Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Green Tea Catechins Reduce Cholesterol levels

A review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials looked at the relationship between compounds called catechins in green tea and serum lipid levels. Twenty trials were assessed and the results showed that Green Tea Catechins in doses ranging from 145 to 3000 mg taken daily for 3 to 24 weeks reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels. HDL and Triglyceride levels were not affected.

Note that the average cup of green tea contains 100 mg. of catechins. So to get to 3000 mg you'll be drinking a lot of tea! Supplements are available.

Also the way you handle, brew and store your green tea at home can also make a difference in the catechin content. These tips come from a definitive guide to all things green tea:

  • Use flow-through tea bags instead of flat tea bags, so the water can easily circulate through the leaves and the catechins can be released efficiently.
  • Use purified water, as the chlorine in tap water degrades the catechins and destroys the subtle flavor of green tea.
  • Avoid tea kettles made of metal alloys containing iron since iron lowers the antioxidant of activity of catechins.1 Kettles made of high-grade stainless steel, nickel-plated metal alloys, copper, polypropylene plastic, lead-free porcelain or glass are best.
  • Bring the water to a full boil and add the tea immediately. Steeping tea leaves at 212° F for five minutes releases approximately 80 percent of the catechins. In contrast, the catechin release is over one-third less when tea is steeped at 176° F.2
  • Don’t put the tea leaves in water and then microwave them. This will “overcook” them and destroy some of the catechins.
  • Keep your tea in an airtight container, even if it comes in pre-packaged bags. This will keep the tea leaves fresher and help preserve the catechins.

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