Green Tea And Coconut Oil?

green tea coconut oil

You’ve probably heard about it. People putting spoons of coconut oil in their tea, saying that it will help health and help them lose weight. But is Green tea with coconut oil really worth the hype?

Green Tea and Coconut Oil for Weight Loss?

Nutritional Therapist Daniel O’Shaughnessy, known for his blog “the naked nutritionist”, claims that it has numerous health benefits and can be useful in diet, even going so far as giving the mixture the moniker “Bulletproof Green Tea”.

This superman of a beverage contains high levels of antioxidants and there has been research whether it has effect on weight loss or aging.  Coconut oil is, as critics have stated, saturated fat but it also source of medium chain fatty acids, which has been linked to many health benefits including increasing metabolism.

Coconut oil also contains Lauric Acid which has been shown to benefit immunity to disease and to bone health. Green tea with a tablespoon of Coconut oil, or “Bulletproof Green Tea”, can help curb appetite and maybe help prime the body to burn fat.

Miranda Kerr, an australian model, is a known user of coconut oil in her diet  is reported to have said,

“I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea.”

Side Effects?

In response to her claim, many doctors, including the World Health Organization have deemed this degree of coconut oil as risky. It is saturated and those doctors make the claim that this consumption of saturated fat may lead to coronary problems.

There are definitely two schools of thought in terms of coconut oil. One, that because it is indeed and oil and a fat – believe it should not be made part of a daily diet and could be replaced by other things in your diet by other things – maybe even cracking out that dark chocolate bar.

The other side cites that the high quantity of lauric acid in coconut oil and that the oil is converted into immediate energy, not fat, outweighs any negative effects, if any.

Whatever school you find yourself in, coconut oil in your tea is definitely something to try. You may not come out of it looking like Miranda Kerr, but with something cool enough to be called “bulletproof”, why not give this super tea a try? All you need to do is brew that mug of green tea and put a spoon of coconut oil in it – and you’re ready to rock out and next time you’ll  be bulletproof.

Coconut Oil in Tea for Sore Throat

Green tea in itself can be great to fight sore throat. It reduces inflammation which is often the cause of a sore throat. Adding coconut oil will even improve the effect, as it further soothes your throat.

Green Tea and Coconut Oil for Hair

It’s true that certain herbal teas, such as rosemary tea, is good for a hair rinse. There’s no scientific proof though that green tea also works. I can imagine that coconut oil could work, but there’s also no proof for this for now.

Green Tea and Coconut Oil Face Mask

This is an excellent idea as green tea contains anti-oxidants that’s great for skin, while the coconut oil further ads vitamins for a healthy skin. We highly recommend to use matcha powder though instead of loose leaves or tea bags.

Simply mix 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/2 tablespoon of water. Stir it until it’s well mixed and apply it on your face. Now relax for 20 minutes and wash it off!

Tea for Bad Breath

Have you ever heard from your spouse that you’ve a bad breath? Or do you know someone that has this problem? It’s always gonna be hard for anyone to tell another that he/she has a bad breath.

The fact is, that bad breath can seriously affect the intimacy between couples, and telling someone can sometimes hurt their pride. The good news is that tea can help! So what’s the best tea against bad breath? Before we discuss this, you need to first understand the root cause of bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are several reasons:

The first simple reason is that one doesn’t properly or frequently enough brush and/or floss their teeth. As a result food might stay in the mouth, rot, and allow bacteria to grow, causing bad breath. This however, can easily be solved. Simply properly brush and floss everyday, and bad breath should be gone in about 2 weeks. But…

..often, however, bad breath can have some other non-dental causes that results in a more chronic problem. In the field of homeopathy (or alternative medicine) we call this ‘heat’ or ‘inflammation’. This is often the result of overworking, stress or some other specific causes, that results in certain parts of the body to be irritated. And this often causes symptoms such as bad breath and acne. Read further to discover what teas can fight it.

Green Tea for Bad Breath

2016 longjing leaves appearance.jpg

 

Green tea is often cited as a cure against bad breath. This is partly true. One benefit of drinking green tea is that it’s anti-bacterial. Because of this, it can instantly improve your breath after drinking.

Besides that, it can to some extend calm the body and reduce inflammation, though the effect is not very strong. Some herbal teas are known to be more effective against chronic bad breath issues, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Herbal Tea for Bad Breath

Chrysanthemum teas

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Among all the herbal teas, Chrysanthemum teas are the lightest beverage against inflammation with a similar intensity as green tea. The benefit however is that you can also drink it at night, as it’s caffeine free.

