Crazy For Tea Blog

About the health benefits of tea and related information

Find up-to-date news about all types of tea, including my own personal spin on a couple of issues happening in the tea world, and much more such as recipes, where to get the best prices on tea, research findings, and how tea can benefit your health!


 Crazy For Tea : Tea Happenings Home : December 2006

December 12, 2006 11:27 - Weight Loss With Green Tea Is As Easy As Pour and Drink!

If you exercise regularly or even know anything about working out, you probably know taking in caffeine before a workout session increases your results. This is widely known, and a major reason that millions of people drink a cup or two of coffee before hitting the gym.

What is less commonly known however is that green tea has been shown to be far more effective than coffee for fat loss!

Studies are constantly popping up, showing a positive association between green tea and weight loss. There are 2 reasons for the incredible workout effects of tea: Natural caffeine and phytochemical antioxidants (catechins). Research has consistently shown that these chemicals together produce a synergistic effect on the body which stimulates the bodies metabolism, mainly by elevating thermogenesis, AKA body heat production.

There is also evidence that chemicals in tea help to protect lean muscle tissue and stabilize blood sugar levels - not to mention boost your immune system, inhibit tumor growth, kill dangerous bacteria, and much, much more! (See My Page on Green Tea for the full benefits of green tea).

Also, instead of "crashing" like you sometimes do with coffee, the combined chemicals in green tea mix for a long, steady pace of caffeine. Simply stated, the caffeine affect of tea is more of a less intense, but longer lasting (without the shakes) effect which will keep you energized for longer.

Give it a try before your next workout. Just drink 2 strong cups of green tea about half an hour before your next workout and see the difference. You'll get the energy boost as you do with coffee, as well as the incredible antioxidant content from tea that will keep you from getting sick!

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December 15, 2006 16:31 - A Basic Overview of Green Tea

The Chinese have known about Green tea as a powerful medication for at least 4000 years. According to legend, tea was discovered by a Chinese emperor called Shen Nung. Some tea leaves accidentally fell into boiling water, and he tried it and found it invigorating. Green tea became part of the Chinese diet and many important health benefits were attributed to it. Now recent medical studies in both asia and the west are providing a scientific basis for the claim that drinking green tea has very significant health benefits.

Like other teas, green tea is made from the plant Camellia Sinesis. The difference between the 4 main types of tea (White, Green, Oolong and Black) is the way they're fermented. Green tea is unfermented tea, which simply means that after the leaf is plucked they are immediately steamed lightly to prevent oxidation the leaf. This way, they retain all or most of the wonderful antioxidants that we are so familiar with.

White tea is done the same way, but with even less steaming which even FURTHER enhances the quality of the tea. White tea is much less commonly known but is rapidly becoming the center of attention in the tea world, even over green tea. White tea is also picked a little bit earlier than green tea, which is why it's common to have little white hairs on the outside of the leaves.

Oolong and black tea are done in a similar but also quite different way. Instead of only being steamed like green and white tea, they are also pan fried to enhance the flavor and give it a more dark appearance. This is why oolong and black tea tend to have more flavor than the light types like green and white.

Modern science has in recent times been able to demonstrate that green tea is beneficial to one's health and this is mainly due to the fact that tea contains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols or flavonoids. One study concluded that consuming three cups of tea a day produced about the same amount of antioxidants as did 6 apples. They say "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". Well by drinking green tea you are dramatically reducing your chance of getting sick!

While all tea is extremely healthy for you, white and green contain the most polyphenols (antioxidants). Recent medical studies suggest green tea to be beneficial in many areas including the following:

- Digestive and respiratory health.

- Enhances your immune system

- Reduces high blood pressure

- Arthritis - anti-inflammatory effect.

- Oral hygiene.

- Minor skin conditions such as acne

- Lowers blood sugar and cholesterol

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December 18, 2006 17:30 - Green Tea Isn't a "cure-all"..You Must Do Some Work Too

There have been a great amount of studies linked with green tea, and unfortunately most of them show mixed results. However, the way in which the researchers get information would be EXTREMELY hard to produce 100% accurate information for anything. What I mean is that it is nearly impossible to "prove" that tea has the great health benefits that it does. The reason is because each person involved in the studies has a unique body and tea reacts with everybody differently.

For some people, green tea (and any other type of tea) produces extraordinary results. For others, it produces only moderate results. For people who participate in studies that have to do with health, it is extremely hard to say that anything causes something else because there are just way too many variables involved. If a person doesn't recover from cancer after drinking green tea, it may have to do more with the fact that they didn't take care of their body. It may also be that the cancer was just too widespread for the antioxidants in the tea to have a major effect.

