleep cycles

New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Binge-watching till dawn, playing endless online games, video chats until the sun rises or simply staring into darkness while everyone around is in deep slumber… wakeful nights are no longer about once in a while but too often for comfort.

As India navigates the ninth week of the nationwide lockdown that pushed millions of people into the confines of their homes, distress and anxiety are on the rise, manifesting primarily in the form of sleep disorders.

Medical experts said the number of consultation calls over erratic sleep cycles have shot up since the country went into lockdown on March 25 to stem the spread of COVID-19. “People are living with many uncertainties and insecurities. Worrying about health, job and financial security and managing household chores alongside office deadlines, all the while working from home are among the factors influencing our sleep quality,” said Gulshan Kumar, a neurophysiologist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).

The Bangalore-based medical institution has also seen an increase in the number of queries related to sleep issues like insomnia since the lockdown started, he said. Quantifying the stress over jobs, working from home, a pandemic that shows no signs of ebbing and an uncertain future, a pan-India survey by wakefit.co revealed that 44 per cent of 1,500 respondents were getting less than six hours of sleep during the lockdown. The number of people facing a sleep crisis before March 25 was significantly lower at 26 per cent, the survey by the Bangalore-based sleep solutions company added, While many complain of insomnia and sleep deprivation, there are some who are seeking treatment for oversleeping or hypersomnia.

And there are those like Gaganjot Kaur who have both insomnia and hypersomnia.

The 33-year-old said she cannot remember even one night of restful sleep in the last two months. Most nights she can get barely get three hours of sleep, but there have also been days when she’s slept for 10 hours at a stretch and still wakes up feeling unrested.

“It’s not like I am consciously trying to stay awake. I find myself up at three in the morning for no reason. It’s almost like there is a disconnect between my body and its need for sleep,” the Delhi University philosophy professor said. She said she had been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) a few years ago and was seeing a therapist. But her condition aggravated in the last two months. Gaganjot, who enrolled in a Phd course recently, said she was initially thankful for the lockdown, assuming it would give her a lot of time to focus on her research work. But as it kept getting extended, she found her mind inundated with panic-inducing thoughts.

“I think about hundreds of things when I lie awake in bed, but I immediately start spiralling when I think of my career. I constantly feel I am not being productive enough. Another thing I cannot stop worrying about is my parents, who are extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus infection,” Ganganjot, who lives with husband and sister-in-law, said.

The “new anxieties” combined with the lack of enough sleep have started affecting not just her professional productivity, but also her relationships.

“Work wise I am not able to achieve even half of what I aim for. Besides, I find myself snapping and feeling irritated at my family members,” she said.

Priyanka Dass, who once had a “nearly perfect” 11 pm to 5 am sleep cycle, found herself struggling to stay awake as soon as the clock struck 7 in the evening, particularly the first few weeks of the lockdown.

“I would fall asleep in the evening, for not more than a couple of hours around 7-9 pm, and then would barely sleep through the night,” the Delhi-based publicist said. During most of these sleepless nights, the 25-year-old ended up “overthinking everything”, and once also had a panic attack. She then started watching Netflix and reading books to keep her mind occupied.

“Sometimes, I simply hop out of bed to whip up something in the kitchen,” she said. According to mental health expert Prakriti Poddar, carefully cultivated routines over the years have gone for a toss and the stress is natural.

“In times like these when everybody is at home, and routines have changed, people might feel low, and even depressed, creating a sleep crisis. “Stress and worry have an intense impact on the sleep cycle,” she said. Both Kumar and Poddar advise against ignoring irregular sleeping patterns, which can affect cognitive abilities, including learning and memory retention, over a long period.

“Research confirms that there is a strong link between learning, memory and sleep. During sleep, nerve cell connections in the brain are strengthened and this enhances the brain’s abilities to stabilise and retain memories. “With a disrupted sleep cycle or not enough sleep, it is very difficult for the brain to stabilise neural connections and consolidate memory effectively,” Kumar explained.

