Iced Green Tea for Summer

As a first generation immigrant from Japan, I’ve gone through culture shocks and “sun tea” is one of them. “Shock” may be a little too exaggerated but it remained a mystery to me why people left the tea exposed to the direct sunlight for many hours.
Later on, I found “Sun Tea” is a way to heat water to brew tea without heating up the kitchen during hot summer days. While the sun is “cooking up” the sepia/amber colored tea, laughter and smiles surround the shiny glass tea jug. “Sun Tea” is remembered warmly as a part of summer time fun with friends and family.

 

A tall glass container with tea chilled in fridge is the Japanese version of “summer time tea” that is associated with home and family.

 

The tea in the container is either barley tea or loose leaf green tea. Making barley tea is a long process–it needs to be boiled long and then cooled down by dipping the kettle in a water bath (to hasten the cooling down process), and then strained into a glass container to be chilled in the fridge.

 

Making cold green tea doesn’t involve heat. And this is a great way to make a round, smooth tea, because cold temperature slowly infuses less caffeine and more Umami (ooh-mah-me), the savoriness in the tea. The cold brewed tea tastes cleaner and rounder than the same tea made with hot water. Cold brewed green tea goes well with most of the American meals.

 

I’ve seen green tea products specialized to make “iced tea” in the market; however, the only difference is size of the leaves–they are cut small so the infusion occurs faster. Only in the case with blended teas, the flavors can be more enjoyable as cold. You don’t need a special leaf or tea bag to make “cold brew.” Simply use your favorite loose leaf tea and pure water.

 

How about “Sun Tea Method” for green tea? As far as green tea is concerned, avoid the sun exposure as sunlight oxidizes and ruins green tea goodness. It would be just fine to have a jar of chilled green tea on the table for everybody to enjoy as long as it is out of direct sunlight.

 

One of the frequently asked questions about green tea is, “Do I have to use hot water to make green tea?”

 

Now you know the answer: “No, the water temperature can be room temperature, or even chilled water can be used. No boiling and chilling necessary to enjoy iced green tea.” The same goes with powders, both MATCHA and Sencha Powder. Just mix powder with water, stir well, add ice, and enjoy! In any case, use a clean, good water as always to make a good cup of tea.

 

If you make a cup of hot tea, and then change it to iced, make a cup a little stronger and pour it over plenty of ice to cool it down quickly and completely. The sudden temperature change increases the crispness and clarity of the tea.

 

We hope “cold brew” tea is enjoyed with laughter and smiles while the goodness nourishes your body.

Green Tea Benefits You Would Appreciate During Summer

Drink Green Tea because it’s Summer!

It’s summer!  All sorts of fun things are happening!!  And you still have regular chores and obligations to do.  But don’t get stressed out–Drink your Green Tea!  Here’s the short list of Green Tea benefits you will enjoy particularly in summer time!

1. Neutralize free radicals with Green Tea–Free radicals are by-products which your body keeps creating as long as you are alive.  Free radicals damage healthy cells and that destructive process can cause aging and diseases.

2.  Boost your immune system with Green Tea–When you are stressed out, your immune system is suppressed.  Support your immune system with SEI MEE Green Tea when you feel stress.
3. Prevent skin cancer from UV light exposure with Green Tea–it’s important to protect your skin with sunscreen to reduce risk of skin cancer.  Try mixing green tea powder with aloe gel to apply over tanned skin since Green Tea antioxidants are also beneficial used topically.
4. Quench thirst and hydrate your body with Green Tea–Add green tea powder to chilled water bottle and shake it up! (1/4 tsp. to 1 tsp. per 8 oz to your taste)  Green tea helps you to gulp down 64 ounces a day, the recommended water daily intake amount.  Remember to drink more when you sweat a lot!  Add lemon for flavor and enhanced antioxidant activity.
5. Enhance memory and focus with Green Tea–Heat stress can lead to memory loss.  Hydrating your body helps and also green tea antioxidants help your mind stay focused.
6. Enhance your mood with Green Tea–Heat may prevent you from doing things.  Doing nothing is not really relaxing. Green tea antioxidants help lift your spirits.
Feel refreshed, poised, and energized with Green Tea this summer!

