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3 Common Kombucha Myths – Debunked
June 07, 2017 07:14 PM
Kombucha is a food, it is not a medicine. It is a fermented mixture of tea, sugar, water, and occasionally a flavoring, such as pomegranate, is added near the end of fermentation. That being said, one should approach Kombucha in much the same way as one approaches carrots or bananas – how much would you like. Carrots, by the way, provide Vitamin-A, carotene, and anti-oxidants, while bananas provide potassium, manganese, and small amounts of Vitamin-B6 and Niacin. And they are not considered medicine. The hesitancy of some folks to try Kombucha may stem from viewing the fermentation process itself as the culture of yeast and bacteria can be less than pretty to view. Like brewing beers, ales, and lambics, the bacteria & yeast simply converts the raw ingredients Kombucha.
Read more: 3 Common Kombucha Myths – Debunked
Four foods you need to stop eating before bed if you're trying to lose weight
February 09, 2017 02:59 PM
There are 4 foods you need to stop eating before bed if your goal is to lose weight. Baked goods are among the worst possible things you could eat before going to bed. You should also avoid red wine because it will not be good before going to sleep. Salsa and dark chocolate are two others that you will want to avoid.
"If you like a bit of chip and dip before you hit the sack, salsa or any food with a spicy kick can result in heartburn and a bad sleep."
What Is Agar Powder Used For?
January 27, 2014 09:44 AM
What Is Agar Powder Used For?
Agar, also known as agar agar or kanten, is a gelling agent that comes from a South East Asian seaweed. This natural additive has excellent gelling properties. It is often used by vegetarians as a vegetable gelatin as the true gelatin comes from calf’s feet.
For instance, biologists use it as filler in paper sizing fabric. Biologists also use it as a clarifying compound in Brewing. Additionally, agar can be used as a laxative, thanks to its high fiber concentration. Better yet, the product can be used as an appetite suppressant.
People who desire to lose weight fast may find agar useful. It has no calories, no fat, no carbs, and no sugar and is loaded with fiber. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of agar is comprised of nothing but fiber.
Kombucha Tea and Its Benefits
November 20, 2012 08:01 AM
Kumbucha Mushroom Tea
Health is a serious issue among most people and this is one of the reasons as to why a good majority go to serious lengths to try and look for different ways of maintaining it. This may come in the form of taking medication, using supplements, and even resorting to a healthy diet. One way of ensuring good health through diet is by taking different types of tea that are known to be healthy. Kombucha tea is one of the forms of tea that are known to have medicinal value. This is a fermented beverage that is made out of yeast, bacteria, tea and sugar.
Kombucha was first discovered in Manchuria which is in the Northeast part of China. It then went on to spread to Russia and eventually to the rest of the world. It is made by the process of fermentation. The fermentation process is basically done by placing a symbiotic culture of yeasts over tea which has sugar and they are all exposed to oxygen over a period of time. There are times when this yeast culture is referred to as a mushroom because of how it looks. When it is placed on the Brewing tea, it basically looks like a floating mushroom.
This Kombucha tea has different ingredients which make it such a healthy beverage. This is because of the different functions that they have in the body. For starters, it has different strains of beneficial bacteria which help in boosting the levels of immunity in the body. One such bacterium is Acetobacter which thrives in an environment that is rich in oxygen. It is responsible for producing both gluconic and acetic acid. The acetic acid is known to have antiseptic qualities which help in preventing infections.
It is also known to have the ability to inhibit the pathogenic bacteria which are also known for causing infections. The gluconic acid is also known to work with caprylic acid and butyric acid to strengthen cellular membranes. They also work together to strengthen the gut walls so that the body is able to fight off the yeast infections that may attack the body. There are several other benefits that are associated with Kombucha which make it a popular beverage for many people. It is known to have a high nutritious value because of the number of healthy ingredients that it has. It is known to have vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 all of which are known to have different functions in the body. They provide the body with the energy needed to process the fats and proteins.
