Earlier this week we went over what matcha tea was and how it was different than regular green tea. The reason for its massive popularity is the variety of unique health benefits it offers. Here are some of them:
🍵 Antioxidants - Since you use and consume the entire leaf, matcha is high in antioxidants that help reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.
🍵 Protects Liver - Animal studies have shown that matcha helped to prevent liver damage and decrease the risk of liver disease by reducing liver enzyme levels.
🍵 Brain Boost - Research has found that matcha caused improvements in memory, reaction time, and attention span.
🍵 Less Crash - A compound called L-theanine is found in matcha and alters the effects of caffeine by promoting alertness but without the usual crash after the boost wears off.
🍵 Lower Cholesterol - Matcha as well as green tea have been shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
🍵 Weight Loss - Matcha and green tea have been shown to boost metabolism and increase fat burning during exercise.
Maybe you’ve heard of it; maybe you’re already a fan. Matcha tea is gaining popularity and can be found in drinks like teas, lattes, and shots and also in foods like ice cream, cookies, puddings, soup, and stir-fry. So what is matcha tea? Let’s take a look:
- Matcha tea is a special form of green tea that comes from the same plant, but with different growing methods.
- 30 days before harvest, matcha tea plants are covered with shade cloths that cause an increase in chlorophyll production and boost flavor, texture, and amino acid content.
- Leaves are hand-selected and then dried and aged in cold storage to help deepen the flavor even more.
- Leaves are then ground into a fine powder that you consume instead of discarding them whole like with traditional green tea.
- Matcha literally means “powdered tea”.
The foods you eat can either cause your body to fight inflammation or trigger an inflammatory response. Inflammation can cause skin redness, swollen joints, finger pain, and intensify symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some foods that can help you fight inflammation:
- olive oil
- leafy greens: kale, spinach, collards
- fish: salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, and bass
- nuts: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and also sunflower seeds
- fruits: pineapple, apples, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries
- herbs: basil, thyme, and oregano
- green tea
Celebrating our nation’s birth and enjoying your freedoms doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your beach-ready body. Here are some tips for enjoying the company of your friends and family while staying healthy at the BBQ:
🇺🇸 Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay cool in the heat and also help avoid overeating.
🇺🇸 Load up on vegetables: They’ll fill you up and with less calories while also providing vitamins and minerals.
🇺🇸 Fruits as dessert: Try and enjoy the simple pleasure of a watermelon wedge or fruit salad for dessert and avoid excessive sugar.
🇺🇸 Wear sunscreen: Your skin is the largest organ of your body and could use some protection if you’re going to be outdoors for a while. Sunburns are painful and dangerous.
🇺🇸 Choose your buns: Opt for whole grain buns if possible to avoid glycemic spikes or avoid the buns altogether.
🇺🇸 Hot and Cold: Make sure to cook foods to the appropriate temperatures to kill any bacteria and keep cold foods cold to avoid growing new bacteria.
Fresh herbs are one way to take your cooking to the next level and all you really need to supply your kitchen with them all year long is a sunny windowsill and some attention to watering. You won’t have to spend hours out in the garden to get these going. Here are five herbs you can grow indoors:
• Basil - This herb is critical for many cuisines and is easy to use. Just pluck a leaf right off the plant, wash, and use.
• Mint - Many varieties of mint can be planted indoors including peppermint, spearmint, and even chocolate mint to use in tea, salads, or desserts.
• Oregano - Useful in Italian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern dishes, oregano is even more effective once its leaves are dried.
• Parsley - This herb brings bright color and flavor to soups and sauces.
• Rosemary - Add earthy flavor to pork and lamb as well as soups and potatoes with rosemary.
When it comes to your hair, there are several factors affecting it that are difficult or impossible to control such as genetics or hormone levels. One thing you can control is the foods you eat and this can have an impact on the quality of your hair. Here are four different ways foods can help you have healthier hair:
• Silkiness: Iron and zinc are critical for keeping hair smooth. Lean meats, tofu, beans, oysters, and crabmeat are high in these minerals.
• Unbreakability: Orange, broccoli, red bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and kiwi are high in vitamin C, which can protect hair from breakage.
• Strength: Protein from foods like Greek yogurt, eggs, and peanut butter serves as a main building block of great hair and can add elasticity and strength.
• Healthy scalp: Walnuts, flax seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon and trout are loaded with omega-3 fats. These can help prevent dry scalp and dandruff.
Earlier this week we went over what overnight oats are and how you can make them. Now let’s take a look at why you would want to make them part of your diet. Here are some of the health benefits of overnight oats:
• Increased Digestibility - Soaking the oats helps break down their starches making them easier to digest than cooked oats.
• Variety - Different combos of oats, milks, seeds (flax, chia), fruits, nuts, and powders (whey protein, maca) make for an almost endless variety of breakfast choices.
• Pre-portioned - Your oats are already portioned so you don’t have to worry about overeating.
• Fiber - Oats are high in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, keep you regular and reduce blood pressure.
• Satisfying - Overnight oats are so filling, you may eat less throughout the day.
• Resistant starch - Overnight oats are higher in resistant starch (RS) than cooked. RS is a natural carb that helps with digestion, weight loss, and decreases dangerous insulin spikes.
Overnight oats are becoming very popular as a healthy way to get breakfast done the night before. All you need is a mason jar and some simple ingredients to see what the craze is all about. Let’s look at what makes up overnight oats:
- Mix oats, milk of your choice, and other add-ins in a jar and let sit in the fridge overnight.
- Instead of cooking the oats, the liquid is absorbed and softens the oats in the same way as cooking.
- You can use dairy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or even Greek yogurt.
- A 1:1 ratio is commonly used for the oats to milk. ½ cup of each is a good starting point.
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats are recommended for beginners as they have the most texture.
- Mix-ins can be chia seeds, flax seeds, fruit, nuts, or peanut butter.
- For added crunch, add the nuts in the morning before you eat it instead of letting them soak overnight.
- Your oats can be eaten cold or heated up in the morning.
It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to get your shopping done and need to pick the best watermelon from a sea of other similar ones. How do you choose the best one? We’ve got some tips to help you pick the ripest, sweetest watermelon:
• Exterior should be dull, NOT shiny.
• Shape should be round and even.
• Look for a cream-colored spot on one side - this means it sat in the patch and ripened for some time.
• It should feel heavy for its size. Lift other watermelons up and go with the heavier one if you’re stuck.
• There should be no stem.
There’s nothing quite like the hunger that hits after you’ve been in the pool for a bit. If your kids come running for snacks after they’ve been in the water, here are some ideas for things that you can throw in a cooler and have ready to keep them going:
Watermelon - refreshing and hydrating
String Cheese - quick, easy protein that’s fun to eat
Clementines - perfect size for kids but may require you to peel them
Popsicles - try Outshine bars or you can make your own
Frozen Grapes - give frozen grapes a try for a cooling, healthy treat