Honeysuckle tea

Another type of flower tea that has proven to be effective is honeysuckle tea. This flower tea is very effective against inflammation. But because of that one should be careful with consuming this in high amount. Start with a cup per day. It’s a known fact however that one should avoid honeysuckle when you’re pregnant, breast-feeding as well as before and after surgery.

Kuding tea

kuding tea needle tea

At last, there’s Kuding tea. Perhaps the strongest in fighting bad breath, but the downside is that it’s very bitter. Probably more bitter than anything you’ve tried before. Kuding leaves are often rolled and processed into needle shapes. Make sure to get the greener ones, as they tend to have a more pleasant and refreshing after taste.

As with Honeysuckle, Kuding should also be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding moms, and also before and after surgery.

Tea & Arthritis

Arthritis is a common terms that describes joint pain. While it’s often understood as a disease it can be rather seen as a symptom resulting from different causes.

For some people, arthritis could be caused by inflammation. In such a case, tea can be a easy and effective natural remedy.

What is Inflammation?

When visiting the Wikipedia page you’ll read that inflammation is described as:

A part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators.

Scientific research on mice until now concludes with pretty strong evidence that feeding mice with polyphenol rich tea reduces inflammation and thus joint pain. Does this work on humans? Well let’s believe it for now, until more conclusive research follows.

Before we head on to what tea is the most suitable, let’s have a look at the definition of tea as well.

What is Tea?

When we talk about tea, we’re referring to leaf tea made from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. Given this, herbal teas made from other plants, such as Rooibos, doesn’t fall in this category. They’re officially referred to as tisanes. This of course doesn’t mean they don’t help against inflammation. In fact, some tisanes are very effective!

What’s the Best Leaf Tea against Inflammation and Arthritis?

Now you understand that inflammation is a cause of arthritis, we can now discuss some teas that can be effective against that.

When it comes to leaf tea, there’s green, white, black, oolong, and pu erh tea. They’re all from the same tea plant as I said before. What makes them different is the processing method applied. White and green tea are the least processed of all, while oolong, black and pu erh are more processed teas.

Types & potential side effects

Generally research shows that white and green tea contain the most polyphenols, so it would make sense to suggest those teas to prevent arthritis. However, white and green teas can have their side effects, and some people are very sensitive to that. Because they’re less processed teas, they tend to be ‘raw’. And this rawness can sometimes hurt the stomach. When you suffer from Arthritis, go for a cup of white and green tea first, but check if your stomach can handle the regular consumption of 4-5 cups a day. The best is to drink it after meals and snacks when you’re stomach isn’t empty.

If you do suffer from side effects on the stomach, then switch to oolong, black or pu erh tea. For the latter, there are two types: Sheng (raw) and Shou (ripe) pu erh. We won’t go into the details of explaining the difference here, but go for ripe pu erh.

Some oolong teas can still be harsh on the stomach, such as a lightly oxidized Tie Guan Yin, while a darker Dahongpao oolong is fine. Black teas are usually ok as well, and with ripe pu erh it can hardly go wrong. Ripe pu erhs are post-fermented and actually very soft on the stomach. It even supports digestion.

At the end of the day, there’s not that much difference between the polyphenol levels among the types. Don’t worry to much about the type of tea that you should consume as long as it’s tasty, so you’ll be able to make it part of your daily diet.

Herbal Teas against inflammation

Besides leaf teas there are also great herbal teas against inflammation. You’ve to be careful with those as they can be very powerful. So try them in small amounts first. In China, Kuding tea and Honeysuckle tea are the most famous examples and often prescribed by Chinese Medicine doctors.

Read this article in which we’ve published a honeysuckle tea with rose buds recipe: https://helloteacup.com/2016/05/13/rose-tea-recipes/

Other Notes on Arthritis

  • Avoid drinking tea in the evening as it contains caffeine.
  • Try to listen to your body, tea often helps, but not for everyone. Consult a doctor when in doubt.
  • Try to adjust your tea choice across seasons. Often times, people tend to go for a more refreshing green tea during summers and a more soothing black tea during Winters. There’s nothing wrong with that intuition.
  • Don’t just drink tea for health, try to enjoy it. Isn’t that also a health benefit in itself?!

 

2 Chinese Dried Rose Tea Recipes: Low Calories & Lots of Benefits

Rose flower tea is delicious and has lots of benefits such as supporting your digestion, improving the skin, and helping you to de-stress after a busy working day. As it’s caffeine free and near zero in calories, it’s suitable for any time of the day. See the video below showing how you can easily prepare a rose flower tea at home/office with a Teasenz infusion tea mug. This video will be followed by two bonus rose tea recipe ideas!

