Brown fat prolongs our stress response
It's well known that chronic stress is associated with a shorter and less healthy life. Until now, short-term stress was considered less harmful to health.
Scientists have discovered just how toxic short-term stress can be. It spikes diabetes.
I'm drinking more tea since I learnt this
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water and is a major source of dietary flavonoids. Yet surprisingly, the way in which tea supports our health is still unknown (June, 2019).
If you don't yet drink enough tea (I don't) then perhaps it is time to take up the habit. Here's why.
For centuries, tea has been anecdotally linked to digestive health, and research studies have convincingly associated consumption of black tea with reduced cardiovascular risk. This benefit is attributed to substances called polyphenols, such as catechins.
Breakdown of black tea improves our gut biome
Polyphenols are also in other (non-black) teas and in orange skin, for example. What's different about the black tea polyphenols (BTP) is that they are heavier molecules and can resist breakdown in our stomach. In other words, BTPs are too large for direct bioavailability for our metabolism - like some fibres which are not readily digestible in our stomach.
It takes the power of our colon break down these big boys, and when that happens, other magic happens associated with our gut biome.
The microflora in the colon bioconvert the BTP to make the polyphenols available to other parts of our metabolism, and concurrently this breakdown improves gut microbial diversity.
Hence, BTPs give us direct benefits associated with polyphenols from their anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-lowering properties. They also give us indirect benefits from the byproducts of breaking down in the gut, such as improvements in platelet and endothelial functions (which may be why black tea benefits diabetics).
The interaction between the gut biome and the rest of our body is still far from understood. Humans are superorganisms, and the gut is part of our super-complicated system of how we stay healthy. Some studies suggest that the BTPs are even more effective when they are digested in conjunction with fibre and especially prebiotic fibres as in bananas.
Nine reasons to drink tea plus one more for the brain
Tea's benefits are all great news for tea drinkers because black tea offers such an impressive array of benefits - including:
Also, evidence continues to emerge that tea may act to improve cognitive function. For example, a study showed that green tea increases brain activation in a key area that improves immediate language processing and short-term recall. Other research suggests that tea polyphenols may be useful for the prevention or treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.
For smokers, however, it has been found that black tea does not confer many of these benefits. If you smoke, this is one more important reason to quit.
How many cups should we drink daily?
What we need to know is what "dose" is effective? Some studies have not found beneficial effects, and this has been put down to too low a dose of black tea.
We need to know the "physiologically relevant dosage". We are looking for long-term persistent results, not just directly after drinking tea.
In a study of dose, two healthy volunteers drank 4 cups of Lipton green tea every day for four days. Tests recorded levels of BTP, and its byproducts which were sufficient to activate the associated benefits.
You want to get the most benefits without overdoing the caffeine. Therefore, consider drinking between 3 and 6 cups of tea per day. No sugar of course! Added sugar will do more damage than the benefits of the tea.
I mix green and back in the one pot and drink 4 to 5 cups a day. I also cheat a little by emptying a teabag into my oats each night, which I then heat and cool to make them prebiotic. That way I get the fibre as well as the tea BTPs.
Good luck. I'm off to have a cup of my mixed tea with lunch.
> More posts to help you with EXERCISES
> More posts to help you with DIABETES
> If you are a @MEDIUM reader my publication Body Age Buster has hundreds of categorised posts which I have written especially for men and women over 50.
Here's how, and it's not too hard
The disease of diabetes has dire consequences for the health of our vascular system - our arteries, veins and capillaries. These vital pipelines become clogged up with excess sugar in our blood. This clogging results in nerves, cells and organs dying, e.g. hairs falling out, nerve pain as they die, blindness, kidney failure.
Every cell in our body relies on efficient blood flow, including our muscles. If we can increase the number of capillaries in our muscles, we can improve the blood flow and offset some of the adverse effects of diabetes.
Long-term exercise preserves memory function
Scientists studied people who had exercised consistently for a long-term and found they had better memory function than those who did not exercise. Starting to exercise at any time of your life is good - it's never too late - but starting earlier can bring benefits.
This finding is important to know because the research found that just being an active participant in a sport for a long period had this beneficial effect. You don't need to become a gym nerd.
I'm diabetic. Believe me, you don’t want to have diabetes
Skipping meals has become more common - and more faddish. Breakfast is often a casualty of our modern lifestyle, and rising interest in the health benefits of fasting have pushed out other meals, such as dinner.
The most common set meal to be lost is breakfast. But is that always the best choice? The consequences of missing breakfast versus missing dinner are different. If you knew the different health consequences, would you make a different choice?
What choice would you make it you are diabetic like me, or potentially diabetic? Here's what I learnt from the research.
Contentedness doesn’t come from serving yourself, here's how
Feeling good about life when you are 60 translates into an extended healthy life expectancy, according to recent research.
Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best riches; trust is the best of relatives, Nirvana the highest happiness - ANCIENT FAITHS AND MODERN | THOMAS INMAN
You lose 80% of the nutrient benefits by cooking the wrong way
Polyphenols are micronutrients which are readily available in everyday food. They're packed with antioxidants - as long as you don't destroy these antioxidants by cooking the wrong way.
For example, boiling some polyphenol-rich foods destroys 80% of their polyphenol content. In this article, I'll guide you through how to preserve the most benefit from polyphenol "superfoods" like tomatoes.
TL;DR slip a steam oven under your microwave and enjoy the best of both.
It's time to stand up and do something about it
Our brain is susceptible to damage as a result of poor blood-glucose control. The long-term effects of poor control are associated with the accelerated death of our neurons, and dementia - notably Alzheimer's disease. Poor glucose control is more prevalent than you think, and not just in diabetics.
The answers you're seeking will reveal themselves
About 25 years ago I chose to go to Japan to a Vipassana meditation retreat. I experienced something that I never imagined possible - the experience of the mind and body as one.
To reach that experience takes a tremendous effort - not just 10 days in silence but 10 days with a silent conscious mind. And it takes a big daily commitment to keep it going. I later found a far simpler alternative.
Waking with headaches told me that I had to do something differently
Even though I mostly worked from home before the pandemic, I am now working totally from home. Over the last two months, my neck muscles have felt more and more tense by the end of the day.
I've started doing three simple, quick stretches, and now my neck is feeling lighter. That's good news, because I also had light headaches every day, and even waking up with them. I suspected those were tension headaches.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter