Fats That You Should Cheer About

All fat is NOT created equal!

Fat is one of the three critical macronutrients; along with protein and carbohydrates. Some fats are super-health-boosting; and, others are super-health-busting.

Health-building fats support your brain, hormones, immune system, heart health, and moods while health-busting fats pretty much bust all of these (brain, hormones, immune system, heart health, and moods) – clearly not the type of fat you want to be consuming alot of.

As a general rule, the fats from whole foods that are the least processed will be the healthiest for you. But, you already knew that, right? #ofcourseyoudid

So let me give you a definitive list of the fats to use, and the fats to ditch.

Health-boosting fats are from:
• Nuts and seeds (hemp, flax, and chia)
• Fish
• Seaweed
• Pasture-raised/grass-fed animals/eggs
• Olives
• Avocados
• Coconuts

And what about  “virgin” oils – do they make a difference? THEY SURE DO, and here’s why. Getting the oil out of a whole food involves some processing. Sometimes it’s by squeezing, or heating. Other times it’s by using chemical solvents. The word “virgin” is used to show minimal processing (and no solvents!).

According to the World Health Organization’s Codex Alimentarius:

“Virgin fats and oils are edible vegetable fats, and oils obtained, without altering the nature of the oil, by mechanical procedures, e.g., expelling or pressing, and the application of heat only. They may be purified by washing with water, settling, filtering and centrifuging only.”

For example, Extra virgin olive oil must:

  • Be cold pressed
  • Not contain any refined olive oil
  • Possess superior quality based on chemical composition and sensory characteristics.

Don’t you think these standards ensure higher quality? I sure do!

Plus, the minimal processing helps to maintain some of the quality of delicate fat molecules, as well as their antioxidants. #AllTheWins

Health-busting fats are from:

• Seed and vegetable oils like safflower, soybean, and corn oils
• Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

Hydrogenated oils are particularly bad; this is because they contain small amounts of “trans” fats. Studies show that trans fats lead to insulin resistance, inflammation, belly fat. They also drastically raise the risk of heart disease. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

So, now the question is, ‘How do I get more health-building fats Melanie?’

Well, first of all, you have my permission to ditch any foods in your cupboards that contain safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or any hydrogenated oil. Soybean oil alone accounts for over 75% of oils consumed by North Americans…#gross. You need to kick that crap to the curb.

Second, try substituting one of the health-building oils whenever you have a recipe that calls for the other stuff. Try flax oil in your salad dressing, avocado and/or olive oil in your cooking, and coconut oil in your baking.

Third, make healthier versions of your go-to processed foods. Pinterest is fabulous for finding easy and healthy swaps. Of course, I’ll help you out below with my super-simple mayonnaise recipe. It’s way better for you than the unrefrigerated stuff you find at your grocery store.

Now tell me: What’s your favourite fat and why? Let me know in the comments below.

************************************************************************************And with the Christmas and Holiday season around the corner, do you have a plan for dealing with all the parties, get togethers and social events?
Let me help you stay on track with my Weight Loss Breakthrough Call. 

Book your FREE call here

*************************************************************************************

Recipe: Healthy Mayonnaise

food-eggs.jpg
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or extra large egg
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup olive or avocado oil

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except oil to your food processor. Process until creamy (about 10 seconds).
  2. With the food processor running, add a few drops of oil into the egg mixture. Every few seconds add a few more drops. Continue until the mixture starts to thicken.
  3. Now you can do a slow drizzle. Stop pouring, every once in a while checking that the oil gets fully incorporated.
  4. Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks.
  5. Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Use this in place of mayonnaise for egg, salmon, chicken salads, etc.


10 Signs You May Have a Hormonal Imbalance (And What To Do About It)

Hormones are like chemical messengers, and govern nearly every cellular action in our body. Each group of hormones has a very distinct role in our body – some are considered essential, others are not.

Let’s start with our sex hormones. While very important, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, are actually not essential for our survival. They’re responsible for sexual functioning and fertility, as well as in more of a “beauty” capacity – keeping our skin, hair & nails vital and youthful looking.