Honeysuckle Rose Tea Recipe To Fight Flu

One amazing rose tea recipe is one that combines the dried roses with honeysuckle. A great recipe to enjoy the health benefits of roses with the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of Honeysuckle. And did you know it’s great as a natural remedy against a flu or cold as well?

What you’ll need:

  • 2 gram dried honeysuckle
  • 5 pieces rose buds
  • Water temperature: 90 degrees Celsius
  • Steeping time: 5-8 minutes
  • Water amount:
    • 120 ml hot water in gaiwan – good for 3 brews; or
    • 500 ml hot water in teapot – good for 1 brew.

Note: avoid honeysuckle during pregnancy.

Myosotis Rose Tea Recipe for Even Better Skin

One other popular Chinese rose tea recipe is one that combines dried rose buds with Myosotis flowers. These purple flowers are often used in cosmetics as they’re amazing for a soft and smooth skin. In addition, it adds a more nutty flavor to the pure rose tea. Try this recipe as soon as you can and stay young forever..

What you’ll need:

  • 2 gram Myosotis
  • 3-6 pieces of Rose buds
  • Water temperature: 90 degrees Celsius
  • Steeping time: 12 minutes
  • Water amount:
    • 120 ml hot water in gaiwan – good for 3 brews; or
    • 500 ml hot water in teapot – good for 1 brew.

Other Flowers: Lavender?

Now that you know that rose tea can be blended with Myosotis and Honeysuckle, you might wonder whether it works with other flowers as well. The answer is: yes, probably. One flower that’s for sure great with roses is lavender. The aroma of lavender is strong, so try to find a balance in proportion for the blend. We suggest to start wit about 80% roses and 20% lavender. If you’ve any other rose tea recipe ideas, feel free to share them in the comment section!

Add Leaf Tea: Rose Green Tea Recipe?

Adding leaf teas to the rose flowers definitely is another way to be creative. Because the aroma of roses is delicate, we suggest to experiment with green teas, as they’re lighter in flavor. Moreover, the green color of the fresh leaves will look amazing with red or pink roses.

Make Iced Rose Tea

Besides making hot teas as shown in the video above, you could serve the teas ice-cold.  Either put the hot teas in the fridge (after they reach room temperature) or add lots of ice to let it cool down instantly. Great to stay fresh and hydrated during hot summer days. And if you can, bring some to the beach.

Is Tea Gluten Free?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from gluten intolerance. As tea is known to be second most consumed beverage, it’s good to know whether it fits in your gluten free diet.

So does tea have gluten? Luckily all teas made from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant are gluten free. So the general answer is: No.

If you’re just following a gluten free diet for general health or following the footsteps of Novac Djokovic’ diet for physical performance, then you’re probably ok with this answer. However, if you’re allergic to wheat then you’ll need some more details.

Tea versus Tisane

What we first need to make clear is that with ‘tea’ we only mean a steeped beverage from the Camellia Sinenses tea plant. Any other infused drinks from other ingredients should correctly be referred to as a ’tisane’ including blends.

So is there a difference between green, black, white, oolong and pu erh tea? The answer is ‘no’. They’re all made from the tea plant, and what makes them different is the processing method applied.

So given this, 100% pure leaf teas from the tea plant are gluten free. For tisanes, it’s harder to draw a conclusion as there’s such a large diversity of drinks out there. For blends it’s even harder, let alone blends with any artificial flavoring and coloring.

The most conservative approach would be to stick to pure leaf teas.

There’s one exception which is Fuzhuan tea. This is one of the few Chinese teas that can contain wheat or barley as mentioned in ‘The Art and Craft of Tea’ by Joseph Wesley. Sometimes rice flour is used instead, which doesn’t contain gluten. Make sure to check with the vendor if you’re considering Fuzhuan tea.

 

Academic Studies

The most referred to study in the academic world is the recent publication called “Survey of tea for the presence of gluten“, published in the Journal of Food Protection. Here’s the conclusion that can be found in the abstract:

“Based on the requirement for concurrence between the RIDASCREEN gliadin (R5) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the Morinaga Institutes of Biological Science (MIoBS) wheat protein ELISA, none of the 20 products included in the survey tested positive for wheat, rye, barley, or gluten.”

This result also shows that there’s generally not much to worry about when it comes to possible contamination in tea.