Relieve Stress with Green Tea

We’ve all been stressed before. Stress can be caused by a number of events, often stacked on top of each other. However, stress can be easily handled as long as we take the correct steps. Here are the top three ways to reduce stress: foods, supplements, and easy activities.
Courtesy of Nature’s Pantry. La Grande, Oregon
Top 10 FoodsPeaceful woman relaxing at home with cup of tea or coffee

 

Water – It’s important to stay hydrated to reduce stress! The average person should drink half their body weight in ounces (example: a 150 lb person should drink 75 oz. a day)

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids – The brain is 80% water. The remaining 20% is fat. Eat foods high in Omega 3, such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and salmon, to help the brain handle stress.

 

Green Tea – Green tea is great for the body and the brain. L-theanine can calm anxiety and stress.  Find the rest

 

Whole Grains – The B vitamins found in whole grains nourish the nervous system, helping you keep calm in stressful situations.

 

Greens – Greens such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and leafy greens are high in magnesium that helps balance out the stress hormone Cortisol.

 

Carrots – Not only does the simple act of munching on carrots and other crunchy vegetables lower stress, they are also nutrient-rich. Carrots can be an answer to food cravings without taking on too many extra calories.

 

Nuts – Raw nuts are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and zinc which boost up your immune system. They can help fight back against the exhausting effect of stress.

 

Yogurt – Another great alternative to giving into sweet food cravings is yogurt. Instead of choosing ice cream, reach for yogurt; it’s filled with great vitamins and minerals.

 

Whole Grain Pretzels – Whole grain snacks like pretzels or crackers contain fiber and satisfy carb cravings. They also offer an energy boost and trigger serotonin.

 

Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate offers another way to stop sweet food cravings. While you will still want to watch how much you eat, dark chocolate can reduce levels of stress hormones and release serotonin.

 

 

Top 10 Supplements
Magnesium – Calms the muscles and nerves the body and helps you sleep.

 

Trace Minerals – Electrolytes that help with daily energy and help keep the heart rate at a good pace. If you’re lacking trace minerals, you may be more easily stressed.

 

Vitamins B & C – Vitamin B can help a stressed person with their nervous system. Vitamin C boosts their immune system.

 

L-Theanine in Green Tea – L-theanine is a natural relaxant. Start your morning with a cup of Matcha. Even though it has greater levels of caffeine than sencha, it also has more L-theanine.

 

Lavender – The smell of lavender can often be a stress reliever. It can be taken in the form of a pill, tea, or essential oil.

 

Holy Basil – This herb regulates cortisol in the body. Prolonged stress can create too much cortisol, holy basil can help level out the effects.

 

Valerian – Valerian can calm tight muscles and keep you asleep at night. It is often used to defend against anxiety and excitability.

 

Passion Flower – Use this herb to calm anxiety and nerves in stressful situations. It can also help with sleep issues.

 

Kava Kava – Has a calming effect on the musculature. It can be taken as a tea or pill. It shouldn’t be used on a long term basis. Do not use with alcohol or if you have liver issues.

 

Chamomile Tea – Chamomile can be used to calm the nerves after a stressful day. It can also be used to calm an upset stomach.

 

 

Top 10 Activities
Listen to Music – Singing can relieve stress. Research shows music in general can help reduce stress. Listen to classical, light, or fun music, sing or dance along, and you will feel much better.

 

Laugh – Laughter is the best medicine! It can reduce the physical effects of stress. Take a day to listen and tell jokes or funny story.

 

Spark Some Scents – Aroma therapy can be a great way to relieve stress. Certain aromas (like lavender) have been shown to reduce stress.

 

Drink Green Tea – The act of making green tea, powered or brewed, can lower post-stress cortisol levels and help with relaxation.

 

Deep Breathing – Deep breathing is one of the easiest activities to do in the workplace. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. Try to get some fresh air and take about 10 deep breaths before putting yourself back into a stressful situation.

 

Chew Gum – Chewing gum has been shown to lower cortisol levels in stressed people.

 

Exercise – Exercise can be a great stress reducer, especially if you enjoy the activity. The post exercise endorphin rush sharply cuts stress.

 

Take a Nap – Napping reduces cortisol levels, aiding in stress relief. Try to take a 10-20 minute nap, these are the most effective and won’t get in the way of your productivity.

 

Progressive Relaxation – From the fingers to the toes, tense and release each muscle group. When the body is relaxed, the brain is sure to follow.