On the other hand, stress hormones (like cortisol & epinephrine, also known as adrenaline) are critical to our survival because they synthesize proteins, maintain cellular electrolyte balance, regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, and transport glucose into our cells – essentially feeding our brain.

These hormones are so crucial, that in times of chronic stress, cortisol (the “hormone of stress”) will be made at the expense of sex hormones. No wonder we can start feeling whacked out and disconnected at certain stages of life!

So what happens when hormones stop playing well together?

We can often experience a ripple effect, even when there’s a slight hiccup in hormone function. Also, with the interconnected nature of your endocrine system, one hormonal imbalance can lead to an additional one, causing multiple symptoms and overlapping health issues. #notgood

The 10 most common signs that you may have a hormonal imbalance:

  1. Poor sleep – not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep
  2. Fatigue that’s not alleviated by sleep
  3. Night sweats and hot flashes
  4. Resistant excess weight and body fat, especially around the belly
  5. Low libido or sexual dysfunction
  6. Acne or other skin issues
  7. PMS symptoms
  8. Foggy thinking (brain fog!) and difficulty concentrating
  9. Mental health issues – depression and anxiety in particular
  10. Mood changes like irritability and anger

NOTE: I know that maybe you’ve been to the doctor and have been told that your hormone levels are within the normal range and there is no cause for concern. Here’s the thing – normal does not meal optimal. You could be on the low end of normal range but still within the normal range and be feeling like crap. Don’t settle for normal or average….aim for optimal. Choose to bring your overall health to the highest possible levels.

While there can be many causes to hormonal imbalances, the following are the most common ones that have been identified:

  • Age and stage of life
  • Chronic stress
  • Medications (e.g. the Pill)
  • Toxins and endocrine disruptors like xenoestrogens (think plastics, chemicals in skincare products)
  • Poor nutrition and lack of adequate key nutrients (not enough or poor quality fat)
  • Blood sugar regulation problems (think cravings, fatigue, hangriness)
  • Disrupted circadian rhythm (poor sleep)
  • Chronic inflammation (e.g. leaky gut & digestive system inflammation)

If you’re reading this and thinking, “this is me, this is me”…. don’t panic! I’m going to share with you 5 simple ways to support and rebalance your hormones naturally.

Eat whole foods: processed, packaged foods offering little to no nutritive value will also offer little to no fuel for your hormones.

Be sure to eat fresh over packaged foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and quality sources of free range and grass fed meats and eggs. Also, if tolerated – nuts, seeds, and legumes in moderation. Keep in mind that grains and dairy may cause or exacerbate hormonal problems for some people so these should be infrequent or avoided all together.

Eat more good fats: Good fats are essential for hormonal health because sex hormones need fat as a building block – and your body can only use the ones you give it. Fat is also needed for your brain, eyes, immune system, heart health and mood.

Opt for sources of good fats from whole foods, such as avocados, raw nuts & seeds, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, real butter or ghee (grass fed preferable), wild-caught salmon, and free range eggs – yes, you can eat the yolks (and you should)! I posted recently about Healthy Fats and Dangerous Fats. Check it out here.

Exercise daily: Working out on a regular basis, engaging in strength training, and incorporating HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been proven to be especially beneficial for keeping our bodies AND our hormones fit. And exercising also helps you sleep better.

Sleep better: Getting deeper, more restorative sleep can be the key to supporting your hormones, above all other measures (but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the other ones!). If you have trouble falling asleep, consider adding essential oils to your night-time routine (via diffuser or topical application). We have had great success adding essential oils to many different areas of our lives!

Manage stress & practice self-care: the truth is – stress can be devastating for hormonal health (an overall health in general). We need to equip ourselves to manage the stress and “business” of everyday life through the actions that bring back balance and wellbeing to our bodies AND our minds – like good nutrition, exercise and sleep!

Learn better coping mechanisms (like breathing techniques), practice mindfulness and be sure to engage in daily self-care. Self-care doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive venture. What is it that you enjoy doing to relax? Having a bath? Giving yourself a facial? Reading a book? Taking a walk? Whatever it is, engaging in it daily (ideally) will dramatically support your hormones.  Lastly, have you heard of the app Calm? It has guided meditation (5min), breathing exercises, relaxing music and sleep stories. It’s a great app that really helps you to focus, relax and sleep.

