Is Green Tea A Laxative?
Jun20

Is Green Tea A Laxative?

You are enjoying a nice cup of green tea … and you are wondering: Is green tea a laxative? Should I start looking for a toilet now? First, let’s see what laxatives are. Laxatives (also called purgatives) are foods, drugs or chemical compounds that help stimulate a bowel movement or loosen the stool. They are mainly used to treat constipation, before bowel examination or surgery and to help improve hemorrhoids symptoms. When it comes to plants, you should know that these are used more successfully as a preventive measure rather than a treatment for constipation. Image source: Aih Does Green Tea Have A Laxative Effect? The short answer is no. Contrary to popular belief, green tea is not a natural laxative and is not recommended by doctors to treat constipation. Drunk in the recommended quantity, 2 -4 cups a day, green tea does not have a laxative effect and does not stimulate or help with bowel movements. Moreover, drunk in moderate quantities, it has no adverse effects on healthy adults (the exception is pregnant women, who should limit consumption to a maximum of 2 cups per day). Why the confusion? Because, like coffee, regular green tea does contain caffeine. One study showed that: caffeinated coffee stimulates bowel movement. Its magnitude is similar to a meal, 60% stronger than water. Many people know that and use coffee in their daily routine, usually in the morning, as a mild natural laxative. If coffee contains 90-200mg of caffeine per 8oz (240ml), green tea contains only 25-40 mg. It is a known fact that excess caffeine worsens diarrhea or symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and can cause you an upset stomach. If you suffer from these conditions, you should not drink more than a couple of cups a day especially on an empty stomach. Warning: if you are a new drinker or you want to switch to green tea, limit your intake for the first week or so to 1-2 cups a day to let the body adjust and see how you tolerate it. What about heavy tea drinkers? However, if you are a heavy drinker (more than 5 cups per day) and you have these gastrointestinal conditions it is recommended that you lower the caffeine content in green tea. How? Switch to decaf or boil the leaves more. The more you boil the leaves, the less caffeine you’ll get in a cup. For example, after 5 minutes of boiling, the caffeine content drops to 30%. The same thing happens if you put the leaves for the second time to boil in a fresh pot of water: another 30% drop. Used as...

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10 Unusual Ways to Use Green Tea Leaves
Aug15

10 Unusual Ways to Use Green Tea Leaves

Many people don’t know that there are more ways to use tea leaves than brew a cup of tea. Some drink it for its unique and exquisite taste, other for its positive effects on overall health or for its weight loss properties, but few are aware that the green tea leaves can be used to various other purposes as well. Extremely versatile, they can be a true miracle ingredient for your entire household. 1. Green food for your house plants Let some tea leaves rest in cold water for 48 hours, then use this water for your house plants. This mixture of nutrients can be a real fertilizer and pick-me-up for your flower pots and indoor or outdoor plants. Be careful to remove the leaves beforehand because their later decay may attract small insects and pests. You can use the leaves only for rose bushes, because in this case they form a protective film for the rose roots. 2. Get rid of nasty smells in your fridge We all know that no matter what, in time, your fridge gets a nasty smell from all the combinations of foods you keep in it. This is often a problem that doesn’t go away with a simple cleaning of the inside of the fridge, and that is actually unrelated to how clean your fridge is. What you need to do in case you have a “smelly” fridge is put some dried tea leaves on the top shelf, and the unpleasant smell will go away literally overnight. Just like baking soda, the leaves will absorb the odors and keep away the bacteria for a long period of time. 3. A new look for your carpets and furniture If your carpet is full of dust and looks like you’ve been using it for ages, you can freshen it up and give it a new, fresh look in a matter of minutes. Sprinkle some leaves that have been dipped in water on it and leave them on for half an hour. Then vacuum the leaves and your carpet will look as good as new. The old or new furniture that still smells of wood can be helped by green tea. To make it shinny and spotless, use a cloth dipped in green tea to swipe. The new wood smell will also go away instantly. 4. An excellent cleaning product The tea has proven antibacterial properties that work not only internally but also externally. You can clean your counter tops, sink, bathtub or stove using a simple solution made by boiling a small cup of leaves into a quart of water for fifteen minutes. This is...

