Antioxidant Power of Tea

Posted on August 7, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , |

Do you think water is the most consumed drink in the world? Well, think again! The big winner is tea and it’s well ahead of coffee, beer, wine and carbonated soft drinks.

There are several studies that suggest that black and green tea beverages may have positive health benefits. Black or green teas, but not herbal teas, have antioxidant capabilities due to their flavonoids content. Flavonoids prevent oxidation – are antioxidant in their effect – and they may have an anticlotting effect as well. One study found that among people who’d had heart attacks, those who drank 14 or more cups of tea a week were 44 percent less likely to die in the 3 1/2 years following their heart attacks than those who didn’t drink any tea. In another study people who drank about 1 1/2 cups of tea daily had roughly half the risk of heart attack of those who didn’t drink tea.

Bag it. When Consumer Reports tested the antioxidant power of 15 brewed, bottled, and instant teas, it found most teas brewed from tea bags scored highest in antioxidant content. Consumer Reports stated, “Brewed tea appears to have more antioxidant action than almost any whole fruit or vegetable — and more than most commercial fruit or vegetable juices, too.” But iced teas from mixes and bottle are a decent second choice; they contain a “good deal” of antioxidants, according to the magazine. Just watch the sugar content.

Dunk the bag. Continuously dunking the tea bag as the tea steeps seems to release far more antioxidant compounds than simply dropping it in and leaving it there.

Add lemon. One study found that the addition of lemon to plain tea increased its antioxidant benefits. That makes sense, since lemon itself contains antioxidants.

Brew a batch. To make a day’s supply of iced tea, bring 20 ounces of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Drop in three tea bags, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and refrigerate.

Try green tea. Because it isn’t fermented, green tea has even more antioxidant power than black tea does. It also has less caffeine. And it may provide some protection against certain cancers. Experiment with brands until you find one you like. Don’t let green tea steep for more than a couple of minutes or it may become bitter.

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Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The method for measuring the antioxidant capacity of various foods is called ORAC which is the acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.  ORAC was developed by scientists in the NIH, specifically in the National Institute on Aging division (but the method is not approved by the NIH).

A wide variety of foods had been test for their ORAC values in the past, but the following chart is more current and reflects the 2007 results.  The importance of a food’s high ORAC value is that it indicates a food’s antioxidant value, and a high value is believed to be correlated in the Free-radical theory of aging. 

This more current list from 2007 was compiled by scientists within the United States Dept. of Agriculture and includes ORAC values for 277 foods commonly consumed in the USA (grains, seeds, nuts, spices, vegetables, fruits, etc.).  It’s also considered to be more accurate than the previously published ORAC numbers because it shows that all plants have variable amounts of both hydrophilic (water-loving) phytochemicals and lipophilic (fat-loving) phytochemicals that contribute to total ORAC. 

USDA data on foods with high levels of antioxidant phytochemicals

Food

Serving size

Antioxidant capacity per serving size[6]

Cinnamon, ground

100 grams

267,536

Aronia black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

100 grams

16062

Small Red Bean

½ cup dried beans

13727

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13427

Red kidney bean

½ cup dried beans

13259

Pinto bean

½ cup

11864

Blueberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

9019

Cranberry

1 cup (whole berries)

8983

Artichoke hearts

1 cup, cooked

7904

Blackberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

7701

Prune

½ cup

7291

Raspberry

1 cup

6058

Strawberry

1 cup

5938

Red Delicious apple

1 apple

5900

Granny Smith apple

1 apple

5381

Pecan

oz

5095

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4873

Black plum

1 plum

4844

Russet potato

1, cooked

4649

Black bean

½ cup dried beans

4181

Plum

1 plum

4118

Gala apple

1 apple

3903

 

 

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Antioxidant [super] Blend…Not A One-Note Samba

Posted on July 1, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Eating or drinking one or two ingredient antioxidant supplements is like having an orchestra with one or two instruments.  It’s not a full complement. 

