Tagged: Yerba Mate

Health Lessons From International Cuisines – China

This is our second post of a series that shares some of the most beneficial and interesting elements of food cultures from different countries around the world. Learn health lessons from international cuisines to enrich your health and wellbeing.  For this post our focus is China.

 

Use chopsticks

Much like the Japanese, Chinese traditionally eat with chopsticks, which can help slow down eating speed. The benefits of this have been observed in a study by The American Journal of Clinic Nutrition. Research on eating rates demonstrated that those eating faster ate more than those eating slower and that “up to three and a half hours after the meal, there was no difference in hunger between those eating speedy or slow.”

If you’re looking to cut calories without being hungry, eating slower may help. This may assist those seeking to maintain a healthy weight and this is crucial to reducing risk of cancer, given that obesity and overweight are linked to the increased risk of various cancers. A Japanese study also supports this; revealing that people that eat faster increase the likelihood for cardiovascular disease.

Using chopsticks is only one way to slow down your eating. Other strategies include chewing slower and conversing between bites.

 

Use garlic in cooking

Rich in allicin, garlic is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine and is also used for medicinal purposes. Allicin contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties and can assist in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and preventing blood clots.

 

Drink Green Tea 

Rich in antioxidants, green tea is a common Chinese beverage that counteracts cell damage as you age. More powerful than vitamins C and E, catechins in green tea are capable of halting oxidative damage to cells.

According to a study of over 40,000 Japanese adults, participants that drank more than five cups of green tea per day reduced their risk of death from a heart attack or stroke by 26 per cent and lowered their risk of death from all causes by 16 per cent, compared to people who drank less than one cup of green tea per day. Clinical trails revealed that green tea substantially lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Green tea is high in flavanoids, which are essentially plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Zebra Organics offers yerba mate, a tea that originates from Argentina, which contains nearly twice that amount of antioxidants than green tea.

Harvard Medical School advises on drinking three cups of green tea per day and allowing it to steep for three to five minutes. Drinking freshly brewed tea brings out its catechins and and other flavonoids. Bottled teas will contain less of these beneficial compounds.

 

Minimize Cooking of Vegetables

Traditional Chinese cooking practises include deep-frying foods, which tend to be high in calories. Many restaurants and chefs prepare fried foods using artificial oils that contain trans fats. Nutrients are heat sensitive and the longer you cook food, the more that will be destroyed by heat. Cooking on high heat for a short time or low heat for a longer amount of time can help preserve the nutrients in vegetables. Lighter cooking alternatives to deep-frying include steaming and stir-frying.

 

Avoid MSG

MSG is a common ingredient in cooking in villages in northern and southern China and it has been linked to numerous negative health effects, including headaches and numbness in certain people.

Flavour enhancer and food additive Monosodium Glutamate may increase likelihood of becoming overweight, according to a 2008 study in the journal Obesity. Although the research lacks a clear cause and effect, lead author Dr. Ka He told the New York Times that the question is whether it is healthy. He explains, “MSG is not toxic” and “this study is a warning that we should be cautious.”

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy learning about how the Japanese culture can enrich your health and wellbeing.

Holy Mate

Eco Teas organic & fair trade tea brings us a holy alliance of two celebrated herbs from different wisdom traditions. It is the marriage of Holy Basil of India and Yerba Mate of South America. Each herb in their respective countries is highly valued and widely used as an everyday health beverage. Eco Teas has been importing some of the finest Yerba Mate this side of the equator since the year 2000.

Yerba Mate is a widely consumed herbal beverage that naturally contains vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants and the stimulant caffeine. Because the caffeine is part of a vitamin and mineral complex, the stimulating effects are balanced and easier on the body than say coffee. Many tribes throughout South America have drank mate for thousands of years, this beverage is common in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay as well as Chile. The South American gauchos, cowboys refer to it as a liquid vegetable. With its deep green color and abundance of chlorophyll and nutrients it is somewhat akin to drinking a vegetable.

