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Dr. Tea's Top Five Tips To Help You Drink Your Way To A Healthier Life
Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra owns West Hollywood's Tea Garden emporium. His family has been in the tea business for over 200 years, and the good doctor has traveled the world in search of the rarest and tastiest examples of the elixir. The boundless energy the drink gave him lead to positive lifestyle changes and health benefits, the secrets to which he passed along to regulars at his store, and to readers of his enlightening new book, The Ultimate Tea Diet. We persuaded him to share a handful of his top tips with the Daily Mantra, so put the kettle on, reach for some tea leaves and a cup, and read on.
1. Choose A Little Teapot
Choosing the proper cookware can influence the way your meal turns out. The same goes for tea. The teapot you use can impact the flavor of your tea. If you prepare tea in a metal pot, the pot will absorb the flavor of the tea. So if you brew a pot of black tea in a metal pot and then brew white tea in the same pot, the white tea will take on some of the black tea notes. Personally I like to use a giant glass teapot. Glass does not absorb the flavor of tea as it is being brewed; neither do china or ceramic pots. So you can brew any kind of tea and the next pot won't be infused with the flavor of the one before.
2. I Need My Morning Coffee
There is only one plant in the world (besides an obscure mushroom) that contains L-theanine, and that plant is, you guessed it, Camellia Sinensis (aka tea). L-theanine is a non-protein based amino acid that constitutes between 1 and 2 percent of the dry weight of tea leaves. Several minutes after the caffeine has entered your system, the L-theanine is secreted from the small intestine into the blood system and into the brain where it stimulates alpha brain waves, which produce a state of relaxed effortless alertness, thus canceling out the harmful effects of caffeine. If you really must drink coffee in the morning, as soon as possible after you have your coffee, drink a cup of tea. That way, you're introducing L-theanine into your system, which will counteract the harmful effects of coffee.
3. Like Red Meat? Have Some Tea
Did you know that powerful mutagens (compounds known to cause cancer) form when you broil or fry meat? Scientists believe these mutagens increase the risk of both breast and colon cancer. So do you have to give up your favorite protein? No way! A study published in the journal Mutation Research in 2002 showed that the application of green tea and black tea to both surfaces of beef before cooking inhibits the formation of mutagens. The more tea you rub on, the fewer cancer causing agents in your beef. And, oh yes - the tastier your beef!
4. Tea and Alcohol
I'm not encouraging anyone to drink alcohol. But if you do, I am encouraging you to drink tea before and after. That's because several animal studies have shown that the antioxidants in tea protect against liver and brain damage caused by alcohol. In a study published in the January 2004 issue of the journal Alcohol, in which laboratory animals (okay, rats) were chronically intoxicated with alcohol for four weeks, green tea prevented damage to their livers. And other studies have shown that tea protects brain tissue against free radical damage cause by alcohol consumption.
5. Don't Be Afraid To Drink Tea At Night
I thought I could not drink tea at night because of the caffeine. So what I learned was not to drink a fresh cup of tea before going to bed. I instead made my tea and then threw out the liquid of that first pot. Then I added additional water and prepared the next pot and drank that one. What we have done is called "rinsing," a way to remove just about all of the small amounts of caffeine in your first cup or pot of tea because caffeine is very soluble.
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