 Dr. Passwater says the following about antioxidants in his book, “The Antioxidants”:

 “Combinations of antioxidants are like a balanced symphony working together. A symphony orchestra produces sounds so much more harmonious than merely having 20 drums playing. It is not the quantity, but the blend. The same is true with antioxidant nutrients: you get better results with moderate amounts of a full complement than you get with using very large amounts of just one nutrient… In general, the different reducing agents in the body “talk to one another” freely, and thus, it is probably important that all of our pools of reducing agents be maintained. For this reason, most of us in the field recommend that a person take a variety of antioxidants (a “cocktail”), not just a single substance.”

Dr. Passwater concludes: “The importance of synergism is that the antioxidant nutrients each contribute to the total protection. They work together in the antioxidant cycle and reach all body compartments–fat and water-based, blood and internal cell. They protect against all types of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. No one antioxidant can do all of this.”

Our morning blend of antioxidants – GREENS FIRST – is a full complement of start-the-day-right vegetables and fruits in a pleasant tasting blend.  Our afternoon blend of antioxidants – RED ALERT – is a fruit and vegetable mix to give you that bit of a boost in the afternoon you need.  Both blends are a synergistic, phytonutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich complement of certified and organic vegetables and fruit.

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Aging, Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Posted on June 28, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends, Just FYI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

  * (See photo comments below)

The free radical theory of aging is generally accepted with more and more health science researchers concluding that free radicals cause oxidation.  It is commonly understood that oxidation is a process akin to the rusting of metal, and causes age-related deteriortation of the heart as well as being a central process of aging.  Human metabolism and energy productions create free radicals.  They are also at times the key feature of pollutants, poisons and drugs.

Our natural antioxidant processes compensate for one another, covering up momentary deficiencies by their overlap. Perhaps our very best result comes from maintaining all of our antioxidation resources to work towards our good health.

Dr. Passwater goes on to say the following about antioxidants in his book The Antioxidants :

“Combinations of antioxidants are like a balanced symphony working together. A symphony orchestra produces sounds so much more harmonious than merely having 20 drums playing. It is not the quantity, but the blend. The same is true with antioxidant nutrients: you get better results with moderate amounts of a full complement than you get with using very large amounts of just one nutrient… In general, the different reducing agents in the body “talk to one another” freely, and thus, it is probably important that all of our pools of reducing agents be maintained. For this reason, most of us in the field recommend that a person take a variety of antioxidants (a “cocktail”), not just a single substance.”

Dr. Passwater concludes:

“The importance of synergism is that the antioxidant nutrients each contribute to the total protection. They work together in the antioxidant cycle and reach all body compartments–fat and water-based, blood and internal cell. They protect against all types of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. No one antioxidant can do all of this.”

 (* Photo comments – 88 year old Grandfather to 11, John Lowe, of Witchford, Cambs, UK, took up dancing having watched his daughter Alison become a professional dancer.  The retired teacher said: “It’s a wonderful thing to do and I can’t understand why more men don’t do it.”  

Mr Lowe appeared with the Lantern Dance Theatre Company, in Ely, UK, on Sunday evening, January 13, 2008.  Mr. Lowe perfected his pirouettes at home in daily practice in preparation for his premier performance in Prokofiev’s “The Stone Flower at The Maltings.”

Mr. Lowe states, “I went to a dance school in the high street in Ely and asked if I could do tap and ballet and they said ‘well of course you can’ and I’ve been doing it ever since.  I’ve got a rope at home that I use to pull my leg up higher. I’m lucky that I don’t have any problem with the routines but that’s because I exercise. There’s nothing effeminate about it – you have to be incredibly fit to dance.”

Now that’s enjoying your golden years, and we applaud John Lowe and aging gracefully!!)

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Long Term Coffee Drinking May Not Be Harmful

Posted on June 25, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , |

  Long-term coffee drinking did not appear to increase a person’s risk of early death and seemed to indicate a reduction in risk of dying from heart disease from a recently published study.  

The study was lead by Esther Lopez-Garcia of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain.  It follow 84,214 U.S. women from 1980 to 2004, and 41,736 U.S. men from 1986 to 2004.  The women were nurses, and the men were doctors, dentists and other health professionals.