The Kombucha also helps in maintaining metabolic balance inside the body since it ensures that different organs are working in tandem with each other. It helps the liver to carry out detoxification and the toxins end up getting flushed out through the kidneys in the form of urine. It also has blood thinning qualities while at the same time helping in maintaining the elasticity of the skin. The Kombucha tea is basically brewed by fermenting the yeast over tea which has sugar for around two weeks. It is definitely worth the wait considering the benefits that come with using it.
Green Foods Can Boost Improve Wellness
April 19, 2010 10:29 AM
Green foods are phyto-foods that typically contain a high amount of chlorophyll, which is the substance that gives plants their green color. Also, chlorophyll allows the plant to use sunlight to access nutrients from the soil. These plants contain some of the most important nutrients, which includes vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, protein, amino acids, enzymes, and fiber. The high content of nutrients found in green foods makes theme extremely valuable for keeping the body in optimum health. Some green foods include algae, cereal grasses, and legumes.
Green foods are not always green in color. There are a variety of colors that can be found in the green foods category. Some greens include spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, wheatgrass, barley, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, parsley, cabbage, rice grass, kale, and celery. Additionally, there are red, yellow, and orange green foods. These include the tomatoe, cranberry, cayenne, red and yellow peppers, orange juice, grapefruit, pineapple, brown rice, papaya, and squash. There is also a blue group of green foods, which includes grape skin extract, black cherry, beet juice, and elderberry. The white group of green foods includes apple pectin, garlic, and onion.
There are four green foods that are especially beneficial to the body. The first of these is baby broccoli. The federal diet recommendation for adults includes at least three cups of dark leafy greens in a week. This includes broccoli, kale, mesclun, and spinach. Broccoli sprouts are great because they contain more vitamins than the adult version. There is no need to take your greens as juice, unless you prefer them that way, as the full vegetable provides the body with much more fiber. Secondly, it is believed that the Chinese may have lower cancer rates because of their consumption of green tea.
Green tea should be consumed when it is freshly brewed, as bottled or instant tea has little key catechins to work as antioxidants. One may need to take green-tea pills or expect to spend a good deal of time Brewing and drinking to get the full benefits. Research shows, concentrated green tea pill that are equal to eight to sixteen cups a day is required in order to boost the production of enzyme enough to make carcinogens less toxic. The third is limes, which are plentiful in vitamin C and act as a potent antioxidant. Scientists have shown that vitamin C, and potentially other antioxidants, can indeed inhibit the growth of some tumors. Lastly, it has been found that garlic may be responsible for blocking the formation of potent carcinogens in the liver. Additionally, it acts as a natural antifungal and possesses antibiotic like properties.
Green foods have gradually risen in popularity, as many individuals are becoming more and more concerned about their health. When they think they are not getting enough essential nutrients in their diets, they often turn to green foods. Everyone could benefit from the addition of green foods to their diet. This is especially true for those individuals who are in poor health. Additionally, athletes are in need of extra nutrients. This is because they often put their bodies under stress because of the intense training they go through.
Green food supplementation could help the body grow muscle and bone tissue. Pregnant women, along with those developing fetuses, could definitely use the extra nutrients, especially during development stages. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by green foods, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Hops And Good health
September 20, 2009 08:47 PM
Hops are the female flower cones, which are also known as strobiles, of the hop plant. The hop plant is part of the Cannabaceae family, which also includes hemp. Primarily, hops are used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. The first documented use in beer is from the eleventh century. Today, hops are used extensively in Brewing because of their many benefits. Among these are balancing the sweetness of the hops with bitterness. However, hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.
Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, suggested the use of hops to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, cleanse the blood, loosen the belly, cleanse the veins, and promote urination. Hops were used as food by the Romans. Gerard, a famous herbalist, recommended using the buds in salads. Native American tribes also found hops to be of value. The Mohicans used it as a sedative and also for toothaches, while the Menominee tribes used hops as a cure-all. The lupulin that is found in hops is described as both a sedative and hypnotic drug. It was recognized in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1831 to 1916. Most often, hops are probably used in the production of beer.