Sound sleep of seven-nine hours is an important aspect of recovery, added Poddar.

Doctors recommend physical activity, yoga and maybe some music to calm the mind and body.

The list of don’ts includes using electronic devices like mobile phones and laptops before sleeping and caffeinated drinks such as colas, alcohol, coffee, and tea, particularly in the evening. “The bedtime and wake time should be consistent from day to day, including on weekends. Regular vigorous exercise for 20-30 minutes during the day promotes a good night’s sleep.

“If despite all this, an individual is not able to sleep within 20 minutes, they should move out of the bed and perform some light, non-stimulating activity like reading a book and wait until the feeling of drowsiness sets in,” said Vivek Nangia, director, pulmonology, Medical Critical Care & Sleep Disorders, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi. PTI TRS MG MIN MIN MIN

Read more at in.news.yahoo.com

Binge-watching, video chats till dawn: Coronavirus lockdown anxieties take toll on sleep cycle

Binge-watching till dawn, playing endless online games, video chats until the sun rises or simply staring into darkness while everyone around is in deep slumber… wakeful nights are no longer about once in a while but too often for comfort. (Unsplash) Binge-watching till dawn, playing endless online games, video chats until the sun rises or simply staring into darkness while everyone around is in deep slumber… wakeful nights are no longer about once in a while but too often for comfort. As India navigates the ninth week of the nationwide lockdown that pushed millions of people into the confines of their homes, distress and anxiety are on the rise, manifesting primarily in the form of sleep disorders.

Medical experts said the number of consultation calls over erratic sleep cycles have shot up since the country went into lockdown on March 25 to stem the spread of COVID-19. “People are living with many uncertainties and insecurities. Worrying about health, job and financial security and managing household chores alongside office deadlines, all the while working from home are among the factors influencing our sleep quality,” said Gulshan Kumar, a neurophysiologist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).

The Bangalore-based medical institution has also seen an increase in the number of queries related to sleep issues like insomnia since the lockdown started, he said. Quantifying the stress over jobs, working from home, a pandemic that shows no signs of ebbing and an uncertain future, a pan-India survey by wakefit.co revealed that 44 per cent of 1,500 respondents were getting less than six hours of sleep during the lockdown. The number of people facing a sleep crisis before March 25 was significantly lower at 26 per cent, the survey by the Bangalore-based sleep solutions company added, While many complain of insomnia and sleep deprivation, there are some who are seeking treatment for oversleeping or hypersomnia. And there are those like Gaganjot Kaur who have both insomnia and hypersomnia.

The 33-year-old said she cannot remember even one night of restful sleep in the last two months. Most nights she can get barely get three hours of sleep, but there have also been days when she’s slept for 10 hours at a stretch and still wakes up feeling unrested. “It’s not like I am consciously trying to stay awake. I find myself up at three in the morning for no reason. It’s almost like there is a disconnect between my body and its need for sleep,” the Delhi University philosophy professor said. She said she had been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) a few years ago and was seeing a therapist. But her condition aggravated in the last two months. Gaganjot, who enrolled in a Phd course recently, said she was initially thankful for the lockdown, assuming it would give her a lot of time to focus on her research work. But as it kept getting extended, she found her mind inundated with panic-inducing thoughts.

“I think about hundreds of things when I lie awake in bed, but I immediately start spiralling when I think of my career. I constantly feel I am not being productive enough. Another thing I cannot stop worrying about is my parents, who are extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus infection,” Ganganjot, who lives with husband and sister-in-law, said. The “new anxieties” combined with the lack of enough sleep have started affecting not just her professional productivity, but also her relationships.

“Work wise I am not able to achieve even half of what I aim for. Besides, I find myself snapping and feeling irritated at my family members,” she said. Priyanka Dass, who once had a “nearly perfect” 11 pm to 5 am sleep cycle, found herself struggling to stay awake as soon as the clock struck 7 in the evening, particularly the first few weeks of the lockdown.