The study found that coffee drinkers – up to six cups a day – experienced a small decline in death rates from heart disease.   In particular the study found that women who drank 2-3 cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 25% lower risk of death from heart disease than women who don’t drink coffee.  The researchers saw a smaller decreased risk for men but it wasn’t statistically significant.  Drinking decaffeinated coffee  was associated with a small reduction in overall mortality risk.   The study found no association between coffee consumption and cancer deaths.

Some studies have indicated coffee is a great source of antioxidants, substances that may protect against the effects of molecules called free radicals that can damage cells and may play a role in heart diesase, cancer and other ailments.  This study was released June 16, 2008.

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Exercise and Better Diet Linked to Dramatic Changes at Genetic Level

Posted on June 20, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends, Weight Weight Weight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Initial results from a small study where 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer were tracked showed interesting results.  The men adjusted lifestyle choices to include diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, soy products, whole grains and moderate exersice such as walking an hour a day.  They also practiced an hour of daily stress management such as meditation each day. 

Besides the expected changes of weight loss and lower blood pressure, the researchers found the activity of disease promoting genes shut down while the activity of disease preventing genes increased.  These findings were confirmed with compared prostate biopsies prior to, and after, the lifestyle changes.   Viva relaxation, meditation, and a great diet rich in antioxidants!

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Acai is the New Darling of the Antioxidant World

Posted on June 11, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

       

                               A grove of Acai Palms in Brazil

Acai is the new darling in the antioxidant world.  Acai is a dark purple fruit smaller than the size of a grape and consists of a seed mostly covered in a small amount of pulp.  This fruit grows on the Acai Palm tree and is found in the Amazon Rain Forest of Brazil.  Acai has a berry taste with a touch of chocolate flavor so is tasty and inviting to eat.

 

Acai has been found to have about 10 times the antioxidant level of grapes and twice that of blueberries, plus it has about 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine (anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants).  The Acai berry is rich in healthy Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 unsaturated fats, and has as much Vitamin C as blueberries.  Other vitamins identified in the Acai berry include Vitamins A, B1, B3 and E in addition to potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc. 

 

B-sitosterol, campesterol and sigmasterol, three plant or photosterols, have been identified in the Acai berry which have been shown to have health benefits in maintaining healthy heart and digestive function.  It’s also a good source of fiber.

 

Acai’s nutrient mix may assist is:

*  Maintaining healthy function of bodily systems and organs

*  Promoting healthy sleep

*  Supporting the immune system

*  Act as an effective anti-inflammatory

 

The University of Florida has some promising new studies using the Acai berry in cancer research.  Stay tuned for more good news from that sector.

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A Cup of Tea May Protect Against Skin Cancer

Posted on June 10, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ScienceDaily (Apr. 30, 1998) — New findings…tea may contribute significant protection against development of skin cancers caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays (presented by the CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition at the inaugural Australian International Symposium on Tea and Health in Sydney)


                                           

(Article):  The latest research with mice found those given tea (with milk) experienced a reduction in the development of skin cancer of 50 per cent and a reduction in the development of papillomas of 70 per cent.

 Tea is a rich source of special antioxidants called flavonoids, considered to be some of the most potent antioxidants in nature. Scientists believe antioxidants in the diet have an important role to play in the fight against diseases including cancer.

 The important new CSIRO study examined the effect of providing tea with 10% milk, (compared to just 10% milk or just water) as the sole drinking fluid on UVA+B induced skin cancer in mice. The key finding was a significant reduction in the development of skin cancers in mice drinking tea with milk.

 “These findings are significant because initially it was thought milk may bind to the flavonoids, and impact on the antioxidant properties and potential health benefits of tea. The most recent findings would suggest that the protective role of the flavonoids is enhanced in the presence of milk,” said Dr Ian Record of CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition.

 “Intensive research is currently underway into tea flavonoids and how they may help protect the body from potentially harmful substances called free radicals. UV rays generate free radicals in the skin, which in turn inflict damage on the skin cells’ – causing some cells to become cancerous,” he added.

 The researchers sounded a note of caution that, so far, the effects of tea as an anti-cancer agent has only been explored in mice, and the implications of their findings for humans will require further investigation.

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