Hops are best known for their sedative action. Also, they are used for their antibiotic properties. These properties are beneficial for sore throats, bronchitis, infections, high fevers, delirium, toothaches, earaches, and pain. Although hops are strong, they seem to be safe to use. Their main uses are to alleviate nervous tension and promote a restful sleep. They have been used to naturally relieve insomnia. For inflammation, boils, tumors, and swelling, a poultice of hops is recommended. Hops have been used as a stimulant to the glands and muscles of the stomach. They have also been used as a relaxant on the gastric nerves. Hops have a relaxing influence on the liver and gall duct and a laxative effect on the bowels. Many studies indicate that hops have sedative properties. This herb is known to be fast-acting, soothing, and calming to the nervous system. Hops are often nervine herbs that aid in promoting sleep. Certain elements of the plant have been shown to possess hypnotic effects. Hops are also used for their antispasmodic effects. Additionally, hops contain antibacterial properties, which validates some of their historical uses.
The flower of the hops plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antibacterial, antibiotic, antineoplastic, carminative, cholagogue, galactagogue, nervine, sedative, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, sodium, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating appetite loss, bronchitis, delirium, gastric disorders, headaches, hyperactivity, and indigestion, insomnia, absent lactation, nervousness, pain, and excessive sexual desire.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, anxiety, blood impurities, coughs, intestinal cramps, dizziness, earaches, fevers, gas, jaundice, kidney stones, liver disorders, menstrual symptoms, menopausal symptoms, neuralgia, restlessness, rheumatism, skin disorders, sleeplessness, toothache, ulcers, venereal diseases, water retention, whooping cough, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hops, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 19, 2009 03:31 PM
Kombucha is also known as Manchurain tea or mushroom. It is not an official member of the fungi family. Actually, it is a symbiotic culture of genus Saccharomyces yeast and xylinum bacteria. Kombucha dates back as far as two thousands years in East Asia. Originally, it was used for healing in Japan, China, and Korea. Kombucha use spread with the beginning of trade. Merchants took the kombucha plant to Russia and then to Eastern Europe. Although it is not technically a fungus, it contains many similar healing properties. Because of this, it is often recommended along with members of the mushroom family.
This herb is usually placed in a nutrient solution of distilled water, black tea, and sugar. The process of Brewing kombucha was introduced in Russia and Ukraine at the end of the 1800s. However, it did not become popular until the early 1900s. The kombucha culture is known locally as chayniy grib and the drink itself is referred to as grib, tea kvass, or simply kvass. Then, it undergoes chemical changes which make it beneficial for human consumption. The chemical reactions that occur in this process are very complex. The kombucha feeds on sugar, thus producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, and some antibiotic solutions.
The healing properties are thought to be due to the production of glucuronic acid, B-complex vitamins, C vitamins, and lactic acid. Like all foods, there must be some care taken when preparing and storing kombucha, or else contamination may result. Keeping this herb safe and contamination-free is a concern to many home brewers. Key components of food safety when Brewing kombucha include a clean environment, proper temperature, and low pH.
Russian studies have uncovered the presence of substances in the kombucha tea that contain antibiotic properties. The tea was found to prevent the growth and colonization of other yeasts and bacteria. The kombucha plant is also believed to help with a wide variety of conditions. It seems to have a detoxifying effect on the entire body, which makes it extremely beneficial for invigorating the whole body.
Research done in Germany led by Dr. Valentin Koehler found that kombucha has the ability to increase the function of the immune system. It does this by boosting levels of interferon. Kombucha contains many different cultures along with several organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols. Due to the acidic fermentation process used in it’s Brewing. Kombucha contains ethyl alcohol in amounts that vary from 0.5% to 1.5%. The range depends on the anaerobic Brewing time and proportions of microbe. Commercial preparations of this herb are typically 0.5% in order to comply with distribution and safety procedures.
The entire kombucha plant is used to provide antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, and immuno-stimulant properties. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with immune deficiencies and effects of toxins. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kombucha, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Long-Sought Food Labeling Law Underway
March 19, 2009 04:55 PM
Shoppers will have more information about where their food comes from under a new policy, which started this week. Labels on most fresh meats, along with some fruits, vegetables and other foods, will now list where the food originated. In the case of meats, some labels will list where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.