“I would fall asleep in the evening, for not more than a couple of hours around 7-9 pm, and then would barely sleep through the night,” the Delhi-based publicist said. During most of these sleepless nights, the 25-year-old ended up “overthinking everything”, and once also had a panic attack. She then started watching Netflix and reading books to keep her mind occupied. “Sometimes, I simply hop out of bed to whip up something in the kitchen,” she said. According to mental health expert Prakriti Poddar, carefully cultivated routines over the years have gone for a toss and the stress is natural. “In times like these when everybody is at home, and routines have changed, people might feel low, and even depressed, creating a sleep crisis. “Stress and worry have an intense impact on the sleep cycle,” she said. Both Kumar and Poddar advise against ignoring irregular sleeping patterns, which can affect cognitive abilities, including learning and memory retention, over a long period.

“Research confirms that there is a strong link between learning, memory and sleep. During sleep, nerve cell connections in the brain are strengthened and this enhances the brain’s abilities to stabilise and retain memories. “With a disrupted sleep cycle or not enough sleep, it is very difficult for the brain to stabilise neural connections and consolidate memory effectively,” Kumar explained. Sound sleep of seven-nine hours is an important aspect of recovery, added Poddar.

Doctors recommend physical activity, yoga and maybe some music to calm the mind and body. The list of don’ts includes using electronic devices like mobile phones and laptops before sleeping and caffeinated drinks such as colas, alcohol, coffee, and tea, particularly in the evening. “The bedtime and wake time should be consistent from day to day, including on weekends. Regular vigorous exercise for 20-30 minutes during the day promotes a good night’s sleep.

“If despite all this, an individual is not able to sleep within 20 minutes, they should move out of the bed and perform some light, non-stimulating activity like reading a book and wait until the feeling of drowsiness sets in,” said Vivek Nangia, director, pulmonology, Medical Critical Care & Sleep Disorders, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi.

(This story has been […]

Read more at www.hindustantimes.com

From helping to manage depression and anxiety to preventing diabetes, here’s why tea always seems to do the trick

From helping to manage depression and anxiety to preventing diabetes, here's why tea always seems to do the trick

Expand Warm comforts: the humble cup of tea has many hidden benefits There’s no doubt we’re a nation of tea-lovers – and apparently we’ve been getting through an extra two cups a day during the pandemic. That’s on top of the average four to six cuppas a day we normally drink, according to energy comparison site SaveOnEnergy.com.

It’s little surprise, then, that the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) found 80% of people say tea provides relief from daily problems and stresses.

TAP says tea contains natural plant substances, including polyphenols, caffeine, and amino acid L-theanine (a building block of protein) which act on the body and mind. A recent major review found L-theanine improves the ability to manage stress and anxiety, and earlier studies have shown it triggers various parts of the brain linked with relaxation and mental focus to light up, helping us deal with distractions.

“We often turn to tea when in need of a boost or to help us handle stress,” says dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton (above). “Whether it’s a comforting mug of tea with family, or the peaceful ritual of brewing up some tea leaves in your favourite teapot, tea always seems to do the trick. Yet we know from the science that it’s not our imagination, as there are now several studies pointing to the mental health benefits of drinking tea every day.”

One study, she says, asked participants to drink black tea or a placebo drink daily for six weeks, and were then asked to complete a series of stressful mental tasks. The tea drinkers were found to have lower levels of stress hormones in their blood, and reported feeling more relaxed after the tasks.

Fellow TAP member Dr Tim Bond adds: “Tea is a healthy drink and can make a useful contribution to our daily fluid requirements and help maintain good hydration during lockdown.

“Tea may contribute to immune function, partly due to a beneficial effect on the gut microflora. It’s a pleasant, comforting drink and can help us feel better during this time of stress and uncertainty. Enjoying four to six cups daily is good for our physical and mental health.”

