Nutrition and Stroke Prevention
Making small but positive lifestyle changes such as adding green tea to your daily diet can lower the risk of stroke by as much as 30 percent. This is not new research but small changes like this often go ignored and they can have a significant impact on your health. Researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Japan conducted and published the results of this important study in Stroke, the Journal of the American Heart Association several years ago that explains how drinking green tea on a regular basis is associated with a dramatically reduced risk of stroke. The team also investigated the effect of drinking coffee and found the beverage can yield similar results to those found with green tea consumption. Many health-minded people avoid coffee due to the highly processed nature of the bean and increased levels of homocysteine, blood pressure and blood lipids which may offset the possible health benefits when comparing green tea directly with coffee. I also talk about coffee and my take on how it relates to a Body in Balance in my book.
How does green tea reduce stroke risk?
Researchers concluded that green tea provides a healthy dose of catechins that are potent antioxidants and exert anti-inflammatory properties that help lower stroke risk. The most active and abundant catechin in green tea is known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Cateching also play a powerful role in reducing certain cancer risks and keeping joints healthy. In contrast to green tea, coffee contains chlorogenic acid that helps modulate blood sugar levels to improve vascular health. Green coffee bean extract in supplement form can supply chlorogenic acid without the side effects experienced with coffee consumption.
Lower your stroke risk by drinking up to four cups of fresh brewed, organic green tea every day! I get my organic teas online through Puritan’s Pride and usually stock up when they run 2 for one specials and offer free shipping.
Here’s how to brew the perfect cup of green tea:
The perfect cup of green tea is flavorful, not too bitter, weak or watery – in fact, I have a hot cup beside me now that I make this way:
- Use 2 grams (roughly one teaspoon) of loose green tea leaves for every 6 ounces of water. Ideally you should use organic, non-irradiated tea leaves. Whether you use tap, filtered, or spring water is up to you – however, fresh cold water that has not been previously boiled is the best option (avoid fluoridated tap water, paying special attention not to re-boil fluoridated tap water as the chemical will concentrate).
- To make the tea, place the water in a tea kettle and heat it to 160°-180°F. Alternatively, you could heat the water to just short of boiling. Place the loose leaves in a teapot or cup (you may want to add a small amount of room temperature water − enough to dampen the tea leaves or bag before adding the water). Pour the water over the tea leaves.
- Next, place the lid on the teapot. If using a cup, cover it with a lid or a small saucer. Depending on the particular variety of green tea, it should be allowed to steep for 1-3 minutes. Small leaves generally infuse more quickly than large leaves.