This is good news to most American that fear they eat foods imported form countries who do not have dumping regulations. Meaning some foods could be grown right next to a land fill that has all kinds of toxins Brewing in it. Unhealthy to any who consume these foods.
Commodities covered under COOL must be labeled at retail to indicate its country of origin. For fish and shellfish, the method of production, wild or farm-raised, must be specified. Commodities are excluded from mandatory COOL if the commodity is an ingredient in a processed food item.
Hopefully more manufactures will comply with the new ruling and go beyond the standards to help Americans make a sound choice at the grocery store.
Green Coffee Bean Extract
October 22, 2008 04:59 PM
It is known that aging is largely a result of the effect of free radicals on our body cells, and that green coffee bean extract can be used to fight against these. While we intuitively understand what the term ‘aging’ means, very few people can actually describe it in words, although there are several theories of why it occurs.
The most viable of these include the Error Catastrophe Theory, related to faulty molecular transcription and errors in cellular function, the Crosslinkage Theory, in which progressively increasing cross-linking between proteins slows the body functions down, and the Neuroendocrine Theory, in which changes in homeostasis and hormone levels occur through time due to an increasing loss of sensitivity of receptors to feedback inhibition.
However, by far the most acceptable and best understood theory is the Free Radical Theory of Aging, which green coffee beans have been found to help fight, and it is on that which we shall focus here.
The Free Radical Theory of Aging
Free radicals are oxidants created by unpaired electrons. Electrons generally go around in pairs, but occasionally molecules lose one of these electrons, creating a situation where it possesses an unpaired electron. In this condition, that molecule has only one purpose in life and that is to oxidize other molecules by stealing an electron from them.
Oxidation can cause untold damage to cell membranes, and also to other molecules that are vital to life, such as DNA. The end result is aging, and the onset of many diseases and conditions connected with aging. Free radicals are believed to be behind inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease, strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer among many others. Each of these is associated with aging.
Free radicals are generated in the body in four different ways:
1. Energy is generated by the intercellular mitochondria by the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). By-products of the mechanism by which this is done include hydrogen peroxide, the superoxide anion, and a hydroxyl radical. Over 20 billion molecules of antioxidant are produced in each individual cell daily, and every one of these has the capability to do damage to your body. The figure for inefficient cell metabolism is significantly higher.
2. Peroxisomes are eukaryotic cell components that contain oxidative enzymes, whose function is to produce hydrogen peroxide that is then used by another enzyme, catalase, to oxidize other toxic substances. It is used by the liver, for example, to oxidize about a quarter of all the alcohol we drink to acetaldehyde, and also to remove other toxins from the body. The down side is that the hydrogen peroxide can escape and degrade the cell membranes.
3. Chronic infections give rise to a high activity of white blood cells, which utilize oxidants of various kinds to destroy viruses, bacteria and parasites. These include hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and nitric oxide which can also destroy the cells they are protecting.
4. Cytochrome P450 is an enzyme used to clear the body of toxic chemicals in our food such as pesticides and drugs. They also give rise to oxidative by-products.
In addition to these, free radicals are also produced by air pollution consisting of smoking, factory emissions and traffic fumes. Trace metals such as lead, iron and copper, are rich free radical sources, as is the ultraviolet component of sunlight, and caffeine, from tea and coffee, can also contribute to the store of free radicals in your body.
So where does green coffee extract come into this, and how should it be used. Free radicals tend to react very rapidly to accelerate aging, and in order to counter them, and hold the effects of aging at bay, it is necessary to destroy them almost as quickly as they are produced. This is carried out by antioxidants, of which there must be a plentiful supply available in each body cell.
Antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, and so effectively neutralize them before they can attack the membranes of the cells in your body, or any of the other tissues that they can degrade. Many of the vitamins have a powerful antioxidant effect, among them vitamins A, C and E. Other antioxidants available in our diet include beta carotene and other carotenoids, flavonoids and glutathione, and also cofactors such as lipoic acid. All of these can destroy free radicals by the donation of an electron.
Green coffee beans have also been found to possess a strong antioxidant effect, due largely to the plant phenols, such as caffeic acid that forms chlorogenic acid with quinic acid, both cholorgenic and caffeic acid being string antioxidants. Green coffee bean extract is standardized to 99% chlorogenic acid. This substances not only reacts rapidly with free oxygen radicals but also helps to prevent to formation of hydroxyl radicals.
It has been established that green coffee bean reacts twice as fast as green tea or grape seed extracts, and speed of reaction is critical in the destruction of free radicals that have to be destroyed before they do damage. Other antioxidants found in extracts of green coffee beans include heterocyclic compounds such as pyrroles, furans and maltol.
The extract is made from beans of Coffea Arabica, this containing higher concentrations of chlorogenic and caffeic acids than the Arabica plant. The extract is also produced to be naturally low in caffeine, thus avoiding the negative effects of drinking coffee for its stimulating properties. When the green coffee bean is roasted, the antioxidant effect is found to decrease, and after roasting and Brewing both the Arabica and the Robusta beans have reduced in activity to much the same level.
Studies on some of the conditions exacerbated by free radicals have indicated the effectiveness of green coffee beans as an antioxidant. It is believed to help reduce atherosclerosis caused by the oxidation of low density lipids (LDL). Oxidized LDLs tend to be easily absorbed by phagocytes to form plaques and foam cells in artery walls, thus narrowing and hardening the arteries, causing a deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and also increased blood pressure. Antioxidants from the green coffee bean prevent this from happening, and so help to reduce this serious effect of aging.
A good supply of antioxidants will also prevent the cell membranes from being destroyed, one effect of which is to age the skin. Antioxidants in the form of green coffee bean extract can help to maintain a youthful appearance while also aiding in the prevention of the more serious effects of free radicals that can shorten life.
There are no doubts that free radicals contribute significantly to accelerated aging, and that the antioxidants contained in green coffee beans can help hold back the physical signs of aging, while also helping to destroy those free radicals that threaten life by promoting cancer, atherosclerosis, and other similar conditions.
Natural Sweeteners: Which One Should You Take?
December 09, 2007 03:23 PM
There are many natural sweeteners to choose from if you want to avoid sugar, but don’t want any of the artificial sweeteners over which there are a few questions. You can choose from xylitol, luo han, stevia and others, but before discussing these, let’s have a look at the problems with sugar, artificial sweeteners and the American sugar industry.
Sugar as most people know it originates either from sugar cane or sugar beet, though by far the biggest American industry is in the cane. There are many different types of sugar, though that obtainable from cane sugar is sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide and carbohydrate, stored by plants as a reserve energy source to be used when needed. Humans cannot directly use sucrose, and it is metabolized in the body to glucose which needs the hormone insulin to help convert it into energy.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and a lack of it, or the body’s failure to use it properly, is referred to as diabetes. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1: A total lack or deficiency of insulin due to the pancreas producing insufficient quantities of insulin, or even none at all. This is often seen in young people and is generally cause by the immune system attacking the insulin-producing sells in the pancreas. The treatment for type 1 diabetes is to introduce insulin to the blood, normally by means of injections, plenty exercise and the adoption of a high carbohydrate low fat diet.
Type 2: This is strongly associated with obesity and weight, and is due either to insufficient insulin production by the pancreas (but not as deficient as for Type 1 diabetes) or an inability of the cells of the body to properly use insulin. Type 2 diabetes does not always require insulin injections, and can be treated by exercise, diet and weight control. However, there are occasions where insulin injections are also required. It tends to affect people older than those with Type 1 diabetes and 90% of cases are of this type.
Both types, however, are connected with an excess of glucose in the blood, into which most sugars are converted. A diet low in sucrose will go a long way towards helping people that suffer from either type of diabetes, and control of carbohydrate intake should include a reduction in the intake of sucrose in the form or beet or cane sugar. This accepted, then if you need a sweetener, a saccharide free natural sweetener would appear to be the logical choice.
You could opt for a synthetic sweetener, but they also have their problems. There is evidence that saccharin could be a carcinogen, and ‘aspartame’ disease is not a myth. The other artificial sweeteners also have sufficient questions that natural sweeteners would appear to be the obvious choice. But which? That is the question. Let’s have a look at some and check out their pros and cons.