Want more proof of how good that cuppa really is? Here, Dr Bond outlines the science…

1. It may reduce or delay dementia risk

A study of 957 elderly Chinese people found consistent drinking of black/oolong tea reduced the risk of cognitive disorders by 53%, and for green tea by 43%. The findings also suggested those genetically at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may reduce this by as much as 86%. “This health benefit is likely to be due to the catechin content of tea,” says Dr Bond.

A laboratory study found the dominant member of this catechin family could reduce the cognitive defects linked with a western diet high in fat and sugar, and Dr Bond says further research has found a positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, suggesting a protective effect on age-related decline in brain organisation.

2. It enhances cognition and memory

A review of 49 human studies found two ingredients in tea – L-theanine and caffeine – in combination are associated with improved attention, memory and alertness more than either ingredient on its own.

3. It helps reduce depression and anxiety

Another 2018 study found long-term tea consumption among elderly people was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Theaflavins, compounds found in black tea, have been found to reduce depression and prevent memory impairment. Theaflavins have also been shown to reduce anxiety by increasing dopamine turnover in the brain.

4. It lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems

A review published in 2012 found regular tea consumption could reduce the risk of heart and circulation problems by up to 20%. Some studies have found this effect could even be as high as 45%. In one 2019 study of 208 patients, tea-drinking was linked with reduced arterial disease compared with soft drinks, which were linked with increased arterial disease.

5. It helps prevent type 2 diabetes

Studies also indicate the beneficial effect of being a regular tea-drinker in relation to type 2 diabetes – particularly green tea. A study published recently by Cambridge University Press, of 12,017 people aged 20-70, found daily tea-drinking reduced diabetes risk in women by 32%. Dark tea reduced the risk by 45%.

6. It helps with weight management

“This is thought to be because of the catechin content in tea and because of positive changes in the gut bacteria thanks to tea drinking,” says Dr Bond, who explains that tea catechins are believed to increase activation of brown adipose tissue, which helps the body get rid of energy (calories).

Scientists are increasingly understanding the role of gut bacteria in obesity and weight management. A 2017 University of California study found both black and green tea changed the ratio of intestinal bacteria. The percentage of bacteria associated with obesity decreased, while bacteria associated with lean body mass increased. This change in the gut microflora was associated with increased energy metabolism.

7. It helps tackle high blood pressure

A study published in 2012 found that drinking black tea could have a 10% effect in reducing blood pressure, while separate research found regularly drinking green tea could reduce the risk of high blood pressure by 46%. “Tea and its compounds have been shown to help relax smooth muscle and reduce inflammation in arteries, which may help to explain these effects on blood pressure,” explains Dr Bond.

8. It’s good for oral health

“There’s evidence tea can combat bad breath and reduce inflammation, bone re-absorption and the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease,” says Dr Bond. One study found tea helped with a 40% reduction in dental decay risk. 9. It’s good for eye health Research also shows that daily tea-drinking could reduce the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts, among the most common potentially sight-threatening eye conditions. Tea catechins may also protect against age-related macular degeneration, says Dr Bond. 10. It keeps bones strong “Tea-drinkers tend to have stronger bones,” […]

Read more at www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk

These Ingredients In Your Eid Dishes Are Immunity Boosters

These Ingredients In Your Eid Dishes Are Immunity Boosters

While Eid may be all about good food, the wisdom of people who designed the traditional cuisine associated with it have ensured that the drool-worthy taste is offset by some of the healthiest immunity-boosting ingredients. Let’s take a look at why it’s perfectly alright to dig in, this Eid!

Mutton

Image: 123rf.com

The lamb in festive dishes like Rogan Josh and biryani is not only delicious. It is also rich in zinc, a mineral which works with the protein content of the meat to boost the immune system. This is because it enhances the functioning of the body’s white blood cells. If you’re sceptical of red meat sources for reasons of cholesterol, substitute with a lean meat option like skinless poultry, which may not compare in taste, but also comes with similar benefits.