One note that we want to make is that some tea companies that makes tea bags can contain gluten. It’s not that there’s any wheat in the tea itself, but when you dip the tea bag in hot water, the glue can melt slightly releasing a very small amount of gluten. Given current regulation, they however can still be labelled as ‘gluten-free’ as they still contain by far less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Thus, generally there’s not much reason for worry.

Raw leaves versus Steeped Tea

Even if your tea contains a tiny bit of gluten, it’s good to know that only a tiny part of that will end up in your cup. The fact is that wheat/gluten is not all that soluble in water. It will mostly stay in your tea bag, or filtered from the tea leaves using an infuser.

 

 

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: Water And Unsweetened Tea & Coffee Best Alternatives To Soft Drinks

Recent finding published in the Diabetologia Journal concludes that consumption of soft drinks increase the risks of type 2 diabetes. More importantly the publication also suggests that water or unsweetened tea or coffee are the best alternatives to prevent type 2 diabetes.

5 Reasons Why Tea Breaks Are Good For You In Office

Did you know that more than 15% of office workers in US & Canada have never made a cuppa for their colleagues? If you have a busy job, maybe you belong this group. Most of the time, you probably feel rushed in office, so you just can’t be bothered to serve others. However, a humble tea round is one of the most effective ways to stay energetic, efficient and manage stress at work. Here’s why..

Note: For a tea lover like me, I am happy to know that the other 85% do take part in this wonderful office ritual.

Connect With Your Colleagues

No matter how busy your day is, nobody is too busy to just say “Do you fancy a cuppa?”

I believe that tea always has been a drink that connects people. Originated from China, cities here are full of tea houses where people gather and share their stories. In addition, it’s very normal in China that business deals are discussed while steeping a cup of tea together on a traditional tea set like the one below.

teaset in office

But this doesn’t hold only for China. It’s an universal thing that, even small chats with people around you can have a significant impact on your sense of well being. No matter how busy your day is, nobody is too busy to just say “Do you fancy a cuppa?”

The office can sometimes be a boring or lonely place. I really believe these small gestures of including your colleagues in your tea round can brighten their day. In addition, a relaxing and friendly surrounding can never hurt. In some cases I think it can actually increase productivity as well as decrease employee turnover.

Take Care Of Your Eyes

tea bag eye mask hydrateNot everyone works behind a computer the whole day but many people do. More and more people suffer from dry eyes as a result of staring at the computer screen all day.

It’s highly recommended to give your eyes a break every hour. It could be just simply looking away from your bright screen and staring outside the window and let your eyes gaze at something far away. Even better, make yourself (and others) a cup of tea to stay hydrated (as if you are giving yourself a tea bag eye mask) while relaxing your eye muscles. Your precious eyes will thank you for it.

Improve Weight, Posture And Avoid Back Issues

Not only our eyes, but our bodies are suffering from more stressful office environments. It’s reality, millions of office people are suffering from obesity, posture issues and as a result often also back and neck problems.

Tea is proven to support any type of weight loss diet. The caffeine in tea makes you more alert, be more efficient and burn more calories while avoiding an overdose that you could get from drinking coffee. In addition, the caffeine effects is more evenly distributed over several hours while coffee gives you a kick but the effect works out fast. I regularly post articles about tea versus coffee. Recently, I also posted an article about why coffee is a silent career killer.

Not only increased calorie consumption helps you lose weight, as I mentioned before, tea helps to digest a heavy lunch. If you’re interested in other health benefits then click here for other posts related to this topic.

Get up now and make yourself a cup of tea. A short walk to the kitchen can give body’s blood circulation is given a short boost and your limbs and joints deserve some relaxation as well. So never shy away from those tea rounds. And by the way, do a few stretches while you’re waiting for your tea to be steeped 😉

Reduce Your Stress

There is more than enough academic proof that tea helps you feel more calm and less stressed.

Tea

It’s not just what’s in your teacup that’s doing its job, but the fact that you regularly divert your attention away from the overwhelming to-do list for a moment can be very helpful to refocus and get back to it. So if you’re too busy to steep a cuppa, then you are missing the trick to actually stay organized.

Stay Hydrated

Never underestimate the impact of being dehydrated it really effects your performance and mental focus.

This is kinda related to what I mentioned above. When you start drinking when you feel dehydrated, it’s already to late. The trick is to drink before that happens. Forgetting to drink or just ignoring your thirst can be very counterproductive. So in short, think about your basic needs, get up, steep tea, and be more productive.

