SMARTer bodies

Category: Everyday Life

Why Mel is Obsessed with Green Tea

Summer is almost over, and before we know it winter will be on its way. So along with the cold weather, instead of ordering a hot chocolate—try replacing some of those hot comfort beverages with a nice mug of green tea every once in a while. There are so many benefits!

Sipping green tea has been a healthy habit of the Chinese culture for thousands of years. The amazing thing is that modern science has proven what the Chinese knew all along. It is packed with flavonoids, which are compounds that help prevent cancer!  Green tea has been shown to protect against several different types of cancer including skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer according to Harvard Medical School’s Research Division. And that is just the beginning—green tea helps to lower badLDLcholesterol and increase good cholesterol and artery function, as well as reducing the risk of heart hypertension by up to 65%. And if that wasn’t enough, green tea also BOOSTS the metabolism—meaning it helps your body burn fat! It even helps you to increase the absorption of antioxidants and vitamins from your food! So the benefits are incredible, and backed by detailed research.

The best way to drink Green Tea is when it is freshly brewed—steep time will depend on the variety. Try to get organic tea, as it has the highest amount of beneficial compounds. Some say adding lemon or milk to it will enhance the benefits even more.  Drinking three cups a day is the way to get the maximum benefit from it, but start out by drinking one cup a day. This beverage is a diuretic, so expect some extra trips to the bathroom and remember to replace what you drink with pure water. Give it a try for two weeks and see how you feel! You won’t regret it!  Subscribe to Smarter Body’s newsletter to get more healthy living tips!

 

Here are a few links to some of my favorite tea varieties from a few of my favorite places:

Achy Painful Hands and Wrists? Watch Out for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!

If you recently have experienced discomfort in your hands, like pain in the fingers, knuckles, wrists, palms or forearms then keep reading!  That discomfort may be a sign of an underlying problem.  So many jobs involve repetitive motions with our hands, which can over time be a source of major discomfort and even injuries. Suffering from pain in the hands and wrists is becoming increasingly widespread, so you are not alone. Industrial occupations like factory work and office based jobs that require typing on the computer for long hours are the two most common professional activities that can lead to aching wrists and hands. This condition, if it last for more than a few weeks, is often referred to as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)!  But this pain does not always have its source in that particular area of the wrist.  So it is safer to refer to this issue as a repetitive strain injury.

Our hands are an amazing part of our body, and they make the uniqueness of the human experience possible. From supporting yourself in different yoga positions, to grabbing a cup of coffee, and writing a note, our hands do miraculous things everyday. The hands are made up of many different bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that allow us to do a variety of stunningly complex movements. So what is the best thing to do if you are suffering from discomfort in your hands and wrists? Doing different hand exercises and stretches can help a great deal, as well as taking frequent breaks during repetitive motion to stretch your fingers, wrists, and palms. Drinking lots of water is also helpful, because water is essential in ensuring that all of your joints and fascia (connective tissue) are well lubricated for easier motion!   Yoga is also very beneficial, because it strengthens the hands and wrists, as well as the forearms and also increases blood circulation to those areas.  Our heavily industrialized world makes for some interesting challenges. But there are natural solutions, like yoga, fascial release, trigger point therapy and other therapeutic movements that can help!

Get Stronger Feet, Walk Barefoot!

Summer brings fun, sunshine, beaches and …the increased risk for Plantar fasciitis?!!! So many of us have switched from wearing heavier winter shoes to sandals and flip flops.  Sometimes the drastic change from shoes that offer some support to sandals that are flat and offer no real support is too drastic and cause pain in the feet, inflammation, and might even lead to bone spurs on the heel overtime.  What’s the solution?  We’re not going to tell you to wear better shoes, or find better sandals.  The answer is to strengthen your feet and walk barefoot as much as possible! Read More