Filed Under: Health Foods
at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
You certainly have heard of people cooking with wine and beer but how about cooking with tea? A very interesting cooking ingredient, tea contains distinctive flavors which can add herbal, sweet, and even smoky touches to your cooking repertoire. Let’s check out 5 ways to use tea when cooking.
Use tea as an herb. Tea leaves are essentially herbs and can be added directly to dishes while cooking. A mixture of green teas used as a seasoning works perfectly for stir-fries, particularly when added to vegetable dishes since it tastes similar to dark, leafy greens. Plus, you can use tea leaves like dried herbs such as oregano or thyme as well as add them to sauces and glazes.
How about cooking with tea instead of water? An easy way to add a little more flavor to your meals, just brew the tea and let it cool to room temperature. Then, use it in any recipe that calls for water. It works great to cook whole grains such as rice and quinoa and it can also be used for soups.
If you make your own pasta, here’s a great idea. Mix green tea powder to pasta dough, adding color and a delicious herbaceous flavor to your homemade pasta. Plus, rather than buying specialty noodles, just cook pasta in green tea to make a homemade green tea noodles.
4. Spice Rub
Tea leaves can also create a great spice rub. Grind tea leaves and add them to your favorite herbs and spices to use in a rub for tofu, tempeh or seitan. Choose teas such as earl gray and Darjeeling which go well with savory foods. A tea spice rub can be as simple as mixing ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper with 2 Tbs. of ground tea
Tea leaves make a great herb butter and it’s pretty easy to make. Just let unsalted butter sit at room temperature until very soft and then mix it with tea leaves, either whole or ground. Store in the refrigerator and use it for cooking or on freshly baked bread and biscuits.
Unfortunately, many people have a difficult time sleeping well these days. Stress, busy schedules, and hectic lifestyles often lead to difficulties falling asleep and sleeping throughout the night. Evening rituals or bedtime routines can be an excellent way to improve your overall sleep. The purpose of these activities is to relax and de-stress your mind and body, helping you calm down, sleep longer and better. Let’s look at 6 things you can add to your evening ritual for better sleep.
1. Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium is well known for its ability to improve sleep and reduce insomnia. Studies have suggested that this mineral helps decrease cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, which keeps you up at night. Magnesium also promotes muscle relaxation and can help mood disorders.
2. Herbal Teas
Some herbal teas contain relaxing agents that can help sooth your nerves, improve blood flow, and make you feel more relaxed. The best herbal teas for sleep include chamomile, valerian, lavender, peppermint, and passion flower.
3. Taking a Bath
A hot bath is one of the best ways to promote relaxation. Immersion in warm/hot water is known to be extremely therapeutic and can significantly help relax your mind and soul after a stressful day.
4. Cooler Bedroom
Turn down the thermostat in your bedroom to improve the quality of your sleep. The National Sleep foundation recommends that the room temperature should be kept around 65 degrees in order to keep you cooler and prevent restless nights from feeling too hot.
5. Use an EO Diffuser
An essential oil diffuser can help improve your sleep as these essential oils have soothing and relaxing aroma therapeutic properties. Look for valerian, lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, vetiver, frankincense, geranium, patchouli, ylang, and bergamot.
Stretching is another great way to promote relaxation and improve overall sleep. Stretch for a few minutes to reduce stiff joints and cramping muscles as well as to prevent injuries and reduce built-up tension and stress.
This recipe is one of my all time favorites. Growing up I was a candy fiend and could never get enough of the gummy, chewy sweets. When I finally decided to cut out sweets and focus on healthier foods, I scoured the Internet in search of healthy ways to get a candy fix and keep my diet on track. Although the conventional, Fruit Roll-Up branded snacks invoke nostalgic memories of grade school cafeteria lunches, I knew the excess sugar and artificial flavors would only worsen my candy cravings!
Luckily, Alvita has provided an easy-to-make, healthy fruit roll-up recipe using their hibiscus tea! These roll-ups are fun to make and customizable depending on your fruit flavor preference. Bake up a batch on Sunday to keep the kid’s (or your own) lunches stocked for the whole week!
1 cup boiling water
2 teabags Alvita Hibiscus Tea
1 cup sliced peaches (frozen is fine)
1 cup strawberries
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Pour the boiling water over the Alvita Hibiscus Tea Bags and let steep for 5 minutes.
- In a blender, puree peaches and strawberries.
- Pour tea into a saucepan. Add sugar and heat to medium heat until liquid has evaporated by 50%.
- Add pureed fruit and lemon juice into tea mixture and continue to cook until the mixture thickens, around 20-30 minutes.
