Green Tea

Green TeaGreen tea, also known as green sencha tea, Chinese tea, Japanese tea, EGCG, yame green tea or simply green tea extract is a product that offers significant health benefits. Extracted from the plant, Camellia sinensis, popularly used throughout China, Japan and other parts of Asia and a regular part of the diet of people in the orient, green tea is believed to contribute to improved heart health and also has positive effects on some types of cancers. Catechin, the main component of green tea, accounts for these powerful benefits.

How does green tea differ from other teas?

Green tea and what is commonly referred to as black tea in Western cultures, come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis. Black tea, more widely used in the West, is what is usually found finely ground and packaged into teabags. Though similar to black tea, the production of green tea is significantly different. To produce black tea the leaves are withered, blown dry and then completely oxidized. With green tea, however, the leaves are kept fresh and then wilted using steam. The steamed leaves are later air dried and packaged. Unlike black tea, green tea leaves are not allowed to oxidize nor ferment. There are other varieties of tea produced from these same leaves, such as white tea, oolong tea and yellow tea. With each type of tea the method and extent of oxidation differs. The method used to produce green tea means that it is processed the least, ensuring the maximum nutritional value of the plant is preserved as oxidation easily destroys the chemical compounds for which green tea is best known.

What compounds are found in green tea?

The key component in green tea or green tea extract is a chemical compound known as catechin. It is the presence of this substance that makes green tea extremely rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. Polyphenols are a type of phytochemicals, meaning they help to protect cells from being damaged by free radicals. Green tea is one of the best sources of catechins as it is present in very high concentrations.

Other components of green tea include amino acids, caffeine, enzymes, flavonoids, minerals, saponins, theanine, and vitamins. Each of these compounds provides its own benefits. Green tea also has a greater concentration of polyphenols than most fruits and vegetables, and more flavonoids that some plants or even wine. These flavonoids are also believed to help fight against cancer.

Health benefits of green tea

For years, green tea has been used throughout the world for its medicinal benefits. Green tea is purported to have some of the following positive effects on health:

Improved metabolism – Green tea helps to increase the body’s metabolic rate.

Lowered cholesterol – Green tea may contribute to lowering bad cholesterol.

Green Tea LeavesWeight loss and obesity – The polyphenols and caffeine present in green tea accelerate the body’s ability to burn fat and over time may contribute to weight loss. Green tea may also combat obesity due to its ability to reduce bad cholesterol.

Lowered diabetes risk – The risk of diabetes is lowered with green tea consumption because of the reduction in cholesterol.

Improved heart health – Regular consumption of green tea has been found to contribute to less intense heart conditions. Its effect on lowering cholesterol also means reduced likelihood of heart disease.

Improved circulation – Consuming at least four cups of green tea daily has been linked to improved blood circulation. It is therefore quite helpful to moderate blood pressure, thereby also decreasing the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks. Green tea also helps to regulate body temperature.

Treatment of cancer – The catechins found in green tea are a powerful agent in fighting certain types of cancer such as breast, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, pancreatic cancer, prostate and stomach cancers. This is because the catechins help to regulate cell growth, thereby inhibiting abnormal cell growth. The compounds found in green tea are even effective in preventing breast cancer from returning after surgery.

Depression – Some of the amino acids present in green tea help to sooth and relax the body, thus alleviating stress and depression.

Mental awareness – Green tea boosts mental health. It makes the brain more alert. It also enhances thinking skills.

Other benefits – Green tea is believed to be helpful in preventing dementia. It has also been found to improve stomach issues, aid digestion, alleviate diarrhea, control bleeding, help wounds heal faster, and assist with vomiting. Green tea may even control certain bacterial infections, including tooth decay. It is also useful as a gentle diuretic.

Cosmetic uses – Green tea, applied topically to the skin, can help to reduce signs of aging, including wrinkles, by improving sun-damaged skin.

How is green tea prepared?

Green tea has been an important part of the diet of Chinese and Japanese for centuries. It’s only in the past few decades that its consumption has spread to other cultures. Black tea is consumed four times more frequently than green tea. The green tea leaves may be steeped in boiling water and consumed as is or sweetened. Green tea is now being pulverized and sold as capsules, making consumption easier.

Before you take green tea

Though possessing enormous amounts of health benefits, green tea may likely have negative effects on certain individuals. Green tea should be consumed in moderation. The recommended intake is not more than 4 cups daily. Because of the presence of caffeine some issues related to caffeine consumption may be noticed, including dizziness and irritability, as well as nervousness. Difficulty falling asleep has also been reported.