Ginkgo Biloba Tea Health Benefits And Side Effects

Ginkgo Biloba is one of the world’s oldest surviving tree species and has been used for thousands of years by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners as a healing herb to improve blood circulation. In the West, the tea is widely used to enhance memory and concentration.

ginkgo biloba leaf

What is Gingko Biloba?

Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest living tree species originated from China, and it is one of the most extensively researched herbs. The Ginkgo Biloba tree has green leaves that grow up to 3 inches long. During the fall season, the leaves usually turn chartreuse in color, although some leaves turn golden yellow in excellent growth conditions. The ginkgo biloba tree has stout twigs that appear gray, tan or light brown in color. The leaves of this tree are very popular in China for making herbal tea.

Gingko Biloba Benefits for Health

For thousands of years Ginkgo Biloba tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat a variety of disorders and support health. In TCM, Ginkgo Biloba tea is primarily used for treating dementia, memory loss and age-related cognitive decline. It can also be used to treat asthma and lung congestion. Most of Ginkgo Biloba’s benefits are due to its ability to increase blood flow in the body.
ginkgo biloba tea

Gingko Biloba Side Effects

Ginkgo biloba extract might cause side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, racing heart, headache and stomach upset. In addition, it might not be used together with other medication. In general, the side effects of ginkgo biloba are rare and mild. In theory though, it may also increase the risk of bleeding, particularly among people with certain medical conditions. Do not use ginkgo biloba if you have a bleeding condition, seizure disorder or any similar health condition. If you are a pregnant women, a nursing mothers, or someone taking medication with blood-thinning properties, avoid consuming Ginkgo Biloba.

Why Coffee Is A Silent Career Killer And Why You Should Switch To Tea

If you believe that coffee can improve your performance at work, it’s not. In fact, it’s actually a silent career killer. Learn why you should sip tea instead.

The Benefits Of Coffee Reviewed

Many coffee drinkers drink coffee in office because it improves performance, but is this true? According to a 2010 publication that summarizes a wide body of research articles on this topic and concludes that even though caffeine increases alertness, it usually does not improve performance of learning and memory related tasks.

coffee versus tea

The study also finds that low caffeine consumption reduces anxiety while a high dose actually increases anxiety. At last, there is mix scientific evidence on age related effects. Some studies find no age related effects while other studies actually find a decline in mental performance when older people consume coffee.

Even more recent, a new research by the Johns Hopkins Medical School shows that caffeine-related performance improvement is nonexistent without caffeine withdrawal. In other words, stop drinking caffeine actually reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. So the only way to get back to normal performance is to drink coffee, and when you do consume it, you feel like it’s improving your performance significantly. In fact, caffeine is only taking your performance back to normal level  for a short period!

At last a known side effect is that caffeine makes it harder for you to fall asleep. However, what less people know is that the worst comes when you finally fall asleep: caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing the rapid eye movement (REM) when your brain is recuperating and processing emotions. As caffeine disrupts this, you will wake up the next day with an emotional handicap. So what happens after is that you will naturally long for another cup of coffee and the vicious cycle continues…

See also the image below for some other side effects of coffee.

coffee side effects

Why You Should Switch To Tea

But don’t worry, tea is luckily offered at many workplaces around the world besides coffee. Here’s you should make the switch:

  1. Tea contains caffeine, but at a much lower dose, so you will not easily get an overdose. Here’s a tea caffeine guide if you want to know more.
  2. There are decaffeinated teas for those who are very sensitive to caffeine (even though it will still contain some caffeine). Besides, there are many herbal teas that are free of caffeine such as this calming Chrysanthemum tea and Rooibos tea.
  3. Tea does not only contain less caffeine but it is also distributed over a longer period of time, so result in mood swings. See the image below for further clarification.

coffee tea caffeine table distribution over time

Honeysuckle Tea Act As ‘Virological Penicillin” Against Flu

chinese honeysuckle

Honeysuckle tea has been consumed in China for centuries for it’s effects against flu. Recently scientist from Nanjing university has confirmed through research this is not only a tradition.

The Telegraph reports that:

Trials showed that it could be effective against several variants of flu which have caused major public health scares in recent years, including H1N1 “Spanish Flu” and H5N1 avian flu.

The team from Nanjing University found that after drinking a “soup” of honeysuckle, mice absorbed a molecule from the plant known as MIR 2911 into their bloodstream and lung tissue.

The molecule was shown to suppress various types of flu virus by blocking two genes which are used by the influenza virus to replicate itself.

With the benefits of honeysuckle confirmed, which Chinese herbal tea will be next?