Mint
Image: 123rf.com

The sumptuous kebabs and sides are best offset with a generous helping of versatile pudina chutney, which offers the goodness of mint. One of the superfoods for immunity, mint is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, making it ideal for reducing oxidative stress. It is also anti-inflammatory, and rich in vitamin A. Mint is excellent for all kinds of digestive problems – keeping the intestinal tract clean, preventing acidity and heartburn, improving digestion and keeping you cool during the warm summer months.

Saffron Image: 123rf.com

It’s the most expensive spice in the world for a reason, and could cost up to a whopping Rs.1,50,000 for a kilogram! Used liberally across dishes like biryani and desserts, the spice with the exquisite flavour contains antioxidant benefits, like crocin, crocetin and safranal. The first two are mood uplifters and can keep depression and anxiety at bay (that’s why it’s called the sunshine spice!), with regular usage also preventing brain cells from degenerating and boosting memory. Saffron can also help prevent certain kinds of cancers, help with PMS symptoms, keeps blood sugar and heart health in check, has eye benefits and can act as an aphrodisiac!

Dates Image: 123rf.com

Sheer Khurma is a traditional dessert made for Eid with dates as a key ingredient. Dates are one of the best sources of vitamin C among the gamut of dried fruits. It also boasts a range of B vitamins and helps in digestion. Since it contains natural sugars, it is nature’s sweetener, and also provides for reserves of energy the right way.

Onion

Image: 123rf.com

Onion raita, the accompaniment to your biryani, boasts one of the best veggies for immunity. The medicinal properties of onions have been celebrated through the ages, due to their concentrated antibacterial benefits. They’re packed with vitamin C, vitamin B and potassium, and contain quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant that can keep cancer and heart-related ailments at bay. It can even help reduce PCOS, help enhance bone density and control blood sugar.

Assorted Spices

Image: 123rf.com

Eid in India is synonymous with festive marinades, and curries require the goodness of Indian spices and use traditional immunity boosters like turmeric (where the key ingredient curcumin has far-flung benefits from heart health to cancer prevention), coriander (good for regulating blood sugar, fighting infections and protecting your skin), ginger (fabulous for coughs and colds) and cumin (which promotes digestion and enhances metabolism).

Read more at www.femina.in

Food for thought: 12 Foods to boost brain power

Food for thought: 12 Foods to boost brain power

Advertisement Believe it or not, the foods we eat can also have a big impact on the structure and overall health of our brains. Without “feeding” the brain adequate nutrients, we put ourselves at risk of premature cognitive decline and irreversible neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Looking to take a more proactive approach to brain health? Incorporate the following brain-boosting foods into a balanced diet and watch the magic happen. Almond butter

Plant-based foods like almond butter boast a more impressive nutrition profile than their non-organic counterparts. Almond butter, in particular, is an excellent source of vitamin E , a powerful antioxidant that protects against inflammation and cellular damage in the brain. In addition, almonds contain high levels of magnesium and potassium, both of which are linked to better brain function. Avocado

Avocados are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 oils that reduce inflammation in the brain. Avocados are also rich in folate, an essential B vitamin that prevents the abnormal buildup of proteins in the brain thought to trigger dementia. Walnut

Most nuts, in general, make for excellent brain-boosting snacks. But walnuts are among the few hailed for their high alpha- linolenic acid (ALA) content. ALA is known to protect brain cells from cellular damage and inflammation due to free radicals, thus reducing the risk of brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke. Butternut squash

As a general rule, bright fruits and vegetables are good for brain health. One reason for this is because the pigments in these foods also act as antioxidants. Take the carotenoids in butternut squash, for instance. These plant compounds, which are also found in carrots and oranges, help minimize oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. Berries

If orange foods have carotenoids, berries have anthocyanins. These water-soluble plant compounds are responsible for the red, purple, blue and black colors of berries. Apart from their antioxidant effects, anthocyanins also help maintain brain functions over time. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain bioactive plant compounds known as glucosinolates. These compounds protect against oxidative stress, thus minimizing the risk of dementia. Cruciferous vegetables are also chock-full of brain-boosting nutrients including potassium, folate and vitamin C. Halibut