Green tea is one of the healthiest teas because of its high concentration of antioxidants and the compound catechin. People in the orient have been enjoying it for centuries but now it has rapidly spread to other cultures as a potent remedy to address certain maladies. Its caffeine content contributes to increased awareness and endurance while its antioxidant capability makes it an excellent candidate for helping to fight heart conditions. It is even a good topical remedy for skin conditions and reducing signs of aging. Green tea is an all-around useful natural remedy.

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Red Palm Oil

Red Palm OilRed palm oil is a product of the fruit of the oil palm tree and is an important crop in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and South America. Red palm oil is generally obtained by cold pressing the fruit of the tree. It is bottled for use as cooking oil, and it is often blended into mayonnaise and salad oil.

Red palm oil is less processed than regular palm oil, and its high concentration of carotenes, such as lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, gives it a distinctive red color. It is believed the process used to create regular palm oil removes the carotenes and other nutrients. Vitamins A and E are two essential nutrients that are lost in the process. Red palm oil is an excellent source of vitamin K, and it contains significant amounts of glycolipids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, CoQ10, and squalene.

Red palm oil has been used for medicinal and nutritional purposes for thousands of years. It was so revered as a sacred food that it was entombed with the pharaohs in Egypt so they would have access to it in the afterlife. Red palm oil may be purchased through health food stores and some retail outlets.

Benefits of Red Palm Oil

Red palm oil contains fatty acids which have been shown to be essential for proper human growth and development, and it provides numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and other phytonutrients important for good health. Carotenes, when combined with fat, can be converted to vitamin A by the body, and vitamin A is essential to prevent blindness, weakened bones, low immunity, and learning and mental impairments. In countries where the population does not consume many animal products and the fat contained in them, vitamin A deficiencies are prevalent.

Pouring oil palm fruit cooking oil on white simple backgroundSome studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build-up in arteries and may reverse the process of atherosclerosis.

Studies have been inconclusive; however, red palm oil may be effective, because of its high levels of vitamin A, for treating vitamin A deficiencies. It has been considered, but with no conclusive results, as a factor in the treatment of high blood pressure, cyanide poisoning, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, effects of aging, brain disease, and some other conditions.

Negative Effects

Red palm oil appears to be safe if consumed in amounts generally found in foods. It is not recommended that pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding use red palm oil. Because it is suspected as a factor affecting bleeding, it is recommended that a person expecting to have surgery within a period of two weeks refrain from using red palm oil.

Uses for Red Palm Oil

Red palm oil is primarily used for cooking. It is also used as a supplement to obtain doses of vitamins, carotenes, and other nutrients.

On a recent segment of the “Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Mehmet Oz touted red palm oil as the #1 miracle nutritional substance on his 2013 Miracle Hit List. The primary reason was the high level of carotene found in the oil. According to the report, the red in the oil is like a “stop sign for aging.”

Conclusion

It evident that red palm oil has been shown in medical studies, treatments, and daily usage to be safe for use for most people when it is used as directed and in the recommended doses.

Negative effects from red palm oil include blood clotting issues, and it is recommended that anyone who anticipates having surgery cease use of red palm oil about two weeks prior to the surgery. If you are using red palm oil, be vigilant for changes that might signal an adverse reaction and seek medical attention, if necessary.

 

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Jojoba Oil

Jojoba OilJojoba (pronounced ho-HO-ba) oil is extracted from the seeds of an American shrub, jojoba, and native to the American southwest, particularly the deserts of California and Arizona. Its most popular use is in cosmetics products. The extracted oil is clear and a golden color. It has a slightly nutty odor. When the oil is refined, it is clear and has no odor. It is considered shelf-stable when compared with other vegetable oils, such as safflower oil, canola oil, almond oil, because it does not contain triglycerides.

Although it is called “oil,” the product of the shrub is actually a wax ester, and it is most similar to human skin oil. That property makes is a prime component of skin care products. Jojoba is commonly used to treat acne, psoriasis, sunburn, and chapped skin.

Use of jojoba oil has gained popularity since 1971, when the United States banned imports of whale oil. Jojoba has taken the place of whale oil for products in the cosmetics and other industries.

Benefits of Jojoba Oil

The wax ester of the shrub is most commonly used in products to deliver and maintain moisture in the skin. Products containing jojoba generally have the following properties:

  • Non comedogenic (does not block the pores);
  • Does not evaporate and continues to deliver all-day moisturizing;
  • Fungicidal;
  • Edible, but, non-caloric;
  • Has a stable structure and does not spoil or become rancid, even during long periods of storage; and,
  • Malleable consistency, easy to spread, and absorbs well.