 

Prayer/Meditation – Mental silence that goes with meditation may have a positive effect on stress.

Being a part of movement

We just received a package from Azure Standard, to whom we supply our tea products. The package felt heavy and we had no idea what it would be.  In the package we found a handsome metal plaque, saying “AZURE INDIE PARTNER”, and a beautiful brochure. indie-partner

They expressed the reason why they are ‘awarding’ us with this recognition. I was simply touched by what they said, and am grateful for the significance they put on our effort.

In the brochure, they started with the phrase “Celebrating a Spirit of Independence.”

Sugar-free, all-natural and organic as much as possible, GMO-free… you name it. Even though these are big now, fulfilling these conditions brings challenges with cost, shelf life, logistics, etc.

Since they are not as sweet as conventional products, our products may not sell as fast as retail shops would like to see.

When we come up with a new product, we face a decision to make: Whether we stay on the current “mass-palate” that mass-production of giant industry has created, or try to create a new, healthy palate.

So when I read this statement, “Celebrating a Spirit of Independence,” I felt like I was patted on my back.

They went on:

“We recognize that you care enough to source the best ingredients and adhere to strict quality standards.”

“We’re part of a global grassroots movement aimed at going beyond organic, to support a healthy farming system that doesn’t rely on industrialized practices.  This movement is energetic and passionate, transparent and inspiring, and you are the foundation of it all.”

Yes, we are a proud “AZURE INDIE PARTNER.”  Our business grows organically thanks to our precious customers who are also devoted advocates for healthy living.

Cheers!

 

Unsugar, or Unsweeten?

chocolate mousse

delicious "dark" chocolate mousse

We enjoyed every bite in Paris.  Even packaged fruit yogurt and coke bought at G7 (Super Marche–a common grocery store in France) tasted superior to our American equivalents.  And we noticed:  they are NOT as sweet as ours, and YET more delicious.

Every time I do a tea demo at a grocery store, I encounter some people who say, “I don’t taste anything at all.”  As you know as our great customer, our tea has smooth, subtle, delicate flavors.  After those people looked at me somewhat puzzled, they would go on:  “Some honey or sweetener would be good.”

“Lose the sugar, not the sweetness,” says an advertisement of a fake sweetener company.  Really?  Do moms want to nurture their kids’ palate that way?  These kids won’t be able to get pleasure out of natural flavors because sweetness seems to override other flavors and desensitize our taste sensor.  And sweetness makes our brain crave more sweetness–that means more calories (even though fake sugar itself is calorie free).

So, instead, I would suggest “use less sweetness in your food and enhance your palate so you will be able to enjoy natural flavors better.”  This is our challenge–unfortunately, convenient ready-to-eat foods and beverages available in our mass market are loaded with sweetness (otherwise, “BOLD” powerful flavor of some kind) and numbing our palate everyday.  The numbed palate will take a while to be re-conditioned.

Really, “flavorful” shouldn’t mean boringly “sweet”.  They are more colorful, inspiring, or soothing in a unique way.  ‘Unsweeten’ the palate, and add another joy to your life, (not to mention better health). 🙂

Chocolate Story in Paris

Cocoa Goddess

Cocoa Goddess

My chocolate story in Paris consisted of a chocolate tour guided by a chocolate connoisseur, a visit to the Chocolate Museum, and an indulgence of masterpieces of Belgian Chocolate ‘composed by’ Pierre Marcolini.

Chocolate Tour

The chocolate tour happened on the first day of our stay in Paris and it made a great introduction to bubbly, sparkly, beautiful Paris. Our lovely guide, Chloe, gave us a one hour lecture at our flat before we actually started our excursion, so we would be able to taste chocolate in a different way than we did before.

Chloe took us to 6 phenomenal chocolate makers in Paris.  Each one of them was full of originality.  Thanks to the “behind” stories Chloe provided, we were able to appreciate the integrity of each store as well as the taste of the chocolate.  Not to mention the quality of the chocolate, they were great examples of successful brand marketing–interior of the store, staff uniform, packaging, store history, and personality of the founder, the master chocolatier.

If you are interested in this chocolate tour, you can make an inquiry from this page:  http://www.chloe-chocolat.com/contact-chlo-echocolat-paris.  The website is in French, but Chloe is fluent in English–she teaches American students both in Paris and in the U.S. all the time.