- Spread mixture onto a baking sheet lined with either a splat mat or wax paper in a very thin layer.
- Bake for 3 to 4 hours until the mixture is barely sticky anymore.
- Let cool for 20 minutes.
- Peel off of used wax paper and place on fresh wax paper. Cut into long strips. Roll up for storage or eat immediately.
Looking for a low-sugar option? Substitute sugar for your favorite natural sweetener. Let us know how your fruit roll-ups turn out in the comments!
Looking for a delicious way to get your daily dose of turmeric? Golden milk has taken over the wellness world for it’s creamy, spicy flavor and health benefits, and its calming effect has made it a nighttime beverage of choice.
Did you know you can make golden milk with tea? So convenient! This amazing recipe from Alvita is super anti-inflammatory and makes for a wonderful, healthy nightcap.
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 teabags Alvita Turmeric Root Tea
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp black pepper
1scoop Reserveage Collagen Replenish Powder
2 tsp honey (optional)
In a small saucepan, heat almond milk until hot, but not boiling, about 3-5 minutes. Add tea bags and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Remove tea bags and add in ginger powder, black pepper and collagen powder, stir until combined. Pour into mugs, add honey if wanted and drink immediately.
Have you ever tried golden milk? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!
Sometimes we find out that some foods offer benefits when you had not idea they were even considered healthy. It seems to be the case for licorice
. Native to the Mediterranean but now grown throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, this herb is commonly used to flavor foods and beverages but what some people may not know is that it can provide a variety of health benefits.
Licorice is known to support various issues in the digestive system including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and chronic gastritis. A formulation containing licorice root along with slippery elm bark, lactulose, and oat bran has been used for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Licorice contains chemicals that are thought to decrease swelling, thin mucus secretions, decrease cough, and increase the chemicals in our body that heal ulcers.
Additionally, licorice can also be taken to help sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Along with the herbs Panax ginseng and Bupleurum falcatum, licorice can help improve the function of the adrenal glands, especially in people who have taken steroid drugs long-term. Steroids tend to suppress the activity of the adrenal glands, which produce important hormones that regulate the body’s response to stress. Licorice is used intravenously to treat hepatitis B and C, as well as mouth sores (lichen planus) in people with hepatitis C.
A good number of licorice products manufactured in the U.S. actually don’t contain any licorice. Instead, they contain anise oil, which has the characteristic smell and taste of “black licorice” and is often used as a substitute. Licorice tea is another popular product that can provide the health benefits mentioned above.
Many people are continuing to look to alternative medicine when it comes to improving our health and curing various ailments.
Kombucha is a health drink that is being increasingly consumed by people all over the world, after health experts have spread the word that those from the Far East have known for thousands of years – that it has many health benefits.
Similar to probiotic drinks, kombucha is an easy way to consume some of the essential acids and vitamins that help our body to perform to the best of its ability.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a sweet fermented drink made from combining black tea with sugar and a kombucha culture, also known as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast).
The sound of fermented tea may make you scrunch up your nose, but the taste is actually quite pleasant and can be similar to sparkling apple juice.
At only 30 calories per cup (where no other ingredients are added), kombucha is a low-calorie way to boost your health by providing your body with essential nutrients.
Due to the popularity of kombucha, you can now buy ready made drinks that have interesting flavors, such as pear and peach added. Capsules are also available if you are looking for a more convenient way to consume kombucha.
If you are concerned about the amount of caffeine in black tea, there are low caffeine options too, such as green tea and lemon tea.
The brewing process for kombucha is simple, but once it begins, it produces a range of vitamins, minerals, acids, and enzymes that have amazing health benefits.
The Benefits of Kombucha
This nutrient rich drink improves a person’s health in many ways due to its antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties. The fermenting process of kombucha produces the below acids:
- Lactic Acid—Assists blood circulation and can help with constipation and stomach complaints
- Acetic Acid—Can inhibit bacteria that is harmful to the body
- Usnic Acid—A natural antibiotic
- Oxalic Acid —Encourages cells to produce energy
- Malic acid—Aids the detoxification of the liver
- Gluconic Acid—Reduces instances of thrush and other candidiasis
- Butyric acid—Strengthens the wall of the gut
Because of the presence of the above acids and vitamins in Kombucha, the following health benefits can be seen, although it is important to point out that none have been scientifically proven.
- Reduced stress
- Improved immune system
- Fewer coughs and seasonal colds
- Reduction in allergies
- Increased energy
- Reduces symptoms of arthritis
- Improved skin/reduction of skin complaints
- Alleviation of digestive issues
- Improved concentration
- Liver detox
- Improves joint flexibility
- Weight loss
The list above is not extensive, as kombucha will have different effects, depending on the person’s current health. You will also be pleased to know that there are many health benefits of this tasty drink emerging all of the time.