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Green Tea Ingredients, The Promoters Of A Better Health
Mar08

Green Tea Ingredients, The Promoters Of A Better Health

There are over 200 bioactive compounds in green tea; these ingredients are responsible for the numerous benefits that green tea has been proven to offer health, from fighting against free radicals to boosting metabolism. Though the chemical composition of various brands may vary depending on the location of the tea plantation, the harvesting season, the age of the leaf and the processing method; the main ingredients of green tea are always the same. Here is a list of the main green tea ingredients: 1. Polyphenols Polyphenols are natural compounds present in various plant foods that contribute to the beneficial effects of vegetables and fruit. Powerful antioxidants, they are a source of biologically active compounds vital for human health. The polyphenols’ contribution to the antioxidant capacity of our diets is above that of vitamins. Polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, as they neutralize free radicals and limit the damage caused by them to healthy cells. They can boost the immune system which helps maintain an overall good health. Studies have also proven that these compounds improve blood circulation and heart health, decreasing the risk of heart diseases. 2. Flavonoids They are a subclass of polyphenols. Quite sensitive to cooking conditions and oxidative enzymes, flavonoids are well preserved in non-fermented teas. Flavonoids, like all antioxidants, attack the cell-damaging free radicals and metallic ions. Moreover, they reduce the risk of asthma, stroke, heart disease or cancer. Recent studies have shown that some flavonoids have antimicrobial, antihistamine, mood and memory enhancing properties. 3. Catechins A catechin is a polyphenol that is water soluble and an antioxidant that is easily oxidized. Catechins (also called tea flavonoids) also have strong antioxidant qualities. Among teas, green tea has the highest amount of this anti-bacterial compound, usually around 25%. Among the hundred types of catechins identified, the following five types are the most renowned; they are all present in Camella Sinesis tea varieties: Epicatechin (EC) Epigallocatechin (EGC) Epicatechin gallate (ECg) Gallocatechin (GC) Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) Scientists seem to agree that EGCG has the highest level and widest spectrum of  anti-cancer effects. It has many therapeutic applications and it is used in the treatment of other disorders. Catechin in Green Tea Infusion Catechin Concentration mg/L mg/8 fl oz Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) 117–442 25–106 Epigallocatechin (EGC) 203–471 49–113 Epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) 17–150 4–36 Epicatechin (EC) 25–81 6–19 mg = milligram; L = liter; fl oz = fluid ounce (source) The catechin content of different types of green tea vary depending on the harvesting location and the manufacturing process; processes such as decaffeination or turning the leaves into powered can lead to a lowering of the catechin levels. 4. Theanine Is...

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Green Tea During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?
Aug10

Green Tea During Pregnancy: Safe or Not?

Pregnancy is a stage in a woman’s life when she stops thinking about herself and starts putting the interests of her baby before hers. Since green tea has become such a popular drink with so many proven health benefits, soon-to-be mothers are starting to wander whether green tea and pregnancy can go together; whether this drink is safe for the baby, or it’s better to stop drinking it altogether for the all-important nine months. During pregnancy, health and nutrition rules change dramatically, and what used to be beneficial for a healthy woman may be harmful for an expecting mother. If we take a look at the two important ingredients (caffeine and EGCG) we can easily understand why drinking a large amount may be harmful for the baby. Caffeine and pregnancy: What’s the Safe Amount? Green tea contains caffeine. Caffeine crosses the placenta and it has been associated with: high abortion rate low birth weight congenital malformations However, recent studies have proven that a moderate intake of 200ml of caffeine won’t get these effects; since coffee contains about twice as much caffeine as green tea, it is safe to drink 2 cups of coffee or 4 cups of regular tea. Keep in mind that caffeine also can be found in cola, chocolate, energy drinks, soft drinks, etc and you should take all sources into consideration for your daily intake. Read the labels carefully because there are major differences between brands. For example, a  Tall Starbucks brewed coffee (12 fl. oz or 350ml) has 260 mg of caffeine, a Grande (16 fl. oz or 470ml) has 320 mg and a Venti (20 fl. oz or 590ml) has 330 mg of caffeine. EGCG and pregnancy EGCG is the miracle antioxidant that is responsible for the many benefits green tea has on overall health. While antioxidants are generally very good for us, EGCG may cause some problems during pregnancy. Folic acid (a water-soluble B-vitamin, also called folate) is an important supplement that pregnant women are encouraged to take, as the lack of this acid has been associated with neural tube defects in babies. The EGCG binds with an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase, deactivating it. This deactivation affects the way the body uses folate, which may lead to birth defects such as spina bifida. In short EGCG reduces the amount of folic acid and increases the risks of birth defects. This folic acid is especially important during the first trimester of pregnancy when the neural system of the baby is forming, so you should take folic acid supplements and avoid drinking more than two cups of green tea during this period. Conclusion Green tea...