Pierre Marcolini–Belgian Chocolate Master

During our stay, we had a great lunch with a friend of my husband and his wife from Belgium.  A shocking fact–only a three and half hour drive takes them from where they live to Paris!  (From our home to Portland, the nearest worldly notable city, takes five hours.)  We had great food and a great conversation.  I totally enjoyed the company of this lovely couple.

The lunch was elegant and scrumptious.  They also surprised us with such a gorgeous gift–a full selection of Pierre Marcolini chocolates.  “Life is like a box of chocolate” is a famous quote from “Forrest Gump” but Pierre Marcolini’s chocolate box is no ordinary life–it’s full of excellence and professionalism–and abundance (two levels with 33 different flavored chocolate bonbons on each tray).  We spent literally hours tasting one by one.  We took time to savor each piece, sharing thoughts on each and every one of the unique, beautiful harmonies in flavor.

The Chocolate Museum

On the last day in Paris, we visited the Chocolate Museum.  This museum does a great job of presenting the history of chocolate and explaining what “chocolate” is.  The beautiful exhibition exceeded our expectation and everybody had a great time.  If you are in Paris and love chocolate, you should include this museum in your itinerary.  http://www.museeduchocolat.fr/en

 

Is your Matcha real?

We constantly check new teas in our market.  One new “matcha” caught our attention because one of the buyers we deal with was “raving” about it.  She says, “Every time this company does a demo, this product sells so well because it’s cheap!”

 

So we decided to make a purchase and give it a taste test. 

 

Yes, it had a really good price for matcha:  $8.99 for 100g pouch.  Matcha is usually more expensive than any other type of green tea because it requires intensive labor to grow. 

 

We read every word on the label and still couldn’t find the reason why this matcha could be so cheap.  We opened the package and made a cup.  Even before we had a taste, we had a doubt about the quality of this matcha:  “Is this really matcha??!” 

 

Real matcha should have these two apparent characters:  1) bright green color and 2) creamy taste.  (There are also distinctive nutritional characteristics—please go to my website http://www.groundgreentea.com/index.php/content/matcha-and-sencha to see matcha nutrition.) 

 

But the color of this matcha was not bright green.  It was dark green, the color of sencha green tea powder.

 

We took a sip and the taste confirmed our first reaction.  The flavor was not creamy at all as matcha should be.  It was lightly “shibui”—that’s sencha’s characteristic flavor—English doesn’t have the word with perfect match, but it could be translated as tartness.

 

So, the buyer was right—the matcha was selling well because of the cheap price.  Our sample was most likely sencha, and is not organic and is imported from Shizuoka, Japan.  (Our staff said maybe that’s why the price is so cheap.)  We were terrified thinking of the possibility of what people are really paying for this ‘cheap’ matcha. 

 

As an owner of small tea company which started as a way to spread hope to people, I feel a strong objection about this mislabeled product.  But unfortunately in the tea industry, it’s a well known fact that this product is not the only product labeled as ‘matcha’ that is actually made with sencha tea leaves, in order to save cost.  As always, a price that is ‘too good to be true’ may not be a bargain.

 

So please be smart and learn more.  Know what you are paying for and be confident about your choice.

 

 

 

 

I’d love to summarize what matcha is, so you will be able to choose the best matcha for the price at your local store.

 

What is Matcha?

Matcha is green tea powder traditionally used for the Japanese tea ceremony.  Before they are ground into powder form, the tea leaves are called “Tencha.”   Tencha tea leaves are made from green tea plants, Camellia Sinensis, the same plant used to make the other green teas, such as Sencha and Gun Powder.  Tencha (matcha) is made from tea leaves grown in shade, Sencha and Gun Powder are made from tea leaves gown in full sun. 

 

If you would like to read now about the differences between matcha and sencha, please go to my website, http://www.groundgreentea.com/index.php/content/matcha-and-sencha

 

 

What does “shade grown” mean?

This environment with less sunlight gives the following effects in the tea leaves:

 

1) Tea leaves create more chlorophyll to obtain more energy from less sun light.  Chlorophyll makes energy from the process of photosynthesis.  Also Chlorophyll is a pigment, so tea leaves have a brighter green color.