If you’d like to chat about simple ways you can get your hormones working with you (instead of against you), book a free 30 min call 

RECIPE: Hormone-friendly Choco-nut Fat Bombs

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup almond or other nut butter, no sugar-added (if nut-sensitive, use sesame tahini or sunflower seed butter)
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 3 Tbs raw, unprocessed cacao powder
  • stevia, xylitol or monk fruit to sweeten to taste ( 1-2 drops or 1/8 tsp powder)
  • silicone candy mould or mini-muffin pan

Optional add-ins:

  • splash of real vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • cinnamon or ginger
  • pinch of Himalayan pink salt or Celtic grey salt

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet melt coconut oil and nut butter over low heat.
  2. Stir in cacao powder and desired sweetener.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla (+ other add-ins), if using.
  4. Pour or spoon mixture into silicone candy molds or mini-muffin pan (about 1 Tb of mixture)
  5. Put in freezer until set.
  6. Remove from molds and store in the freezer or fridge in an airtight container.

Be mindful that each fat bomb is considered a full serving of fat – great for curbing the appetite, satisfying a sweet tooth and supporting your hormones with the building blocks they need! And FREAKIN DELISH. The hubby makes these HIMSELF every two weeks….seriously, that easy and totally delicious.


Made Good – New Product Reveal

Do you know about the Made Good Foods line? If not, READ ON! (and even if you do, read on anyways!)

All their products are safe for school (meaning nut free) they are also gluten free, certified vegan, organic, Non-GMO, kosher parve AND contain a full serving of vegetables.

They already have a large stable of amazing products that include granola bars, granola minis, crispy squares, baking chips, and cereal. Now, you can indulge and celebrate in their Newest Products – Soft Baked Mini Cookies and Crispy Light Granola!!!

The soft baked mini cookies are the ideal addition to your snack toolbox – slightly sweet that they will leave you feeling satisfied without the guilt. And don’t forget about the crispy light granola….SO VERSATILE! You can add it to yogurt or eat it with milk…it can be breakfast, lunch or a snack!

If you haven’t tried Made Good yet, what are you waiting for???

 

 


Intermittent Fasting – Whaaat?

In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is just that: fasting intermittently. But WHAT is it exactly and are there any benefits (and will it help me lose weight)?

By definition, it’s limiting calorie intake during certain hours/day or days/week. It’s more of an eating pattern than a diet (think along the lines of carb cycling). It limits when to eat, and not so much what to eat. And that’s part of it’s appeal to people who don’t want to count calories or use their food log to track everything. That’s not to say that it can’t be used as part of particular way of eating (Keto for example).

Supporters of intermittent fasting say that it’s a more natural way to eat because humans evolved without refrigerators, drive-throughs, or 24-hour convenience stores. We now have access to food (including junk food) all day long, so eating several meals per day plus snacks may be less natural than fasting from time to time. In addition, intermittent fasting has also been linked to improvement in the brain’s neurological functioning.

In this TEDx talk, Mark Mattson, talks about how and why fasting is good for the brain. He’s the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University. Mattson is one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

There are lots of variations on this theme.  A few include:

  • 16/8 which is 16 hours of fasting, and eating only within the other 8 hours (often 1:00 pm. – 9:00 p.m.);
  • 5:2 days of fasting, where you eat regularly for five days of the week, then take in just 500-600 calories/day for the other two (non-consecutive) days.

So, we know it’s good for the brain….but is intermittent fasting also effective for weight loss? It can help to lose weight because it can help you to eat fewer calories, and burn more calories too. Lots of people say they have success with it…but what do the studies say?

  1. According to one review study, intermittent fasting helped people to lose 3-8% of their weight over 3-24 weeks.  In this study, people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference (i.e., belly fat).
  2. Another study of 100 people with obesity showed that after a year, the people who fasted on alternate days lost more weight than people who didn’t change their eating pattern. But, (and here’s what is interesting) they didn’t lose any more weight than those on a calorie restricted diet. Out of the people who were to follow the intermittent fasting protocol, 38% of them dropped out.