How Often to Consume Kombucha
When taking kombucha capsules, adults should consume 2 capsules, 2-3 times a day. If you decide to drink kombucha in its many forms, you can do so every day.
Aside from the health benefits listed above, it is refreshing to know that there is a fizzy drink on the market that is not laden with calories and chemicals. You can even enjoy drinking it on the go, knowing that you are boosting your health.
February is Heart Month so show it some love with these must-haves that support cardiovascular health. Don’t miss a beat! Shop our top picks for heart health today.
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can lower blood triglyceride levels. Since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, we have to get them from our diet so it’s no wonder that fish oil is one of the most popular supplements in the United States. The most beneficial omega-3s that most of us are missing out on are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and the richest source to find them is – you guessed it — fish oil. So reduce your risk of coronary disease with this fish oil that’s purified and free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, and PCBs.
Centuries ago, Greek herbalist Diosocrides discovered the heart-healthy benefits of hawthorn, and it’s been a staple for health enthusiasts ever since. Using the entire plant, including the leaf, flower and berry will assists in extracting all of its benefits. This tea combines hawthorn with the tart flavor profile of hibiscus to create this deeply red heart tonic.
Flaxseeds contain heart-friendly properties that have been shown to do wonders for your heart. Studies show flaxseeds affect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and lipoprotein, both of which increase the risk for atherosclerotic diseases (i.e. coronary heart disease). Plus, they are a rich plant-based source of omega-3 fats and fiber that’s also good for the ticker. Add a sprinkle to your smoothie or baked goods to add a subtle nutty flavor and powerful nutritional punch to your diet.
Garlic has been used for centuries, as not just a food, but as medicine, too. Today garlic supplements can be used to improve heart conditions including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and may lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol as well as other health conditions. This brand’s supplements are some of our favorites. They use organically grown garlic bulbs that undergo a unique aging process that mellows harsh and odoriferous crude compounds, resulting in an odorless experience – guaranteed.
Filed Under: Supplements
at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce another pioneer brand to our customers: Miracle Tree
Miracle Tree offers an incredible line of supplements and teas made from moringa oleifera. The company was founded with the goal to promote and distribute moringa seeds as well as help create a global awareness about the moringa tree.
Moringa is widely regarded as one of the most nutrient-dense plants on the planet and is known world-wide as the Miracle Tree. Used in traditional medicine for centuries in many cultures including the Egyptians and Romans, moringa leaves contain more than 90 different nutrients, including 47 antioxidants and all 9 essential amino acids. Studies like moringa’s nutritional properties to various benefits, including reduction of fatigue, promoting more radiant skin, boosting the body’s natural immune system, and promoting muscle growth
Miracle Tree can guarantee the finest moringa products because the company handles it every step of the way beginning with its own USDA Organic Certified farm. Located in the tropical province of Guayas, Ecuador, this unique farm contains nutrient-rich soil and natural water sources, making it a haven for the highest quality moringa trees. The farm is certified organic for both production and processing and the moringa is then processed in the United States in a GMP- compliant facility in Danbury, Ct.
Save even more when you shop Miracle Tree products at Lucky Vitamin com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.
If you’re feeling restless and wound up after another hectic day of juggling your daily stresses, think about steeping back and relaxing with a warm cup of tea! Feel your stress and anxiety melt away with every sip of one of our favorite types of tea listed below.
Chamomile has been shown in multiple studies to reduce stress and anxiety in patients. How does it do it? One of its potent flavonoids, chrysin, gives it it’s sleep-inducing properties. While another compound, apigenin, helps induce a feeling of gentle, pleasant sedation. Bonus — chamomile is safe for kids too, and could help calm an anxious or overactive child. It has also been shown to help with other ailments such as colds and stomach aches. This tea combines chamomile with lavender for an extra dose of chill.
Valerian’s relaxing nature is why it has enjoyed a long history as a mild sedative. Known as “nature’s valium”, valerian has been shown to really take the edge off. A 2005 study reported in the journal Sleep, showed clinically proven results for sleeplessness. We suggest a trifecta of relaxation with this tea that blends valerian with passion flower and lemon balm. Speaking of…
Lemon Balm has been used medicinally going way back to when the ancient Greeks prescribed it for those suffering from insomnia and anxiety. This culinary herb appears to reduce cortisol – also known as the “stress hormone” — concentrations and helps blunt the effect of enzymes that inhibit GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) production, a neurotransmitter that helps the brain to self-soothe.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Holy Basil, also known as tulsi, is a well-known Ayurvedic herb that grows all over the eastern tropics. Ayerveda medicine says that tulsi can promote overall general health and well-being due to its adaptogenic effects, and a recent study showed extracts of this herb reduced general anxiety disorder along with stress and depression. We really love this brand that uses completely recycled packaging and bleaches their tea bags with oxygen rather than chlorine, which causes less damage to the environment. That’s something you can relax about.