 

2) Sunlight converts L-theanine in tea leaves to Catechins, green tea’s phenomenal antioxidants.  Less sunlight converts less L-theanine and produces fewer Catechins.  So the tea leaves grown in shade have more L-theanine and less Catechins than tea leaves grown in full sun.      

 

3) Studies show that the less sunlight, the more caffeine.  Tea leaves grown in shade have more Caffeine than tea leaves grown in full sun.

 

These characteristics from matcha are also found in young tea leaves—because young tea leaves have been exposed to less sun light than more mature leaves.

 

Matcha history

During the 16th century in Japan, the tea ceremony, “the way of tea,” was established and became popular among the privileged class, such as Zen monks and Samurai warriors.  The host and guests valued harmonious tranquility derived from refined simplicity.  This sense of beauty is called “Wabi, Sabi” in the Japanese language.  Matcha provided a feeling of restrained beauty, or ‘calm alertness.”  Modern science has revealed the calm alertness they enjoyed comes from a good balance of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha.  Many studies show that majority of the nutrition, including antioxidants, stay in tea leaves after steep tea leaves and that ‘consuming entire tea leaves’ is far more beneficial than drinking steeped teas.  Many doctors, including Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil, recommend matcha as a way to consume entire tea leaves, rather than drinking steeped teas.

 

Matcha nutrition

Consuming the entire tea leaf is the best way to get powerful green tea health.  However, since matcha is grown in shade, matcha contains more caffeine and more L-theanine than the other types of green tea as explained above.  The caffeine content depends on the size of the serving but typically one serving has about 25% more caffeine than black tea, and about two-thirds the same amount of caffeine as from a standard cup of coffee. 

 

So, if you want more caffeine but would like to achieve the “calm alertness” of a modern warrior, rather than the “jitters” caused by other strong caffeine drinks, matcha is a great choice for you.

 

Please note that matcha has more Vitamin A and Chlorophyll than other green teas as a result of its effort for a more efficient photosynthesis process in reduced sunlight. 

 

Please go to http://www.groundgreentea.com/index.php/content/matcha-and-sencha for more detailed information.

    

 

Today’s Japan – One year after 3.11

This March, we were invited to visit Japan by JETRO, Japan External Trade Organization.  It was really great to see Today’s Japan in person.

We all remember the overwhelming images of the massive, powerful tsunami. Buildings, cars, and ships were all crushed down and stacked up in a total chaos, and the land as far as you could see was filled up with endless pile of debris.  People were in deep sorrow from loss of loved ones.  These devastating images were engraved into the minds of those of us living overseas.

I expected to see some “scars” from the earthquake, such as people sad and depressed, dark nights with less electricity, etc.  My expectation was completely wrong.  Life in Japan seemed back to normal.  However, I should say it was not really the same as before in many ways: People in Japan seemed have gained more strength and depth in their character from this unprecedented incident—they seemed glowing with hope and are making a steady constant effort to build a new future.  Also they seemed more grounded; maybe the calmness comes from their awareness of the power of love—the love of family, friends, and even from the strangers they never met from all over the world.

We are still receiving phone calls from customers inquiring about radiation effects on products.  Some of the inquirers kindly say, “As long as the products are safe, I would like to buy Japanese products because I believe it helps Japan.”  I bow to the customers with gratefulness and respect over the phone. We are constantly checking to be sure our products are free from radiation and safe for our valued customers.  And they are safe.

  

Let’s go back to our trip.  Our six day itinerary prepared by JETRO was packed with business activities.  One day, we visited numerous booths at an International Food Trade Show held in Tokyo, where 2,400 companies brought their food products from all over the world to their booths.  I was hoping to find more healthy, delicious, convenient products at the trade show and we found some interesting possibilities.  We’ll keep you posted!

Three days were filled with non-stop one on one business meetings all day arranged by JETRO.  We were able to ask serious questions about management on food safety including organic production and radiation check.  Most of the companies understood our needs and they are sincerely seeking a way to produce products to meet our demands if they don’t already have products satisfying our market needs.  I was reassured that many of the companies had done their own “homework” and had a good sense of our needs, especially for food safety.

After Tokyo, we moved to Tottori, a city on the Japan Sea side—west coast of Japan.  Everything including sightseeing was conducted at a fast pace and each day was highly productive.  People were friendly and kind—more so than I remembered!