One of the reasons people drop out of the intermittent fasting eating pattern is that it’s hard to stick with the fasting part. They eat more than the allowed level of calories when they’re supposed to be fasting. And when they finish fasting, they may overindulge due to the reaction of the appetite hormones and hunger drive while fasting. So having strong social support will be key to those intermittent periods of fasting.

Before you consider intermittent fasting, you should know it’s not for everyone. People who are underweight, or have eating disorders shouldn’t fast. Neither should women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

In addition, certain medical conditions can be worsened with longer periods of fasting and people taking certain medications can be prone to side effects with intermittent fasting as well. As with any eating program, checking in with you healthcare provider before getting started is also a good idea.

What about you – Have you or someone you know tried intermittent fasting? What were the results? Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe: Almond Butter Energy Bites*

granola balls

Makes about 16 energy bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet and dairy-free if possible)
  • ½ cup flax seeds, ground
  • 2 tbsp maca powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey

*These are NOT kid friendly (Unless you want them with an overabundance of energy after consuming the maca…..) To make them for your kids (which I do ALL THE TIME), just remove the maca powder. Perfect granola balls that the kids love.

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir.
  2. Using a tablespoon to measure, roll into about 14-16 energy bites.
  3. Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can roll the bites to coat them in cocoa powder for a bit of extra flavour and to prevent them from being too sticky.


A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory You Can Eat?

Let’s talk turmeric.

Turmeric is a rhizome that grows under the ground like ginger. It has a rich, bright, orange colour and is used in many foods. Originally used in Southeast Asia, it’s a vital component for traditional curries. You can find dried, powdered turmeric in the spice aisle of just about any grocery store and sometimes they carry the fresh rhizome too (it looks like ginger root, but thinner and smaller).

Turmeric contains an amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound called “curcumin” which I’m sure you’ve heard of. The amount of this bioactive compound is around 3-7% by weight of turmeric. Curcumin has been studied like crazy for its health benefits and many of these studies test curcumin at up to 100x more than that of a traditional diet that includes turmeric.

So, what makes curcumin so powerful?

Firstly, it’s an anti-inflammatory compound and fights inflammation at the molecular level. There are dozens of clinical studies using curcumin extract (which is way more concentrated than ground turmeric) and many of them even show it can work as well as certain anti-inflammatory medications (but without the side effects).

Secondly, curcumin is an antioxidant compound meaning it can neutralize free radicals before they wreak havoc on our biomolecules. Curcumin also boosts our natural antioxidant enzymes.

These two functions of reducing inflammation and oxidation have amazing health benefits. We know that chronic inflammation plays a major role in so many conditions, including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, dementia, mood disorders, and arthritis pain, therefore, reducing the amount of inflammation in our bodies also reduces the liklihood of developing disease.

Curcumin has other amazing functions too:

  • Boosts our levels of “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” (like a natural growth hormone for your brain) which is great for brain health.
  • Improves “endothelial” function (the inner lining of our blood vessels) which is important for heart health.
  • Reduces growth of cancer cells by reducing angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis ( the spread of cancer), and even contributes to the death of cancer cells. Amazing right?

This all sounds amazing and I’m sure you’re ready to start incorporating curcumin in your diet but you need to consider these few things.

To start, curcumin is not easily absorbed by your gut. It’s fat soluble – so, as with all fat-soluble nutrients (like vitamins A, D, E, and K), you can increase absorption by eating it with a fat-containing meal.

The second trick to get the most out of your turmeric is eating it with pepper.  Interestingly, a compound in black pepper (piperine) enhances absorption of curcumin, by a whopping 2,000%!

If you want all the health benefits of curcumin, you need to get a larger dose than just eating some turmeric – and this is where supplements come in. Obviously, you want to take caution if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are taking anti-platelet medications or blood thinners
  • Have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction
  • Have stomach ulcers or excess stomach acid

(Always read the label before taking a new supplement.)