There is no "magic" cure for anything. Although I believe green tea is one of the best ways to prevent illnesses, there are still other factors involved as well. You can't treat your body like it's meaningless, drink some tea everyday, and expect to be perfectly healthy. Tea goes a very long way in protecting and healing your body, but you must take care of it between your cups of tea.

Taking care of your body should be your #1 priority. Not money, not social things or worrying about what you have to do next week. Have a few cups of tea everyday and watch your energy levels soar, mental clarity enhance, and see yourself getting sick much less often.

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December 19, 2006 09:03 - Viruses Bounce Off Me During The Flu Season

Well, it's come to the time of year when everybody around me is starting to get sick, specifically the flu. My sister has stayed home from school the past 2 days. My mom is staying home from work today. Everybody I work with is coughing their lungs out, calling off work, and complaining of flu-like symptoms.

And Me?

I'm as energetic and healthy as ever. I don't feel an OUNCE of sickness, in fact I feel absolutely great. I'm around people who have the flu all day long, and yet my immune system is bouncing off illnesses like their not even there. I've been off-schedule for working out and even eating as healthy as usual for the past month so I can't attribute my health to that. However, i've been drinking tea (currently wuyi ensemble - a type of oolong tea) everyday. On a typical day I have about 3 cups, but some days I only manage to get 1 or 2 cups in.

However, I make sure that every single day I have at least 1 cup of tea. Whether it's green tea, oolong tea, black tea, or some kind of herbal tea concoction, that doesn't matter. All of it contains the powerful, flu-fighting antioxidants that I need so I won't get sick.

If you like the feeling of being so weak you can hardly stand, throwing up all day and night, and like your head is going to explode, don't drink any tea.

However, if you'd like to be sick-free this winter..head over to Adagio Teas and grab a starter kit for only $19.

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December 20, 2006 07:57 - Last Day For Tea Before Christmas

If you're like me, you probabaly hate the shopping crowds at the local malls. I love people, but I've noticed that even in the past few years there has been an increase in the number of rude, obnoxious folks out there.

When you're in the store, no one even takes .05 seconds to look up and smile or give any type of gesture whatsoever. In fact they would rather bump you and knock you out of the isle before you would ever get a smile.

No one holds doors anymore, or is polite to anybody because they think they are too busy or whatever reason. I held a door open for an older lady a few weeks back and she must have talked to me for a good 3-4 minutes telling me how amazed she was that there is still a young gentleman out there. It made me depressed to hear that.

Anyway, if you are a late christmas shopper AND hate the crowds, you can still order some tea and have it in time for Christmas. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself or one of your loved ones with an oolong tea sampler from www.dragonwater.com.

Enjoy the gift of health this Christmas, not stress.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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December 21, 2006 08:46 - Drop Your Blood Pressure By Drinking Tea

In a study done by the University of Western Australia School of Medicine and Pharmacology, and the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, they found that drinking tea may help reduce blood pressure. In this study it was done with older women, but other studies have also shown that it does the same regardless of age, sex, race, etc.

The polyphenols in tea have more ways in which they help out the body than you would normally think. Yes they help fight illnesses, even certain diseases, and other things regarding being sick. However, i'm sure you didn't know that they helped lower blood pressure!

As for the results, i'll give them to you straight from the study (just in case I have any scientists or folks who actually know how to read medical studies).

"Higher tea intake and higher 4-O-methylgallic acid excretion were associated with significantly lower systolic (P = 0.002 and P = 0.040, respectively) and diastolic (P = 0.027 and P < 0.001, respectively) blood pressures. A 250 mL/d (1 cup) increase in tea intake was associated with a 2.2 (0.8, 3.6) mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure and a 0.9 (0.1, 1.7) mm Hg lower diastolic blood pressure."

What exactly does that mean? Well, that means that with each cup of tea you drink, your systolic blood pressure will decrease about 2.2mm and your diastolic blood pressure will decrease about 0.9 (so we'll just say 1) mm. I realize that isn't very much and I won't pretend that it is, but what if you drink 3,4,5 cups of tea per day? It starts to add up, and your body will thank you just for putting something into it that LOWERS your blood pressure instead of increasing it.

I don't know the exact numbers for the decreases in blood pressure that oatmeal gives you, but I would guess that tea would probably give you roughly the same amount of decrease as oatmeal.

Source: J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2883-6.


Drink Up,

Jeremy Reeves

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December 22, 2006 08:56 - The Truth About Okinawan Tea

There are more scam artists out today than there have ever been. The "snake-oil salesmen" made their money decades ago by lying to people about products that could never live up to the hype. New weight loss products are guarenteed to help you lose dozens of pounds within a month. It's just not real!