      

The affected area has still a long way to go for a complete recovery.  However, the rest of the country is functioning well.  In Japanese culture, people believe the favors received need to be returned with work well done and they will make every effort in order to make it happen.  Japanese products have a reputation of high quality.  I believe they will try harder to make their products better.  Please continue your support and friendship to Japan.  Arigato.

When I was thinking about this, a friend of mine just emailed me a link to a YouTube video and I would love to share it with you:

Pretty classy people to put this out.  Worth viewing.  Never heard of any other country doing this…….

A ‘Thank you’ from Japan ……   Click  Here

 

Green Tea with Whey for post exercise drink

Gain muscles to lose weight

 

“Lose weight” is on the wish list for a lot of people, and a lot of people decide to “eat less” and “do more exercise” to lose weight. 

 

Probably many of you know muscles burn more calories than fat, because fat requires less energy to maintain.  That’s why metabolism declines as we lose muscles.  On top of that, fat cells secrete hormones to hamper or alter healthy body chemical activities. Thus, maintaining or restoring muscle mass would be a great way to maintain higher metabolic rate and prevent various diseases caused by our modern life style.

 

 

Muscle loss after 40

 

The typical image for “building muscles” is “humongous muscles of body builders”, and not always well-accepted especially for women.  However, a conscious effort to build muscle is actually critical, especially for people older than 40, because muscle loss outpaces muscle gain as you age.  “As a rule, muscle mass declines with age, starting in the 40s and picking up speed after about age 50.”*1  This is called “sarcopenia”, age-related decline in muscle mass and function.

 

“Insufficient protein, especially if it’s accompanied by insufficient calories in general, can contribute to sarcopenia”, says Douglas Paddon-Jones, director of exercise studies for the General Clinical Research Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.*1  So if you don’t eat to lose weight, you may be merely turning the withered muscles into fat.  With the same volume, fat weighs less than muscles so you may have a disguised “good” result momentarily by not eating.  

 

 

Exercise and protein to rebuild muscles

 

Exercise, obviously, is a good way to counter muscle loss.  I learned muscles are the organs which metabolize faster.  That means, constantly muscle cells die and constantly new muscle cells are created.  However, the new muscle cells don’t function as muscle until they grow into real muscle.  Without exercise and nutrition, the new muscle cells become fat. 

 

Resistance exercise improves muscle protein balance, but, in the absence of food intake, the balance remains negative (catabolic or break down). Protein availability is important to rebuild muscles (anabolic) and the anabolic result is greater than when dietary amino acids (protein) are not present.*2 

 

 

Green tea to increase metabolism

 

One of the health benefits from green tea antioxidants, Catechins, is to increase metabolism.  Drinking green tea before and after exercise is a great way to ensure the positive effects from exercise.   Also it replenishes antioxidants in your body. While you exercise, your body generates more free radicals and your body needs fresh antioxidants to neutralize them.  Milk also is a great “sport drink” which provides nutrition that the body needs to recover from “trauma” of exercise.  Green tea antioxidants and milk protein thus make a great “post workout sport drink”. 

 

 

Milk extends green tea effects

 

Some of you may remember Casein, a kind of milk protein, was believed to negate Catechins’ antioxidant activities.  After many studies on this subject, scientists found that Catechins are just released more slowly when consumed with milk protein and actually extend the effects of the green tea antioxidant activities. As a result, the effect of catechin lasted from 4 to 8 hrs after the green tea was consumed with milk proteins, while the effect lasted only 4 hrs after green tea alone was consumed.  *3 

 

 

Whey and green tea: more beneficial than Casein and green tea

 

Casein is 80% of milk protein and the rest is Whey, and scientists even found green tea effects lasts longer with Whey than with Casein.  Whey also has shown many health benefits according to scientific studies.  *3

 

 

Great post exercise sport drink:  green tea with whey

 

The combination of green tea and milk may be a great sport drink to fight muscle loss and burn more fat.  Whey products are popular and available even at grocery stores so why not whip up green tea smoothie with milk and/or Whey?  “Cheers for another great year!”

 

 

*1  http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/on-fitness/2008/09/04/how-to-avoid-losing-muscle-as-you-age  How to Avoid Losing Muscle as You Age  By KATHERINE HOBSON  September 4, 2008

 

*2 Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001 Mar;11(1):109-32.Exercise, protein metabolism, and muscle growth. Tipton KD, Wolfe RR.Source  Metabolism Division, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medial Branch-Galveston, Galveston, TX 77550-2720, USA.