I want to know: What’s your favourite turmeric recipe? Try my version of “golden milk,” (an anti-inflammatory drink) and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Recipe (turmeric): Golden Milk

golden-milk-3

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric, ground
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, ground
  • ½ tsp honey

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Warm over medium heat, whisking frequently. Heat until hot, but not boiling.
  3. Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can substitute 2 cups of almond milk instead of the 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water.


Need A Mood Boost? Eat This!

No question that what you eat can affect how you feel, right? Both positively and negatively. (And the same goes for your kids. )

Mental health and brain health are incredibly complex. As are the foods we eat, and the ways our bodies interact with those foods. While, we don’t know the exact mechanisms of how food and nutrition help, we know a few ways that food impacts our moods.

First, we know that what we eat becomes the raw materials for our neurotransmitters. “Neurotransmitters” are biochemical messengers that allow our nerve cells to communicate. They are important not just for thinking and memory, but also for mental health. Second, we know what we eat affects our blood sugar. And having unstable blood sugar levels can contribute to mood swings…bad ones. Where do you think the term #hangry comes from?

So, let’s talk about mood-boosting and mood-busting foods….which ones to include and which ones to avoid. Especially as we move into the winter months, with less hours of sunlight we need to take external steps to support and improve our mood.

Top Mood Boosting Foods and Supplements

  1. Did you know that some nutrient deficiencies can look like mental health problems? Yup. The food we eat (or don’t eat) can affect us so profoundly that it mimics a mental health imbalance…this includes deficiencies in B-vitamins, vitamin D, and the mineral selenium. Clearly, getting enough vitamins, minerals, (and other things like antioxidants) are key. These nutrients not only reduce inflammation but also fuel the biochemical reactions in our bodies. So make sure you’re eating a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, studies show that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables are the happiest. #yesplease
  2. Pay special attention to vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin), as it’s not naturally occurring in too many foods.
  3. Selenium is an essential mineral found in Brazil nuts, walnuts, cod, and poultry. Try to add some of those to your weekly diet.
  4. Fourth. Make sure you get enough protein. Protein is your body’s main supply of amino acids. Amino acids are very important for mood issues because they are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. I recommend eating protein with every meal and don’t forget that protein also helps to regulate blood sugar,
  5. Fifth. Complex carbohydrates like sweet potato and quinoa are great too. They allow better absorption of key amino acids like tryptophan (and remember that Turkey time is just around the corner). Tryptophan is used by your body to make serotonin (your “happy hormone”) and melatonin (your “sleepy” hormone). So, if you want to relax, try these in the evening.
  6. Sixth. Fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, seeds, and algae) are also mood-boosting. Omega-3s are definitely “brain food” and may help to ease some symptoms.

FUN FACT: One study showed that giving one multi-vitamin and one omega-3  fish oil tablet per day to prison inmates reduced the incidence of violent behavior by 50%!

Not that I’m comparing my kids to prison inmates buuuuuuut, ALL my kids get fish oil in the morning to help set them up for the day AND in the evening before bed to help calm them and prepare them for sleep.

Last but not least, make sure you’re hydrated. Mild dehydration can cause mood issues as well!

Top Mood-busting foods

This shouldn’t be a surprise to you – processed foods are mood-busters! One study suggests that eating a lot of processed foods devoid of nutrients can increase your chances of becoming depressed by as much as 60 percent! This is on top of the research that shows nutrient deficiencies can look like mental health imbalances. How much feedback do you need to jump off this bandwagon? Processed foods are problematic for so many reasons.

I know you’re probably thinking….“But it makes me feel good!” Yes, some of these mood busters can make you feel better…but only temporarily. Most big food companies hire scientists to study how to maximize the “pleasure” centers with the perfect amount of sugar, salt, and fat. Not to mention the color, texture, and taste; they can light up our taste buds and make us feel good… for now. They call it the “bliss point” and their goal is light up this centre of your brain on a regular basis.

But do you know what also makes you feel good? Weight training,  running, walking..or just moving! Lots of things can help boost your mood and make you feel good….AND have the added benefit of improving your health.