As a sidenote, losing more than 2.5 pounds of weight per week just isn't healthy for your body. Anything more than that and you're either losing muscle or water, neither of which you want to lose.

In the tea world, the snake-oil salesmen are the people who are trying to saying that okinawan tea is some kind of miracle tea that will help you drop tons of weight in a matter of days. Well guess what? IT WON'T

Yes, tea will help you lose weight. But it's not going to help you lose tons of weight, but rather it will help to possibly drop a few pounds from your frame and help to keep the weight off. In studies done they found that the average participant lost a little over 1 pound per month.

However if you think about it, that adds up to 12 pounds per year, just by drinking a great tasting drink!

The reason why okinawan tea is called that is because the people of Okinawa have the largest percentage of centrarians (folks who live to be more than 100 years old) in the world, and they drink alot of tea. Therefore, this tea was named after them. If you'd like to learn more, go here.

It comes down to the fact that it is a type of green tea, which you already know helps you lose weight, keep you from getting sick, along with a multitude of other health benefits.

Don't get scammed by these people claiming it's a miracle tea. Just drink from regular (but high-quality of course) green tea and stay healthy through this winter.


Drink Up,

Jeremy

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December 23, 2006 08:34 - Spice Up Your Tea This Christmas

There is nothing like the amazing smell of rich holiday spices to put me in the spirit of the season. Those spices offer much more than great added taste and savory aroma though. They can benefit your body tremendously in different ways.

Cinnamon is one spice you should have a little more of this Christmas season.Dr. Richard Anderson, Ph.D., with the USDA, has studied the effects of cinnamon for 20 years. Through his studies, he's shown that cinnamon not only imitates insulin in the body, benefiting people dealing with diabetes, but can also enhance the hormone's effect.

"In a USDA study, 60 Type-II diabetics were given either one, three, or six grams of cinnamon per day, and were then compared to participants who received a placebo (i.e. not cinnamon). The placebo group's blood sugar levels didn't change. But the researchers found that the cinnamon group's blood sugar dropped 18 to 29 percent, their triglycerides fell 23 to 30 percent, their LDL cholesterol decreased 7 to 27 percent, and their total cholesterol fell by 12 to 26 percent. Even the lowest amount of cinnamon (less than half a teaspoon) was shown to reduce blood sugar by 20 percent."

It also a digestive aid, an anesthetic, and can help fight off illnesses which are oh-so-common in these cold winter months.

This is a great reason to keep some cinnamon around. You can use regular old cinnamon sticks or even just the cinnamon in a container that comes out like powder.

Sprinkle it in your tea, over oatmeal or a sweet potato. You can also sprinkle some in your eggnog if you like it. Not only will it add a flavorful kick, it will improve your health.


Drink Up,

Jeremy

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December 26, 2006 11:43 - What Kind Of Tea Is Right For YOU?

Today, unlike decades ago when tea was reserved only for the royal family and very wealthy folks, there are many teas available for a cheap price tag. You can buy your favorite tea online, at a local health store (although I wouldn't recommend it unless they sell the tea leaves themselves), or even at a local grocery store which carries the cheap tea.

You can get white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, rooibos tea, or various herbal teas which can come by themselves or mixed together to make for a certain effect.

From the main group of teas, they all have similar health benefits with a few variations here and there. For example, the lighter the tea the more antioxidants it has, but the darker teas such as oolong have a more powerful fat burning element to them.

So the question is..which is right FOR YOU?

In my opinion, you should drink whatever you think tastes the best. I personally like oolong tea the best because it has kind of a mixed flavor of green and black tea, so that's what I tend to drink the most. However, I also have some green tea on hand because right now it's flu season and I am WAY too busy to get sick. I think I'm actually busier now than I was during the semester.

Another thing I have on hand right now is an herbal tea concoction for easing tension. I mainly drink that during the semesters to help calm me down from the stress I go through but sometimes, especially now during the holidays, people can get me a bit stressed out at the restaurant as well. Usually I don't let it bother me because I'm trying to learn how to completely take control of my emotions, but I'm still in the beginning stages of that so every once in awhile I let my emotions take over.

Anyway like I said before, you should drink whatever you like the best. If you drink something you hate, chances are you will stop drinking it. The health benefits are too similar to make sure you drink one or the other. make sure you enjoy what you drink!

If you have a specific problem such as joint pain, inflammation, high blood pressure, or thing of that nature, you can try certain herbal teas to help you alleviate your symptoms and possibly eliminate them. Check out my herbal tea page to find out more. In the next few days i'll be adding much more to that page and eventually I will have probably about 75 different herbs and the information for them, so make sure you either drop me an e-mail or head back to the page regularly.

