Friday, November 07, 2008

Borrowing time....

I am pregnant. This is a fact I simply cannot ignore. Nor can I ignore that with pregnancy, especially at the age of fourty-six, brings with it fatigue. Add in to the mix the homeschooling of 8 children - yes the youngest is only three but she thinks she is being home schooled - which makes it the same as! She needs her time with her big book and crayons, her poetry time not to mention her cuddles. Throw in the effort to save money on bread by baking it. Then include with all of this - the starting of yet another new business with my husband. And it all adds up to a huge amount of exhaustion.
So I am borrowing a little time by posting another little article I wrote for my audition for the tea blog. This one had to a very short rendition of the health benefits of tea. I really enjoyed doing the research and was kind of sad when I did not get the job. However - that is no reason you, my loyal readers, should not get the benefit of my research so without further delay - here it is.

In a world filled with continuous warnings regarding our health and what we should consume, or not consume, is there any particular drink or food item we can feel safe in imbibing? I believe the general consensus is that tea, whether it be black, green or white, is not only safe to drink but actually offers us health benefits.

Is one of these three choices more healthy than the other? Let us start with the best known tea which is black. Black tea has been the choice of the majority of tea drinkers since Princess Catherine, Queen Consort of Charles II, introduced it to the English aristocracy in the 1600s. Until recently most research on the benefits of tea were focused on green tea which is known to contain valuable antioxidants. However, new research has determined that the compounds, also offer health benefits similar to those of the green tea. And with all the warnings against enjoying any of our vices, be they downing a bag a chips while ensconced on the couch watching a late night movie or adding too much salt to our favorite dishes, what can be better than to know that our favorite drink is helping and not harming us.

While both the green tea and the black originate from the plant Camellia sinensis, it is how they are aged that accounts for their difference in flavor and looks, and so, it seems, their health benefits. Green tea is steamed or pan fried immediately upon harvesting and thus retains its lighter look when brewed. However, black tea is fermented causing the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) which green tea is loaded with, to be changed into the other compounds, theaflavins and thearubigens. These, we are just learning, offer us similar benefits to EGCg.

As if the benefits of oxidants was not reason enough to drink tea, recent studies completed in the Netherlands, are showing a correlation between tea drinking and the possible prevention of strokes. And in a society where stress is reported to be high, this brings a whole new meaning to the idea of sitting back and enjoying a relaxing cup of tea!

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