And, Holy Basil comes to us from a deep long ancient tradition, it hails form the annals of Ayurveda the 5,000 year old medical science of India. The practice of Ayurveda is the oldest continuous coded medical system in existence and among the Vedas, Holy Basil ranks supreme. It is such a special and revered herb that the three varieties have the distinction of being named after the three major Hindu gods, Krishna basil, Rama basil and Vishnu basil. The Vedas believed that the consumption of Holy Basil prepared the mind for enlightenment. A high statement but after 5,000 years they must of had significant trial and error and I agree their conclusions are darn near correct.  Holy Basil has a high distinct and modern science is beginning to uncover some of the magic of this plant.

A main action of this plant is its ability to regulate the stress hormone cortisol. There are special chemical compounds in Holy Basil which do this. Reduced cortisol levels in the blood leads to greater calm in the body. It is safe to say a lot of people have elevated stress hormones, these elevated hormone levels lead to imbalances in blood sugar, sleep and digestion. Holy Basil also has natural anti-inflammatory compounds helping to smooth the body and aid in all manor of bodily functions that are affected by inflammation. Combining these health benefits with the nutrition of Yerba Mate results in a tasty mildly stimulating beverage that aids focus, concentration and clarity. Try a cup of Holy Mate and feel the calm energy as it takes you through your day with the wisdom of South America and Vedic herbal tradition.

This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com

Healthy Balanced Dieting Tips

Summer is around the corner and the temperatures have been heating up across the country, so now is a great time to tell you about metabolic stimulators and how they can be used to safely help you achieve the weight that is perfect for you. Personally I am not into diet pills, fads, silver bullets and promises because they don’t work in giving you the long range benefits you truly desire. So I will not waste my time and if you are looking for a quick fix don’t continue reading. But, if you are truly interested in health read on because what I have to share with you will be educational, informative and entertaining.

We all think we need to look better, it is a chronic condition, thinking we are not ok just the way we are. I want to start this post re-affirming the essential truth that you are perfect. This completely goes against all the marketing strategies that I’ve learned and is taught. Basically I should be telling you that you are in a state of lack, that a piece of you is missing and if you buy these products you will find the fulfillment that you are looking for. Truth is that is a whopping, huge big fat lie if there ever was one but it sells products and leaves you feeling chronically dissatisfied with yourself. Because the fact is nothing outside of you can ever bring you real true fulfillment, you may feel good for a while but that fades quickly.

If you just remember this you will not fall victim to such shenanigans.

Because the nature of this blog is about health products we will now take an exploration of such products and I will also add some lifestyle suggestions in as well. Because adjusting your lifestyle will lead to results taking a foothold. 

Sugar Balance

In terms of lifestyle adjustments you need to get serious about addressing your sugar intake, this is a fact that cannot be overlooked. There are NO two ways around this, sober up to this fact and you will  start to see the health results you dream of. Apologies for the buzz kill but you need to hear this and take it in as a fact. You need to greatly reduce your sugar consumption and if possible totally eliminate it from your diet. Don’t take my advice try it out for a two weeks and see how great you feel. This will have a positive impact on your hormones. When you are off the blood sugar Yo Yo ride your energy level will normalize and your stress hormones will drop, you will love it I guaranteed. I understand this can be difficult to hear and difficult to do but persevere and you will be many steps ahead in the game of health. To learn more about this visit the blog Agave, Stevia and The Glycemic Index.

Metabolics

There are some substances out there called metabolic stimulators, which as the name suggestions, stimulate metabolism. These products could give you the extra edge you need to carry you through to your weight loss goals. These are NOT a substitute for true changes in you diet and level of physical activity, these are adjuncts which will support the process of weight loss. Two very common and well know metabolic stimulators are Yerba Mate and Brown Seaweed Extract.

Yerba Mate

I like Yerba Mate and I think you will as well, it is a clean tasting herbal tea which contains caffeine, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. It is a filling, stimulating and nourishing beverage from South America. Yerba Mate is a well known appetite suppressant as well as metabolic stimulator. Consider adding Yerba Mate to your diet, drink it in the mornings or afternoon, you will soon see why it is a preferred healthy stimulant compared to coffee. Yerba Mate has been studied for its benefit on fat metabolism and studies indicate it has a positive effect on cholesterol levels, reducing LDL and increasing HDL.* Yerba Mate has a mild taste similar to green tea and bit more herbaceous, it is pleasant to drink and satisfying cold as well as hot. 

