Japan

  1. Different brands have different health benefits of green tea

    Green tea: choose your weapon

    If you want the disease-fighting power and health benefits of green tea, it's best to get out your kettle and brew your own -- because some bottled teas contain all the nutrients of a glass of rainwater.

    In other words, practically none at all.

    One of the best antioxidants in green tea, for example, is a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG for short. It's been shown to fight dementia, cancer, and more.

    (To learn more about green tea's dementia-fighting powers read this.)

    But Diet Snapple Green Tea was found to have just about none of these health benefits of green tea, according to a series of tests conducted by ConsumerLab.com. Honest Tea's Green Tea with Honey did a little better -- but not by much. The label claims each bottle contains 190 mg of healthy catechins, but ConsumerLab.com's tests found just 60 percent of those levels.

    Maybe it's time to change the name -- because that's not exactly what I'd call an "honest" tea.

    Clearly, you want to stick to loose teas and teabags with the largest amount of health benefits of green tea instead -- but even then, the choice isn't as cut-and-dry as it might seem. Lipton and Bigelow, for example, contain high levels of antioxidants at a low price -- and very little caffeine, too.

    But don't stock up just yet -- because both contain lead, according to the test results.

    It could be because Lipton and Bigelow's green teas are grown largely in China, where lead contamination in the soil is all too common. While the lead seems to stay in the tea and not leech out into the water, I wouldn't take the risk myself.

    Teavana's Gyokuro green tea from Japan contains no lead and even higher levels of antioxidants. On the other hand, it also comes with a much higher price tag and as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

    I won't recommend a specific brand, since it seems like there are tradeoffs all around. For the best results, avoid bottled teas and stick to green teas grown in safer regions to get the largest amount of health benefits of green tea.

    And if you're sensitive to caffeine, be sure to purchase a decaffeinated version.

  2. Tuna caught off California found to have radiation from Japan

    Nuclear tuna on the menu

    Sometimes, problems that seem like they're a world away can end up right on your dinner plate.

    Take the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. You know it's bad news for the Japanese... and maybe you've even heard about some of the contaminated food they've had to deal with over there.

    Well, now some of those foods are turning up here, specifically Pacific bluefin tuna with higher-than-normal levels of radiation that have been caught off my home territory -- the coast of California.

    Despite the radiation, these fish can be sold to consumers since the levels are still below the safety limits set by the U.S. government. But those levels are also 10 times higher than what was seen in tuna caught before the March 2011 nuclear crisis.

    In fact, the 15 samples of tuna tested all contained higher-than-expected levels of two radioactive substances: ceisum-134 and cesium-137.

    The researchers also tested tuna from other parts of the Pacific -- tuna that never passed through Japanese waters as well as tuna that migrated from waters near Japan before the nuclear crisis.

    They found no sign at all of cesium-134 and only the expected background levels of cesium-137 (those levels themselves are remnants of 1960s nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific, which should tell you how long this stuff can linger).

    In other words, the higher levels of radiation found in the current crop of tuna coming from Japanese waters are without a doubt a result of the disaster -- and the news gets worse from here.

    These fish spent only about a month in waters contaminated with radiation. The next batch coming through will have spent much more time there.

    The researchers plan more tests when they arrive. Keep an eye out for more information.

2 Item(s)