Lean fishes like halibut make for excellent brain-boosting foods. Halibut is rich in vitamin D, an essential micronutrient involved in brain health. Vitamin B12, a B complex vitamin associated with memory, can also only be found in animal products like fish and eggs. Beans

Regular consumption of beans also supports overall brain health. Beans are rich in brain-boosting B complex vitamins like folate and vitamin B6. In particular, vitamin B6 is crucial for proper brain development in children and better brain functions in adults. Turmeric

Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric , has been linked to brain health and improved cognitive functions thanks to its antioxidant effects. Besides preventing inflammation, curcumin also eliminates plaque in the brain that can lead to dementia. Whole grains

Whole grains like oats and quinoa are loaded with essential B complex vitamins that work to minimize inflammation in the brain. B complex vitamins have also been linked to better memory and a lower risk of cognitive decline. Green tea

A warm cup of green tea can do more than just calm the nerves and improve mood. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the main active ingredient in green tea, is a potent antioxidant known to promote overall brain health. Green tea is also an excellent source of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and regulates sleep. Coffee

When consumed in moderation, coffee promotes protective effects against cognitive decline. Caffeine, the natural stimulant in coffee, keeps brain cells active, thus improving mental performance including alertness and concentration. Take care not to drink too much coffee to avoid high blood pressure and insomnia.

Snack on these brain-boosting foods to improve brain functions and prevent dementia.

Read more articles about dementia prevention and other brain-boosting foods at Brain.news .

Sources:

GoodHousekeeping.com

ScienceDirect.com

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How a soothing cuppa is packed with science-backed health benefits

How a soothing cuppa is packed with science-backed health benefits

© PA There’s no doubt we’re a nation of tea-lovers – and apparently we’ve been getting through an extra two cups a day during the pandemic. That’s on top of the average four to six cuppas a day we normally drink.

It’s little surprise, then, that the Tea Advisory Panel (Tap) found 80% of people say tea provides relief from daily problems and stresses.

Tap says tea contains natural plant substances, including polyphenols, caffeine and amino acid L-theanine (a building block of protein) which act on the body and mind. A recent major review found L-theanine improves the ability to manage stress and anxiety, and earlier studies have shown it triggers various parts of the brain linked with relaxation and mental focus to light up, helping us deal with distractions.

“We often turn to tea when in need of a boost or to help us handle stress,” says dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton. “Whether it’s a comforting mug of tea with family, or the peaceful ritual of brewing up some tea leaves in your favourite teapot, tea always seems to do the trick. Yet we know from the science that it’s not our imagination, as there are now several studies pointing to the mental health benefits of drinking tea every day.”

One study, she says, asked participants to drink black tea or a placebo drink daily for six weeks, and were then asked to complete a series of stressful mental tasks. The tea drinkers were found to have lower levels of stress hormones in their blood, and reported feeling more relaxed after the tasks.

Fellow Tap member Dr Tim Bond adds: “Tea is a healthy drink and can make a useful contribution to our daily fluid requirements and help maintain good hydration during lockdown.

“Tea may contribute to immune function, partly due to a beneficial effect on the gut microflora. It’s a pleasant, comforting drink and can help us feel better during this time of stress and uncertainty. Enjoying four to six cups daily is good for our physical and mental health.”

Dr Bond outlines the science. It may reduce or delay dementia risk

A study of 957 elderly Chinese people found consistent drinking of black/oolong tea reduced the risk of cognitive disorders by 53%, and for green tea by 43%. The findings also suggested those genetically at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may reduce this by as much as 86%. “This health benefit is likely to be due to the catechin content of tea,” says Bond.

A laboratory study found the dominant member of this catechin family could reduce the cognitive defects linked with a Western diet high in fat and sugar, and Bond says further research has found a positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, suggesting a protective effect on age-related decline in brain organisation. It enhances cognition and memory

A review of 49 human studies found two ingredients in tea – L-theanine and caffeine – in combination are associated with improved attention, memory and alertness more than either ingredient on its own. It helps reduce depression and anxiety

Another 2018 study found long-term tea consumption among elderly people was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Theaflavins, compounds found in black tea, have been found to reduce depression and prevent memory impairment. Theaflavins have also been shown to reduce anxiety by increasing dopamine turnover in the brain. It lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems

A review published in 2012 found regular tea consumption could reduce the risk of heart and circulation problems by up to 20%. Some studies have found this effect could even be as high as 45%. In one 2019 study of 208 patients, tea drinking was linked with reduced arterial disease compared with soft drinks, which were linked with increased arterial disease. It helps prevent type 2 diabetes

Studies also indicate the beneficial effect of being a regular tea drinker in relation to type 2 diabetes – particularly green tea. A study published recently by Cambridge University Press, of 12,017 people aged 20-70, found daily tea drinking reduced diabetes risk in women by 32%. Dark tea reduced the risk by 45%. It helps with weight management

Scientists are increasingly understanding the role of gut bacteria in obesity and weight management. A 2017 University of California study found both black and green tea changed the ratio of intestinal bacteria. The percentage of bacteria associated with obesity decreased, while bacteria associated with lean body mass rose. This change in the gut microflora was associated with increased energy metabolism. It helps tackle high blood pressure

A study published in 2012 found drinking black tea could have a 10% effect in reducing blood pressure, while separate research found regularly drinking green tea could reduce the risk of high blood pressure by 46%. “Tea and its compounds have been shown to help relax smooth muscle and reduce inflammation in arteries, which may help to explain these effects on blood pressure,” explains Bond. It’s good for oral health

“There’s evidence tea can combat bad breath and reduce inflammation, bone reabsorption and the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease,” says Bond. One study found tea helped with a 40% reduction in dental decay risk. It’s good for eye health

Research also shows daily tea drinking could reduce the risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts, among the most common potentially sight-threatening eye conditions. Tea catechins may also protect against age-related macular degeneration, says Bond. It keeps bones strong

“Tea drinkers tend to have stronger bones,” says Bond, who explains that researchers report that tea appears to improve bone mineral density, especially in the spine, hip and neck. A further study also found tea consumption may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For as little as £5.99 a month you can access all of our content, including Premium articles .

Read more at www.pressandjournal.co.uk

Why You Should Add Walnuts To Your Diet

Why You Should Add Walnuts To Your Diet

Searching for a quick and easy way to boost your diet without making the biggest of changes? Walnuts might be just what you need. Here’s why.

How Walnuts Can Help Boost Your Immune System

Usually found in bread, stir-fries, smoothies, salads, chocolate and of course breakfast bowls, walnuts are a delicious addition to any meal that has it since their crunchy texture comes alongside a distinctive taste. They’re also easily found in marketplaces and are a cheap option to help make your snacks more delicious. But did you know that walnuts are more than just a crunchy addition to your breakfast bowl?

That’s right because research has proven time and again that they’re a healthy snack on their own and they’re an effective way to help add some easy but real benefits to your diet . But how exactly do they benefit your immune system? Here’s how:

Promotes gut health

Eating walnuts can help increase beneficial and good bacteria in your gut, which in turn helps combat the increased risk of obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer by helping decrease inflammation.

Helps your mood and brain function

Walnuts also have large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in our brain development and function. They also help improve our memory and are known to help boost the mood of people suffering from depression and anxiety.

Lowers type 2 diabetes risk

Although fairly high in calories, walnuts can actually help curb appetite and decrease hunger. This in turn, helps you from gaining weight and lowers the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, previous study has also shown that a diet with walnut oil is known to help improve blood sugar levels.

Improves male fertility

It may be a lesser known fact, but walnuts can also help improve male fertility. Walnuts do this by having a high amount of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and stop sperm membrane damage.

Supports healthy aging

Lastly, walnuts are also high in fiber, essential minerals, essential vitamins and fats that help promote natural and healthy aging.

Read more at www.msn.com