Remember to enjoy life, drink lots of tea for your health and pleasure, and enjoy the rest of this year. It's almost over!

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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December 27, 2006 11:35 - Tea Extracts Reduce Skin Damage in Cancer Patients

In a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine, researchers show that tea inhibits inflammatory pathways at a cellular level to reduce inflammation. Tea extracts also reduce the longevity of radiation-induced skin damage in patients who underwent radiation therapy by up to 10 days.

Frank Pajonk, from the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, and colleagues from the University of Freiburg, Germany, studied the effects of green tea and black tea extracts. They studies the effects of these on patients who had been treated with radiotherapy. They then analysed the effects of the tea extracts on human and mouse white blood cells in a culture. This means that they tested the extracts on cells taken out of the body, which therefore would show whether or not they had an impact because the blood cells would have nothing else to interact with.

Pajonk et al. found that tea extracts reduce the duration of skin toxicity following radiotherapy by 5 to 10 days. They also proved that tea extracts minimize the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which again results in less inflammation. Some of these cytokines include IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, TNFalpha and PGE2. Again they show that green tea had higher anti-inflammatory properties than black tea. However, they both inhibit one major inflammatory pathway in mouse white blood cells.

They also add that although the major cause of the anti-inflammatory properties of tea come from it's high volume of polyphenols, there are probably other pathways involved in it's ability to reduce inflammation.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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December 29, 2006 09:03 - How To Add Flavor To Your Tea

If you're anything like me you probably like to make things interesting, especially with food and drinks. Sometimes I think its fun just to "wing-it" and throw a few ingredients together and see how it comes out.

I do the same thing with tea, and the other day I came across something very tasty. It was Christmas Eve and I was spending time with my family, so I decided to have a cup of oolong tea. While the water was boiling my mom asked if I'd like to try a chocolate peppermint candy she'd bought.

I thought to myself "I love oolong tea, chocolate, and peppermint as well". So I figured, why not put them all together?

Well when the chocolate, peppermint, and oolong tea mixed it didn't exactly look the best, but it tasted amazing! It kind of looked like milk curdled in the tea, but it was just the peppermint flakes coming up to the top, so no worries there.

The piece of peppermint chocolate I put in was about 1 square inch, and I put it in about 6 ounces of tea (incase you want to try it). It gave it a very subtle taste which didn't really affect the flavor of the tea but rather complimented it.

So now you have a brand new recipe for your oolong tea. If you don't like chocolate or peppermint maybe you won't try it, but if you do and if you can find either chocolate and peppermint together or even seperate, give it a try. Then you can even send an e-mail to Jeremy@crazyfortea.com and let me know how you liked it. I'd love some feedback!

Also, if you have any recipes like I just mentioned that you know of or created on your own, feel free to e-mail me and I'll be sure to include it in a future article. Again, send an e-mail to Jeremy@crazyfortea.com

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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December 31, 2006 10:05 - My Take On The New Drinks Enviga and Celsius

Coca-Cola and Nestle have recently came out with the drinks "Celsius" and "Enviga", respectively. They claim to have profound effects on the metabolism of the consumer and that you would be drinking negative calories.

Negative calories simply means that you would be burning off more calories than you consumed. The same applies with food, such as broccoli.

From what they claim, the main ingredients in these drinks are caffeine and green tea. They claim that the epigallocatechingallate (EGCG - one of the main chemicals found in green tea) stimulates norepinephrine which then speeds up the metabolism.

The producers of Celsius claim it can burn up to 77 calories per bottle while the drink itself only contains about 5-10 calories per bottle.

For Enviga, they claim it can burn anywhere from 60-100 calories per bottle while the drink contains only 5 calories per bottle.

Now that you have the data, I'd like to share my views. First of all, if you've read any of my website (www.crazyfortea.com) you know that I don't trust any major manufacturing company. Therefore, I don't trust any type of new drink that has claims that it can help you lose weight or get healthier. With large companies, there is almost ALWAYS hidden things inside the drink which completely negate the positive effects it may have contained.

The researchers have explained that the increased metabolism is caused by the caffeine and EGCG have a synergistic effect which causes weight loss. I actually agree with them because Well guess what? Natural green tea also has caffeine and EGCG, so there's no point in drinking this new drink!

If you are looking for a tea to drink to help you lose weight, look no further than tea. Although green tea can help you lose weight, in my opinion oolong tea is an even better choice. Try it and see if it works for you! You can read my oolong tea page to find out more.

Before you drink any "health" drinks, make sure you look up the ingredients. To be even more safe, just drink things that are natural such as tea.

Drink Up,

Jeremy

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