 

*3 “Study on prevention of modern chronic diseases with effective usage of skim milk” Prof. Masaaki Yoshikawa, et al.  (in Japanese) page 60 to page 65,  http://www.j-milk.jp/publicities/8d863s000006uqta-att/8d863s000006uqvm.pdf

 

Which is the healthiest drink?

“Which is the healthiest drink?”

Probably you have thought about this when you were picking out a drink at a grocery store:  Fewer calories, more health benefits, and tastier…  Probably many people would choose bottled water, bottled green tea, or a sport drink, believing they are good for you.    

I was totally surprised when I saw a presentation showing evidence that these so called “healthy” bottled drinks actually belong to the same category as soda pop, notorious for causing various health problems. 

Each drink was tested for its pH and its ORP, oxidation reduction potential.  After the presentation, we got very curious, so we purchased our own pH and ORP tester so we could do our own tests.

pH and ORP

Before I share the test results with you, let’s review about pH and ORP.

For optimal health, our body should be slightly alkaline, and our skin slightly acidic.  pH 7 is neutral, and the lower than 7 is acidic, and higher than 7 is alkaline.  We are more prone to disease when our body’s pH is acidic; doctors call this condition “acidosis”.  Creating an alkaline internal environment may prevent many diseases and conditions. 

ORP, oxidation reduction potential, indicates the tendency to gain/lose electrons.  A solution with a lower (more negative) ORP has higher tendency to lose electrons.  So, how are electrons related to our health?

Free Radicals and ORP

To talk about it, we need to remember how free radicals affect our health.  Our body is creating free radicals constantly as byproducts and free radicals, unless neutralized, cause aging and various serious diseases.  Free radicals are unstable and have a strong tendency to steal (gain) electrons, oxidizing our body.  Foods/drinks that have higher tendency to lose electrons are called antioxidant-rich foods/drinks, and they have higher capability to stabilize free radicals by providing electrons, which neutralize the free radicals.

Various Drinks’ pH and ORP

Here are the test results: 

pH and ORP test results

(Bolded names indicate the beverage is water or carbonated water. *Tap water is our local well water in Enterprise, Oregon.)

Based on ORP and pH, the beverages in the top left corner can be called the “healthiest” and the ones in the right bottom corner would be the “worst” for health.  (This matrix doesn’t take other elements into consideration: calories, the amount and type of sweeteners, and additives.) 

Ready to Drink Green Tea & Sport Drinks—not so good as we think.

The result shows ready-to-drink green tea and sport drinks are in the same category as soda pop.  I was also astonished to learn car battery acid is pH 2.5 and that’s the same pH as Coke.  As far as bottled green teas are concerned, there are much fewer antioxidants than “real green tea”, and they are acidic.  pH is logarithmic.  That means “Snapple Green Tea” with pH 3.3 is 10,000 times more acidic than Edible Green® made with good quality filtered water, of which pH is 7.0 or higher. It takes a lot of alkalizing foods to neutralize the acidity of pH 3.3.  If you love the health benefits from green tea, avoid ready-to-drink green tea.

Zero calorie drinks are not the savior for weight control.

Also, you’d better avoid sport drinks likes Gatorade and Propel, if you don’t want to cancel out the benefits you gained from exercise.  Do not be fooled by “zero calorie” to lose weight.  The impact on insulin system from “zero calorie sweetener” is controversial.  Studies also show artificial sweetener actually increases the cravings for sweetness and you will likely end up with weight gain.  Not to mention that many of the bottled green tea and sport drinks have food additives including food coloring. 

Drink Real Green Tea for Real Health Benefits

Real green tea is an alkalizing food.  Green tea has strong antioxidants, called EGCG, which is 25 times to 100 times more potent than antioxidant vitamin C and E and neutralizes free radicals.  It’s easy to add Edible Green® to your bottled water—just add ¼ tsp. (1/2 tsp. for Genmaicha Edible Green®) per 8 oz of water and shake well.  It’s loaded with antioxidants, no calories, and no artificial additives.   

“There are so many teas out there. Sometimes I think, “I’ll try this one this time.” I order and taste it, then I always come back to you. Sei Mee Tea is the best!”   Charleen, MS