Negative Effects

Jojoba is generally considered safe for use by most people. If the user is allergic to the wax ester or the shrub, he/she may develop a rash or other typical allergic reactions.

Other than an allergic reaction, the most prominent negative effect from jojoba is the result of using too much product. High amounts can cause sheen on the skin, so moderate use is recommended to balance oil production in the skin and reduce shine. Use at night is sometimes preferred.

Uses for Jojoba Oil

JojobaThe list of potential uses of jojoba is long, and, many products are underdevelopment ongoing. Products containing jojoba can be purchased over-the-counter; however, you may generally add a few drops of jojoba (the product is available at health food stores and at some mainstream markets) to products you currently use.

To use jojoba oil directly as a skin cleanser, makeup remover, or moisturizer, simply moisten a cotton ball with a few drops of the oil and wipe in circular motions over the skin. A popular second step for cleansing is to dampen a washcloth with warm water, hold the cloth to the skin to open pores and allow the jojoba to penetrate more thoroughly, and then wipe the skin with the cloth.

Certain categories of cosmetic products are prime candidates for the moisturizing benefits of jojoba:

  • Eye and face makeup remover;
  • Facial cleanser;
  • Facial and body moisturizer;
  • Massage oil;
  • Bath and after-shower oil;
  • Hair and scalp massage;
  • Deep hair conditioning treatment; and,
  • Cuticle oil.

Conclusion

It evident that jojoba has been shown in numerous medical studies, treatments, and daily usage to be effective for certain topical purposes.

Negative effects from jojoba use are not expected; however, some people are allergic to the wax ester of the shrub. If you are using jojoba as a topical treatment, be vigilant for changes that might signal an adverse reaction and seek medical attention, if necessary.

 

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The Benefits Of Vitamin E

Vitamin EA variety of foods, including vegetable oil, vegetables, wheat germ, poultry, eggs, meat, and cereal, contain Vitamin E. Vitamin E can also be taken as a supplement, and it is included in a number of substances to use topically.  One interesting property of Vitamin E is that it dissolves in fat. It is sometimes used to treat or prevent diseases of the blood and heart, such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Hardening of the arteries;
  • Leg pain;
  • Chest pain; and,
  • High blood pressure.


Vitamin E is also used topically and has been popular in skin care cosmetics in recent years. It has anti-oxidant properties and is therefore sometimes used to prevent or treat effects of aging or chemotherapy on the skin.

Benefits of Vitamin E

Besides being effective to treat Vitamin E deficiency, a number of diseases or conditions have been subject to study to determine the effectiveness of Vitamin E as a preventative or treatment. Those include:

  • Bladder cancer;
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia;
  • Painful menstruation and premenstrual syndrome (PMS);
  • Chemotherapy-related nerve damage;
  • Stroke;
  • Liver disease;
  • Macular degeneration;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Male infertility;
  • Parkinson’s disease; and,
  • Issues with healing following surgery.

Negative Effects

Vitamin E is considered safe for most people when used in a recommended dose (15 mg) or applied topically as directed. Vitamin E is potentially unsafe in high doses (400 IU/day or more). Such doses may be harmful to persons with heart disease or diabetes, and some physicians believe large doses can cause serious side effects or even death.

Certain conditions warrant avoidance of Vitamin E or use only as directed by medical or health care professionals. Those include:

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding;
  • Angioplasty;
  • Low levels of Vitamin K;
  • Retinitis pigmentosa;
  • Bleeding disorders;
  • Head and neck cancer; and
  • Bleeding during or after surgery.

Vitamin E may have an interaction with certain drugs and medications. To avoid problems, use only as directed by medical or health care professionals. The substances include:

  • Cyclosporine;
  • Chemotherapy;
  • Anticoagulants;
  • Statins (for lowering cholesterol);
  • Niacin; and,
  • Wafarin (Coumadin to slow blood clotting).

Uses for Vitamin E

Vitamin E deficiency is rare, and deficiency symptoms have not been found in healthy people who obtain little Vitamin E from their diets. Aside from treating a deficiency, Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties make is a valuable substance to treat cataracts, cancer, strokes, and heart disease, and it is very likely to be effective in masking signs of aging.

Vitamin E is generally recommended as part of a broader health condition treatment or preventative health care regime. Many over-the-counter daily vitamin and mineral tablets contain the recommended dose of Vitamin E to be used in conjunction with a health care program that includes regular exercise, balanced diet, weight management, balanced nutritional supplements of vitamins and minerals, stress management, and regular medical monitoring.

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