The first is Stevia. This is a South American herb that is 400 times sweeter than sucrose and yet is very low in calories and does not affect diabetics. Used throughout most of the world, it has not been approved by the FDA as a food additive due mainly, it would appear, to lobbying by the American sugar corporations. This is understandable, since mass substitution of sugar by stevia in processed foods is entirely possible, but would cost the sugar corporations billions.
However, it is available to purchase from health food stores, and does not appear to possess the problems that aspartame does. Unlike that sweetener, it can be used in baking and cooking, and is ideal for diabetics and people suffering from yeast infections such as candida. Such infections are aggravated by sugar in the colon, since yeasts love sugar, but they cannot survive on stevia. The safety of stevia has been proven through hundreds of years of popular use without any problems.
However, there are others. Luo Han Guo is a sweet Chinese fruit of which extracts are marketed as a natural sweetener. The plant it comes from is the Momordica grosvenori, a member of the cucumber squash family that grows in the mountainous areas of southern China. The sweeteners it contains are called mogrosides that are terpene glycosides, of which there are five different forms, the main one being termed mogroside-5.
The extract is available in the form of a powder consisting of around 80% mogrosides, and possesses around 250% of the sweetness of sucrose. This, too, can be used in cooking; because it is stable to heat and contains about 2% of the calories of ordinary sugar (one half teaspoon is equivalent to 25 teaspoons sugar). You can help 50 medicines go down for the same calories of getting one down using sugar!
Not only that but, like stevia, there are no known side effects. It has been used for many centuries in Chinese medicine in the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions and conditions of the respiratory tract. Unlike natural sweeteners, luo han has been found to be useful in helping to manage diabetes since it does not cause insulin levels to rise and are not involved in energy production, so have no effect on your weight. The mogrosides from luo han are also under study as inhibitors of certain tumors, and might be able to inhibit skin tumor growth. Other possible medical advantages include helping to reduce atherosclerosis and heart disease, so would appear to be a useful sweetener to use in your coffee!
Finally, xylitol. It was during World War II that Finnish scientists rediscovered xylitol that had been previously used in Germany as a sweetener in the late nineteenth century. The sugar shortage resurrected this substance that can metabolize without the need for insulin.
Xylitol is a substance that is found in some fruits and vegetables and also in corn cobs. In fact, it is a product that appears in animal metabolism, and so is perfectly safe. It is known to help support the immune system, and to help reduce the effects of aging. It possesses antibacterial properties due to its 5-carbon ring and has been approved by the FDA. Xylitol can replace sugar in most of its domestic uses, including in baking and as a natural sweetener. It is also used extensively in chewing gum as a sweetener that does not cause dental cavities due the acid caused by bacterial attack on the sugar.
However, one use to which xylitol cannot be put, nor any of the other natural sweeteners mentioned here, is in fermentation. Try these for your wine or beer and you will be very disappointed at the low alcohol level of your brew! This is also, however, one of the benefits of xylitol: it cannot feed the yeasts that cause candida or any other yeast infection. Although it is a saccharide, it is the same as the others in this respect.
So, which of these natural sweeteners should you take? The choice is yours since each has its own benefits with very few disadvantages and certainly no recorded side effects that we know of. Use stevia for superior sweetening effects, and make up a concentrated solution of it in water for your cooking. Use luo han if you have gastrointestinal problems, and use xylitol if you want fresher breath and to protect your teeth.
Use none for Brewing or winemaking, and use any of them if you are diabetic. The choice is yours. These sweeteners are available at your local or internet health food store.
Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress
November 17, 2007 11:46 AM
It is recorded that coffee drinking originated in Ethiopia in North East Africa, from where Arab traders introduced the plant to the Middle East. From there it moved to Turkey in the 15th century, where it was highly prized as a daily beverage due its invigorating properties. It is also believed that the infamous Captain John Smith introduced the plant to Virginia.
The Brazilian coffee trade was due largely to the introduction of the bean to that country by the French in 1727, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773 rendered it the only non-alcoholic drink worth consuming by the patriots of 18th century America. Now over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily, although this seems a somewhat conservative estimate, and the tea houses of England have largely been replaced by coffee shops and the ubiquitous Starbucks.
So much for the history of a beverage that has been prized for its stimulant properties, but recent research has established that not only is coffee a stimulating drink, but that it is a strong antioxidant due to its polyphenol content. However, not all forms of coffee have this property, only the green coffee bean before it has been roasted. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate aging but also threaten the health of your cardiovascular system and the health of other major organs.
Free radicals are compounds with a spare electron. Normally the electrons in all stable molecules come in pairs, and any free electron without a partner is like a lovelorn bachelor. It will seek a mate, and take it from wherever it can find one. Usually it secures its partner by stealing an electron from one of our body cells. This can totally destroy the cell, as it might anybody who has its partner stolen, and cell destruction is not a good thing. It is the destruction of body cells that promotes the appearance that aging brings: the wrinkles and the loss of energy that is generated by healthy cellular activity.
Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, and come in a number of different guises. Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants, as are many of the compounds that are essential to our biochemistry such as beta carotene and polyphenols. These polyphenols are found in practically all plants to a greater or lesser degree, and another rich source is grapes, and those found in green coffee beans are what are known as hydroxycinnamic acids the most abundant of which is caffeic acid. Another is chlorogenic acid, and together they form a very potent team in preventing the oxidation by free radicals of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Low density lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol from the liver to areas of the body that need first aid due to damage, such the arterial walls. However, this can be attacked by free radicals and oxidized which results in the deposition of excess cholesterol that can build up till it eventually constricts, and sometimes completely blocks, the major cardiac arteries. This is a serious condition known as atherosclerosis that can eventually lead to cardiac disease and arrest or to strokes if the artery is in the brain.
Not only do chlorogenic and caffeic acid help to prevent this from occurring, but they also help to prevent the cellular degeneration caused by the free radicals. They must be extracted from the green coffee bean because roasting or heating in any way, including Brewing, destroys them. In fact, brewed coffee contains some potentially harmful substances called diterpenes that some believe can increase your chances of coronary disease by up to fifth if you drink coffee regularly over your lifetime.
It is also believed that green coffee extract can reduce the risk of diabetes due to its effect on your blood glucose levels. Evidence is coming to light that some polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, might have inhibiting properties on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate, otherwise known as Robison Ester, which is involved in the metabolism of blood glucose and which is affected by diabetes which reduces its concentration. Chlorogenic acid is though to be able to redress this imbalance and not only reduce blood glucose levels, but increase the glycogen stored in the liver as an emergency energy source for the body.
Green coffee bean extract also possesses other beneficial properties, not the least of which is its effect in increasing the metabolism of fats in relation to carbohydrates. This assists in weight loss and also increases stamina. The decrease in the risk of diabetes of up to 50% in men, and slightly less in women, could be due to a combination of the regulation of glucose-6-phosphate and the regulation of blood glucose levels and glucose and weight management in general. The vast majority of diabetes patients are overweight.
In animal studies, the presence of chlorogenic acid appears to reduce the hyperglycemic peak that arises through the action of glucagon, a hormone used to counter hypoglycemia. The fact that chlorogenic acid reduced this sugar peak indicates its potential use in reducing abnormally high blood glucose levels. Another effect of this was an increase in the animal’s glycogen level and in the level of glucose-6-phosphate in the liver.
This indicates a reduction in glycogenolysis, by which glycogen is ultimately converted to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose, thus increasing the blood glucose levels and also of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose from carbohydrates and some glucogenic amino acids. In other words, green coffee bean extract can help to regulate blood glucose levels by preventing the liver from producing glucose from glycogen and carbohydrates.
However, the biochemistry apart, it must be stressed that these benefits are not obtained by drinking coffee, and it has to be repeated that the active agents in providing them are destroyed by the roasting and Brewing processes. It is only the green coffee beans that can be used for protection of oxidative stress of human body cells and the gradual degradation into premature aging and many other related conditions.