nutrients

  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. Organics are worth the extra money -- here's why

    Why organic foods really are better

    You've seen the headlines by now: Organic food is supposedly no better for you than conventional foods, at least according to a new study out of Stanford University.

    But there are some huge problems with this study -- including the fact that it didn't reach that conclusion at all if you go by any reasonable definition of "better."

    First, the study found that organic produce has 30 percent less pesticide residue than non-organic. Since avoiding these dangerous chemicals is one of the main reasons many people eat organic in the first place, that's a win right there.

    The researchers also found that people who chow down on conventional chicken and pork are 33 percent more likely to get a taste of at least three different strains of drug-resistant bacteria than those who eat organic meats.

    Now we're not just talking about a win... we're talking about a BIG win, and it comes from a study that supposedly finds that organic foods are "no better" than conventional foods.

    But let's dig a little deeper here. The real reason for those headlines is the finding that organics have the same levels of nutrients as conventional foods -- at least according to the study.

    And that brings me to the next big problem: The Stanford team didn't examine a single piece of food.

    Not one apple, strawberry, or steak.

    Instead, they relied on other research. It's called a meta-analysis, and the problem with that approach is that researchers get to pick and choose what to include... and what to exclude.

    So they excluded, for example, a study that found organic strawberries have higher vitamin C levels than regular -- and they even admitted afterward that they goofed by leaving it out.

    And that's not the "sin of omission" here.

    Charles Benbrook, a professor of agriculture at Washington State University, told Environmental Working Group that studies have consistently found that organics have higher levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, phenolic acids, and other nutrients.

    But for whatever reason, those studies didn't make the grade at Stanford.

    So organic IS better -- and in addition to having lower pesticide levels, fewer disease-causing germs, and higher levels of key nutrients, organics offer one more benefit that the study didn't even look at.

    Conventional foods -- especially corn and soy -- are often genetically modified monstrosities that come with big-time safety risks, and you can read about them in more detail right here.

    All organic foods, on the other hand, are 100 percent natural as God intended -- and that alone is worth paying extra for.

  3. Too much of this mineral can be bad for the brain

    Most nutrients are not only safe in high amounts, they're necessary -- because too many people simply don't get nearly enough of the essentials from diet alone.
  4. The key vitamins that will protect your brain

    Some brains, however, shrink faster than others -- and since this rapid loss of gray matter is often a warning sign of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, you want to limit your own shrinkage as much as possible. And the best way to do that is with the vitamins you should be getting anyway.
  5. Choline on your mind

    Some nutrients, like vitamin D, always seem to be making headlines -- while others, you just never hear about. Take choline, for example.
  6. Risky vitamins? Don't believe it!

    Common, safe nutrients and ordinary multivitamins are being blamed for everything in the book -- and now, a new study claims any number of vitamins will cause women to die early.

6 Item(s)