Do you have a favorite tea you use to relax at night? Let us know in the comments!
Filed Under: Health Foods
at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Coffee is a wonderful beverage. Many people cannot start their day without a cup of coffee but some people may not know that their must-have morning beverage is actually loaded with beneficial nutrients
that can improve overall health.
Coffee contains lots of vitamins including riboflavin (B2) pantothenic acid (B5), and niacin (B3) as well as good amounts of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. On top of that, coffee is a great source of antioxidants.
It’s well known coffee can provide benefits particularly as an energy booster and as a fat burner. Caffeine is known to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, which lead to an increase of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, improving brain function, including memory, energy levels, and reaction times. It’s also known that caffeine is a natural substance proven to aid fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.
While these health benefits are well known, recent research is linking coffee to newer potential benefits. For example, new studies have found that coffee may help lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A few different studies have concluded that people who drink coffee regularly have up to 50% lower risk of getting the disease. Additionally, coffee can be helpful to treat another common health issue: liver diseases such as hepatitis and fatty liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis.
It’s important to remember that most research is done with drinking pure coffee, without the addition of milk, and specially sugar, which can significantly alter the results of studies.
We’re approaching the time of year when our usual diets tend to give way to more indulgences. Large, plentiful meals are a huge part of the holidays, but if we’re not careful, we may overeat to the point of indigestion. Luckily there are many natural foods can help minimize indigestion, bloating and gas, making you feel better and reducing growling stomach, abdominal pain, burning sensation in the upper abdomen, as well as preventing vomiting. Here’s a quick list of 5 natural products to relieve indigestion.
Chamomile is effective for relieving many gastrointestinal complaints, including indigestion. Drinking herbal chamomile tea after eating a heavy meal can help calm your stomach and relieve digestive problems. It’s also a great way to give yourself time to digest in between dinner and dessert!
Ginger offers a variety of health benefits including digestive support. Ginger has the ability to not only soothe the gut but also aid digestion by increasing the wave-like muscle contractions (peristalsis) that move food through the intestine. Plus, ginger stimulates digestive juices and the flow of enzymes that help you digest your food, especially when it is caused by overeating.
3. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds can be really helpful for indigestion particularly when caused by very spicy or fatty food. Fennel seeds, and alternatively you can drink fennel tea, contain helpful, volatile oils that can help reduce nausea and control flatulence.
Papaya contains enzymes that break down proteins called proteolytics. Research suggests that papaya enzymes can be helpful for relieving indigestion, especially provide good relief for pain in the abdomen.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is often used to kick-start a slow stomach. Though acidic in nature, it also has an alkalizing effect that helps settle indigestion.
Teas have been used medicinally
for hundreds of years and it is quite easy to understand the reasons people continue to drink tea around the world. Just look into some of the popular tea ingredients and you will find out how many can be used for treatment and prevention of various health issues. Plus, teas are a great source of vitamin and minerals. So, let’s look at 4 teas and which ailment it can be helpful to
Known as a wonderful digestive aid, ginger tea can also help to curb nausea, vomiting and minimize motion sickness. A good number of teas labeled to support digestion contain ginger as a main ingredient. You can also make fresh ginger tea by simmering ginger root on the stove for about 15 minutes.
Elderberry contains antioxidant-rich flavonoids and it’s known to provide relief for cold and flu. It can also be helpful to soothe sore throat and coughing as well as help treat bacterial sinusitis, an infection more commonly known as a sinus infection. Elderberry and other herbs combined with a decongestant and antibiotic may help clear up sinus infections more quickly than decongestant and antibiotic treatments alone.
Known to gently stimulate the liver and supports healthy digestion, dandelion tea supports the body’s natural detoxification process. Dandelion root tea has shown choleretic effects as it can stimulate the liver to increase bile flow which, once released by the liver, can carry away waste and break down fats during digestion.
The relaxing and calming chamomile is known to improve sleep and can be helpful for insomnia. It can also improve digestion as well as help treating cold and fever, minimize cough and bronchitis, and be used as a gargle for inflammation of the mouth.