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How To Make Green Tea In 4 Simple Steps
Aug02

How To Make Green Tea In 4 Simple Steps

I’m sure you’ve heard about the many health benefits of green tea and perhaps you’ve even tried to make yourself a cup at least once. But, do you really know how to make green tea? If when you think of the taste of green tea the words “grassy” or “bitter” come into mind, then you’ve made one of the most common mistakes when it comes to preparing green tea: water temperature! Green tea does not taste like your regular tea, and it may even take a while before your taste buds get used to the new sensation, but this does not mean you have to immediately turn to the commercial, bottled green tea that loses some of its qualities through processing and has added substances to make it sweeter and last longer. Different types of green tea have different flavors. Some varieties have a sweet aftertaste while others are a little astringent. Generally the flavor of this drink has been described as fresh, light or green. So, let’s see how to make green tea correctly. One of the first things you should know, and at the same time, one you are unlikely to have thought of is that the quality of the water you use influences the taste of your tea. Hard water for example, as most tap water is, is not recommended for green tea and you’d better use filtered water if you want to get the most out of the exquisite flavor of your cup of green tea. The water temperature has a great influence on the taste. If you pour boiling water on the tea leaves, it will instantly cook them and they will release more tannins, which means the tea will have a strong, bitter taste. This is the number one reason people give up drinking green tea after the first cup. The solution to this problem is quite simple, make sure the temperature of the water is somewhere between 80 and 90 degrees Celsius (140-185 degrees Fahrenheit). You don’t need a thermometer to constantly check the temperature of the water; you can simply keep your eye on the water so it doesn’t boil, or if it started boiling wait for 30 seconds before pouring it in the cup. At this temperature, the bulk of the tannins will not dissolve and you get the natural sweetness and the pure flavor of the leaves. Another useful tip for correct green tea preparation, when you use tea leaves, is to make sure that the leaves have enough room to fully expand. Some varieties are tightly rolled and need plenty of room to expend to get all the...

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How Many Calories Does Green Tea Have?
Jul30

How Many Calories Does Green Tea Have?

If you are drinking tea to support your weight loss efforts, then I’m sure you’ve already asked yourself: How many calories are there in green tea? The answer should be simple “none”, but there are different brands and types of green tea out there, and some of them do have calories as manufacturers add sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance and “improve” the taste. The first thing you need to know is there are zero green tea calories in the natural, sugar free tea. So when you prepare a cup of tea using bagged or loose green tea, you can be 100% certain that, if you don’t add anything else in it, you get a 0 –calorie beverage that helps you burn fat. What can be better than this? The main ingredients of green tea are polyphenols, caffeine, theanine, catechin, chlorophyll, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, , E, F, P and U and minerals such as fluoride, manganese and aluminum. This wonderful mixture of elements gives the tea its many health properties, from preventing cancer to losing weight, to whitening the teeth, and as you can see there is absolutely no calorie in it. The bottled green tea is another story. Marketed under various brand names, it is usually sweetened with sugar, fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose. A 17.5 –oz bottle of Snapple Green tea, for example, has 130.75 calories. Make sure you check the label of the bottles, since sugar or sweetener quantities vary with different brands. Another variety of green tea found on the market is the instant or powdered form. Green tea powder can be used for making mixes, for cooking, backing and for making drinks like frappes. The Island Teas brand powder green tea, sweetened with cane sugar, yields 30 calories, while the same brand sweetened with xylitol contains 22 calories. Matcha Green Tea Powder contains 3 calories per serving. The reason why the bottled and powder green teas have calories is they contain other ingredients that add to their caloric content, such as milk or sweeteners. The bagged and loose green teas have the lowest caloric content, because they are the least processed, closer to the natural plant itself. When you want to drink green tea for your health, the best thing would be to go for the least processed types: the bagged and loose green tea leaves and drink two or three cups a day. If you don’t like your green tea plain, and you’d like to add something else for the taste, you can do that without feeling bad about adding calories. Green tea increases thermogenesis...

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