Posts Tagged ‘health’
There are dozens of variations of food poison, and none of them are pleasant. One of them is Bacillus cereus. While not usually life threatening, this common form of food poisoning can cause diarrhea, nausea, cramps and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear 8-16 hours after exposure to the bacteria, and can disrupt your life for a few days.
Bacillus cereus is usually caused by improper cooking. The problem can be exacerbated by improper refrigeration, which just allows the spores to further grow. Cooked rice that is improperly refrigerated is one of the most common carriers of bacillus cereus.
However, researchers are learning that there may be ways to protect our bodies from the ravages of such bacteria. It appears that tea’s catechins may protect our bodies from bacteria like bacillus cereus. Tea has far more anti-microbial properties than previously realized.
One particular study reported by the UK Tea Council evaluated the anti-microbial activity of seven green tea catechins and four black tea theaflavins, both important anti-oxidants. They also evaluated actual infusions of 36 commercial black, white, green and oolong teas, as well as herbal teas.
These anti-oxidants and infusions were evaluated to determine their anti-microbial activity against bacillus cereus. This study concluded that all eleven of the anti-oxidants evaluated contained anti-microbial properties.*
In fact, most of the compounds were more active than medicinal antibiotics such as tetracycline or vancomycin at comparable concentrations. The study also concluded that the brewed infusions of true tea that contained these catechins and theaflavins also had anti-microbial properties as well, particularly freshly brewed infusions. However, herbal brews did not have anti-microbial properties.
So, just what does this mean to our real life? Well, it means that drinking tea can protect your body against certain harmful bacteria like bacillus cereus. If we consume tea on a regular basis, we may be able to ward off these harmful bacteria before they wreak havoc on our bodies.
The presence of the anti-oxidants in tea may be enough to keep us from getting sick from these bacteria, or at least be sufficient to lessen their effects.
This is likely just the tip of the iceberg. We already know that green tea prevents many serious illnesses, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer.
And, if we’ve determined that it can kill bacteria such as bacillus cereus, then there’s certainly potential that it can act as an anti-biotic against other harmful bacteria, as well.
Certainly it has been determined from this along with many other studies that tea is an important part of living a healthy life. In Japan, the medical community recognizes green tea as a known cancer preventative, and it’s likely that medical communities in other countries will soon follow suit.
This information, combined with the other studies that have shown green tea to be effective in preventing heart disease should be enough to convince us that drinking a few cups of green tea each day is a simple way to protect our health.
But, why is does it seem that so many of the positive findings are associated with green tea, and not black tea too? Well, it stems from the way the tea is processed. While the study noted here on the anti-microbial activity of tea didn’t find a difference between the two, in most health studies green tea beats black tea every time.
Black tea is fermented during processing; green and white teas are not. The fermentation process changes the anti-oxidants in the tea from their natural, original state, into a slightly different compound.
While black tea is still healthy, and still contains important anti-oxidants, the more natural anti-oxidants in green and white tea are far more powerful.
The research done so far has mostly been performed on green tea because it is much more widely consumed. However, it is likely that researchers would find that white tea is just as healthful, since its anti-oxidants are preserved in their natural state, just like those in green tea.
Green tea first gained notice as a health preserver because of the much lower incidence of heart disease and cancer in Asian countries, where green tea is a staple. Scientists decided to back up this anecdotal evidence with research and the findings have been astonishing.
In addition to evidence suggesting that green tea protects our health, there has also been evidence to suggest that green tea may even be effective as an alternative cancer treatment. Some studies have shown that green tea slows the growth of certain cancers.
Other studies have shown that administering green tea along with chemotherapy makes the chemotherapy more effective than when it is administered alone.
So, it appears that green tea may be one of the most promising natural health products we can consume. As time goes on, and more studies are conducted on human subjects, we’ll learn more definitive information about this wonder beverage.
It’s amazing to think that something many of us have been drinking all our lives just for the taste could hold so much power to protect our health.
Carbohydrates have been put into the spotlight ever since diets like the Atkin’s Diet and the South Beach Diet have recommended cutting carbohydrates out of your meals as much as possible. However, before you make an drastic decisions about what foods to include and not include, it is crucial to learn about carbohydrates and what they do for your body.
In short, carbohydrates can be good or bad for your body. It is necessary to eat enough good carbohydrates, because that is how our body has enough energy for low-intensity activities during the day. Carbohydrates are famously found in breads and grains, but actually they are also found in a number of other foods as well, such as fruits and vegetables. When keeping an eye on your intake of carbohydrates it is important to distinguish the good from the bad.
All carbohydrates are basically sugars. Complex carbohydrates are the good carbohydrates for your body. These strings of sugar are very difficult to break down and trap over nutrients like vitamins and minerals in the sugar strings. As they slowly break down, the other nutrients are also released into your body, and you can provide with fuel for a number of hours.