A few other things to avoid are:

  • Alcohol (nervous system depressant)
  • Caffeine (may worsen anxious feelings and ability to sleep)
  • Sugar (messes with your blood sugar and can worsen inflammation).

Bad moods can lead to bad eating habits; and, bad eating habits can lead to bad moods. If you need a mood boost, stick to minimally processed nutrient-dense whole foods. Things like fresh fruit and vegetables (including leafy greens), nuts and seeds, eggs, fish, poultry, and meat. Avoid common mood-busting foods like alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.

And remember, sometimes “feel good” junk foods, only make you feel good temporarily.

Recipe (mood boosting): Fruit Salad

fruit salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1-2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1-2 cups blueberries, fresh
  • 1-2 cups blackberries, fresh
  • 1-2 cups green grapes
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all fruit in a large bowl and gently toss.
  2. Serve & enjoy!

 


The Queen Drinks It…It Must Be Good!

Tea is said to be the most popular beverage in the world. It’s been consumed for thousands of years by millions, perhaps billions, of people.

Tea has also been shown to have many health benefits. And some of these benefits are thought to be related to tea’s antioxidant properties. These properties are from its flavonoids known as “catechins.” Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory and have a range of health benefits that I’ll share with you later.

What’s the difference between black tea and green tea (or does one even exist)?

First of all, they both come from the camellia sinensis shrub that’s native to China and India. Green tea contains slightly more health-promoting flavonoids than black tea. The difference lies in how each type of tea is processed.

If the leaves are steamed or heated, this keeps them green. The heat stops oxidation from turning them black. Then they’re dried to preserve the colour and flavonoids. Hence you have green tea.

If the leaves are not heated, and are crushed and rolled, then they continue to oxidize until they’re dry. This oxidation uses up some of the flavonoids’ antioxidant power, so black teas have slightly less ability to combat free radicals than green tea does.

Did you know? Adding milk to your tea reduces the antioxidant ability….

Both green and black teas contain about half of the caffeine in coffee. That translates to about 20-45 mg per 8 oz cup….so if you are trying to cut back on your caffeine consumption, try drinking tea!

What are some the specific health benefits of drinking tea?

Heart health – For one thing, both green and black tea drinkers seem to have high levels of antioxidants in their blood compared with non-tea drinkers. Green and black tea drinkers also have lower risks of heart attacks and stroke. Drinking green tea, in particular, is associated with reduced triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL oxidation, all of which are risk factors for heart conditions.

Overall, drinkers of green and black tea seem to have a lower risk of heart problems. Green tea has also been shown to reduce risk factors (i.e., blood lipid levels) a bit more than black tea.

Cancers – Antioxidants also reduce the risk of many cancers. Studies show that both green and black teas can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men). Also, green tea drinkers have a lowered risk of breast and colorectal cancers. Black tea is being researched for its potential to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Overall, antioxidant flavonoids in tea seem to help reduce the risk of some different cancers. Green tea may have a slight edge over black tea, but both seem to be associated with lower cancer risk.

Diabetes – Both green and black teas can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also reduce diabetes risk factors, like elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. For example, some studies have shown that both green and black teas can help reduce blood sugar levels. Other studies have shown that green tea can also improve insulin sensitivity.

Once again, green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea, but both are blood sugar friendly (just don’t overdo the added sugar).

So, what’s the verdict on tea? 

Green tea retains more of the beneficial antioxidants than black tea does; but both are associated with better health than non-tea drinkers. Overall, both green and black teas are healthy drinks, and tea drinkers, in general, seem to have fewer health conditions than non-tea drinkers. Green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea when it comes to measurable risk factors of some common diseases.

I’d love to know: Are you a tea drinker? Which tea is your favourite? How do you like to enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe (Green tea): Matcha Energy Bites

matcha enrgy bites

Serves 6 (makes 12-18 bites)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 4 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into food processor and pulse until blended.
  2. Shape into 1-1.5″ balls.
  3. Serve & enjoy….and try not to eat them all!

Tip: If you use sweetened coconut, then you can eliminate the honey/maple syrup.