Lucky Vitamin is presenting a new brand specialized in a very unique product: premium Matcha by Aiya
Aiya is a family owned company specializing in Matcha green tea since 1888. This natural product is known to provide energy and support the body and its health benefits surpass anything that is available on the market.
Matcha is a shade-grown, all-natural, powdered Japanese green tea. Unlike other teas, Matcha undergoes a number of additional steps in the production cycle, such as shade growing, hand picking, and granite milling into a fine powder, before it makes its way into your cup. Created over 800 years ago by Buddhist monks as a meditational tool, Matcha is known today as the healthiest, rarest, and most premium of all tea varieties from Japan.
A historic tea cultivating region dating back to the 1200s, Nishio’s stable climate, fresh pristine river waters, fertile soil, and remoteness from urban development foster tea leaves that are more resiliently green and full of nutrients. Currently, Aiya holds over 80% of the exclusive harvesting rights to the Nishio tea plantations.
A lot of different factors can affect the quality of Matcha: region, geographical conditions, skill of the tea farmers, and the variety of the tea bush. A good quality Matcha should be smooth and sweet with just a hint of astringency. The sweetness comes from the L-theanine amino acids in the tea. Matcha is a vibrant jade green due to the increased chlorophyll content that occurs during the shading process and a top-quality product should be ground using slow-turning granite grinders, which minimizes friction, allowing the tea to be ground without “burning,” retaining the chlorophyll.
You can save even more when you shop Aiya products at Lucky Vitamin.com. Just enter promo-code SEPT16NEW16 at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand. But hurry, offer expires 9/30/2016.
Filed Under: Nutrition
at 4:17 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
Oolong tea, also known as Wulong, is a traditional Chinese tea with an earthy, full-body flavor and fruity aroma. Oolong is a slightly fermented black and green tea
hybrid that boasts some significant health benefits, including weight loss and heart health. What are you waiting for? Get to sipping!
The fighters of free radicals and enemies of heart disease and cancer, antioxidants are abundant in this tea! Antioxidants also help maintain a youthful appearance and complexion!
2. Weight loss
Research shows the caffeine combined with the EGCGs in oolong tea can help increase fat oxidation. Translation: it can help you shed some of those extra pounds.
3. Mental well being
Oolong contains the amino acid L-theanine, a powerful stress and anxiety reliever that can improve focus and mental clarity.
4. Dental Health
A study at Osaka University in Japan discovered that consuming oolong tea on a regular basis prevented the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, dental plaque, cavities and tooth decay.
Oolong tea can help in lowering your high levels of LDL cholesterol due to its high content of antioxidants.
A 2014 study found that the polyphenols in oolong tea reduce visceral fat and inflammation in mice fed high-fat, high-sucrose obesogenic diets.
7. Bone Density
Good news for those who don’t or can’t enjoy dairy but still worry about osteoporosis. Oolong contains calcium and magnesium in its leaves which can protect your bones and make you less likely to lose bone mineral density.
8. Controls Diabetes
You may notice decreased blood sugar levels from sipping on oolong. The high levels of antioxidants work wonders on sugar metabolism.
The polyphenols present in the tea prevent the formation of N-nitroso compounds, by trapping toxins before they become carcinogenic cells.
10. Energy Booster
The caffeine in oolong can give a much-needed boost of energy. Enjoy a cup in the afternoon to ward off cravings and prevent energy slumps.
The beginning of the year brings up a lot of questions regarding nutrition. Some people struggle to find a way to eat less calories
without dropping the nutrition intake. Eating less food may lead to less nutrients including vitamins and minerals but how can you have a successful weight-loss diet
without reducing your daily intake of vitamins and minerals?
Of course, the answer to this question depends a lot on your diet but one beverage can be very helpful during this very challenging time of the year.
Yerba Mate is a great source of not only vitamins but also minerals and other nutrients. This traditional South American beverage contains vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B5, niacin (B3) as well as important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus. All these important nutrients are necessary to sustain a healthy life and vital to promote energy, a key element for any diet.
Native to subtropical South America in northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, Yerba Mate leaves contain caffeine and can promote a boost of energy as well as a variety of other health benefits. Research suggests that yerba mate can help regulate cholesterol levels, increasing HDL and reducing LDL. Researchers also believe that drinking yerba mate infusions may also reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Yerba Mate can be considered one of the healthiest herbs as researchers have concluded that it’s difficult to find a plant which can match mate’s nutritional value. Mate is more nutritious than green tea and studies have shown that mate can edge all the commonly used stimulants such as coffee, green tea, kola nut, cocoa and guarana, as it delivers more energy and nutrition.