Bad carbohydrates, on the other hand, are simple sugars. Because their structure is not complex, it is easy to break down and holds little nutrients for your body other than the sugars from which it is made. Your body breaks down these carbohydrates rather quickly and what it cannot use is converted to fat and stored in the body. Staying away from simple carbohydrates is what most diets recommend, since they have little nutritional value when compared to complex carbohydrates.
More importantly than how carbohydrates work in the body and the difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates is how you can actually eat these carbohydrates! First, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods include carbohydrates, but also a variety of other nutrients needed by your body. Another great tip is to cut the white bread and bread products out of your diet and replace then with whole wheat or 12-grain breads instead. Look at the packaging. Foods rich in fiber are probably a source of good carbohydrates.
Learning the difference between good and bad carbohydrates is very important if you wish to have a healthy diet. It is not good for your body to cut out carbohydrates completely—in fact, that is very difficult to do unless you only eat meat! Eating a healthy and balanced diet means including good carbohydrates into your meals.
Most people have a general idea how many calories they consume when it comes to solid foods, although it is quite common to forget that when we drink, we are still consuming calories. Alcohol drinkers, especially wine drinkers, may be surprised at the calorie intake associate with wine. So how many calories are in wine?
The answer depends on your discernment. Most wines come in under the 100 calorie mark per glass. This is assuming that you are using the appropriate wine glasses. There are fewer calories in wine than most other alcoholic beverages. White Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc come in at 80 calories per serving. Considering that one glass of wine per evening is good for cardiovascular health, this can be a reasonable compliment to an evening meal.
Marsala also weighs in at a mere 80 calories per serving while Chablis is a mild 85 calories. Red Zinfandel as well as the majority of other popular wines, comes in at 90 calories per serving. Riesling, Chardonnay, White Burgundy, and Cabernet Sauvignon all round out at 90 calories per 4 ounce serving. Topping it off with just 5 additional calories you can sip Red Burgundy, Red Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Merlot, Rhone, or Rose.
Considering that most people have more than just one glass, the remaining wines are considered to be a little heftier in calorie count. While a single 4 ounce serving may only add about 100 calories to an evening, those who drink wine regularly tend to do so with a certain amount of vigor, consuming between 3 and 5 glasses in an average evening.
Wines such as Mosell, Pink Champagne, and Chianti contain 100 calories preserving while Sangria and Sauterne climbs that calorie ladder by and additional ten calories. Dry Champagne meets them in the middle at 105 calories.
It’s not just about the calories in wine when trying to maintain a low calorie lifestyle and still participate fully in social events or a romantic evening. Some calories are easier to burn while others are easier to store. Wine comes from fruit which is a form of sugar. The sugar in wine, even dry wines, makes the calories a bit harder to burn off. Sugar that comes from fruit is a natural and healthy energy, although once the fruit has been fermented, the sugar content raises and becomes more fructose-like than its original form.
Other wines weigh in much heavier in the calorie counting battle. Muscatel comes in at 160 as does Madeira. Tokay sneaks up to 165 while White Port hits 170. Ruby Port tops the list at 185.
Now, keeping in mind that an average gin and tonic comes in around 280 calories and that most frozen delectable alcoholic drink can average 800 calories or above, wine is certainly a low calorie choice given the options.
And of course we are all familiar with a “beer gut,” which is never referred to as a “wine gut.” Regular beer can be anywhere from 140 to 200 calories per 12 ounce serving and light beer weighs in on average around 100 calories. The conception that light beer means that it is calorie free has produced a high level of sales for the lighter version of the basic favorites. In no way are these beers saving on significant calories. Not to mention they are filled with empty calories.
It is perfectly possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy the occasional evening out or a couple glasses of wine with dinner. The wine drinker is fortunate as the calorie count in most wines do not necessarily call for large alterations to diets in order to enjoy a few drinks. For the occasional social wine drinker, cutting out about 100 calories per meal during the few days before a social event will help to keep a solid daily average. The calories in wine are low enough that most people can simply cut out the desserts offered at the social event and just one or two lighter calorie meals preceding the event. For daily wine drinkers, skimping a few calories out of every meal will allow for basically normal eating and avoid the build up of additional calories.
Skipping meals before a social event is not likely to keep the calorie count down. In fact, it is likely to raise the overall calorie count for the evening, as alcohol in any form lowers blood glucose levels and tells the brain to signal to the body that it is experiencing hunger. A few drinks in the system and what would normally be a decision based on health becomes a decision based on a lack of willpower or the attitude that “it’s only one night, it can’t hurt to throw my cautions to the wind!” Which can be true, but in most cases those who are trying to maintain a low calorie diet are tempted to “make up” for their sinful evening by crash dieting the following two or three days which only creates yo-yo dieting.
The calories in wine can easily be adjusted for simply by keeping track of the basic consumption for each situation and adjusting by about 100 calories for each glass of wine. Unless someone is a continual and heavy wine drinker, the daily food consumption really shouldn’t suffer due to the alcohol consumption. If it is, then it is time to get some help.