Brown Seaweed Extract and Licorice

Brown Seaweed Extract has been touted a silver bullet with some sources claiming it will reduce your belly fat. Well there is a compound in Brown Seaweed Extract that increase fat metabolism and reduce glucose levels in the blood, two good ways to help you loose weight. That substance is called fucoxanthin.  

Reports also indicate that when combined with licorice root extract, the weight loss properties of brown seaweed is greatly enhanced and we’ve sourced a real potent extract from a very ethical company. Licorice root has been used since ancient times, across many cultures as
food and as medicine. In Chinese medicine, Licorice is an ingredient in
nearly all herbal formulas for the traditional purpose of “harmonizing”
the separate herbs involved. This important tonic herb is often called
“the grandfather of herbs.”

To just talk about this one compound would not be doing this amazing product justice. Modifilan Brown Seaweed Extract is a true gift from the sea and with this gift comes a huge number of minerals. Actually 72 trace minerals that are needed for proper functioning and health of the body. Chief among them is iodine which is extremely important to the regulation of the thyroid, the master gland which is in charge of metabolism and weight management. The abundance of organic, ionic iodine found in this Brown Seaweed Extract enhance the function of the endocrine system. And, results are that your metabolism functions better and your body uses calories more efficiently. You need to use this product for a few weeks to a few months to gain the maximum health benefits. 

Dietary Adjustments

Now lets get back to reality, you need to make significant dietary changes to achieve the health and weight loss goals you are after. I am not going to tell you what to eat but you need to know that if you continue to eat what you eat now do not expect your weight or health to change. In order to change You need to change, you need to do a wholesale change. 

My suggestion in general is to increase you consumption of protein, especially in the mornings. Skip the sugary breakfast, the grains, the cereal, pancakes, waffles etc . . . Try eating more veggies in the morning I know this is not very American but you just might like it. Try some miso soup with veggies and two eggs add a few flax crackers and you will be off to a good start. 

If you are in a rush and need to make something easy to take on the go we have the perfect protein supplement for you. It is called Lean Body Whey Protein, nice name wouldn’t you say? This company makes some real ethical products and this one is up there with the rest. 

Statements from the manufacturer
 Lean-Body Whey™ Protein Blend is a one-of-a-kind, premier quality,
advanced organic protein drink that delivers a comprehensive array of
immune-boosting nutrients without toxic tag-alongs.

Finally, a great protein drink for the whole family that is 100% health-promoting (no compromises), and tastes luscious.

Our Lean-Body drink delivers every nutrient essential for life and in
its most bio-available form producing “The Quantum Effect.” The Lean-
Body Whey Protein drink supports 5 key nutrient categories:
1) a broad range of world-class antioxidants,
2) easy-to-digest nontoxic whey protein,
3) complex carbohydrates,
4) essential fatty acids and
5) world class state-of-the-art immune-boosting fiber.

Start out your day with a Lean-Body drink to help enhance strength,
boost the immune response, protect cells, minimize the aging process and
promote a wonderful sense of well-being.* It’s great for every member
of the whole family — just add water or juice and stir. Take with you on
trips. And to get that winning edge, take a Lean-Body drink an hour or
so before exercise or competition meets.

Quantum Ingredients:

Whey Protein, cane juice, Blueberry fruit, pine pollen, calcium
pyruvate, barley grass concentrate, wheat grass concentrate, oat grass
concentrate, blue green algae, chlorella (whole), Noni arabinogalactan
Extract, conjugated linoleic acid, vanilla, guar gum, FOS, No artificial
colors, flavors or preservatives.

Emotional Eating 

Yup this the big one I have been holding off on mentioning, food has a major emotional connection and we often overeat due to emotions and stress rather than a dietary need. And, them we punish ourselves for overeating and it can become a viscous cycle. Sugar, sweets and junk foods have a strong emotional attraction and freeing yourself from the grips will be a boon to your body as well as your soul. Emotions are what fuel us, the power contained in emotions cannot be underestimated and not being run by our emotions will help us immensely. 
Besides writing this blog and sharing what I know about health and nutrition, I, Mark D’Aquila am also a flower essence therapist. Meaning I help people find greater levels of emotional freedom and expression through the use of flower essences.  Flower essences are tools that help us manage our emotions and develop a healthy relationship with them. And, they can help you with emotional eating, the formula I am about to tell you about will support you in gaining the upper hand on emotional eating. Being that flower essences are one of my specialty I run a website dedicated entirely to Bach Flower Remedies and at the end of this post I will tell you how you can get this formula.

The Emotional Eating Support Formula:

This formula contains the following four flower essences.
Cherry Plum
Crab Apple
Chestnut Bud
Pine
Walnut 
This combination has been specially designed to address the range of emotions related to emotional eating. When used on a regular basis it will help you to curb this pattern and re-gain a healthy relationship to food. 

To learn more about this formula visit www.essencealchemy.com.


Where there you have it folks, we’ve managed to cover a lot of angles to the whole weight loss challenge. As a wholistic health practitioner I feet it was vital to address the part of eating that is tied to our  emotions because emotions drive our behavior. 

Enjoy your summer,

ZEBRA ORGANICS  

*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19694438

A Healthy 2012

Add More Greens to Your Diet

It is the new year a time when many people resolve to get healthy and make changes to their diet. We fully support the positive changes people wish to make; especially when it comes to cleaning up their diet and exercising more.  Because lets face it without these two factors supplements, pills and powders just aren’t going to give you the results you are looking for.  

                                                                                                           
Along with a healthy diet and exercise certain supplements and herbs can give you the extra nudge with achieving your health and fitness goals.  One really simple thing you can do that will make significant changes over the long term is to add more plants to your diet.  Specifically add more leafy green plants to your diet. Do this everyday for a year and you will see and feel the changes it makes in your life. Try spinach, kale, broccoli, brussle sprouts, collards, lettuce and fresh green herbs like parsley and cilantro. After doing this if you still want support go for it.  Below is a list of a few key supplements that will support your health and fitness goals.

Yerba Mate
This hardy South American wonder tea has been used for centuries to help control hunger and nourish the body.  On top of that it also boost metabolism helping the body to burn fat.  Yerba mate is a well known appetite suppressant and it is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
 Yerba mate has been used as a tea by natives of South America for centuries, where it is still widely consumed and sometimes referred to as a liquid vegetable.  So if you need an extra boost in the morning skip the coffee and go for Yerba Mate. It will not only give you the boost of coffee but the nutrition of vegetables.  It is available in loose for or in tea bags.

Vitamineral Green 
This powerhouse supplement contains more nutrient dense foods than you can shake a stick at.  Over the years green supplement powders have become popular because they are highly nutritious, low in   calories, regulate blood sugar and they are convenient and easy to use. Simply mix Vitamineral Green  into water or juice and you’ve transformed it into a wonder health drink. 

 

Salad Booster
Give a boost to your salads with Living Intentions “Salad Booster” a smart product containing a variety of raw and sprouted nuts, seeds and nutrient dense superfoods.  This product is a tasty way to increase nutrient intake with just a few shakes.  Salad booster is easy to use, portable and tastes good, besides the sprouted nuts and seeds it also contains spirulina and chlorella. 

Hemp Seeds

Nutty and delicious, Hemp seeds add protein, healthy fats and vitamin E to your diet, they are fun to eat and easy to incorporate. Simply sprinkle them onto salads, grain dishes or add to a smoothie.  Hemp Seeds are a good source of digestible protein. They are 33% protein by weight and contain all 8 essential amino acids.  They are also a great source of vegetable based omega 3 fatty acids.

Superfood Smoothie Mix
With eight potent, organic superfood ingredients, this is one of the most powerful sources of nutrition available! It’s incredibly rich in complete protein, cell-protecting antioxidants, heart-healthy omega 3s, cholesterol-balancing phytosterols, and an array of immunity-supporting bioflavonoids, minerals and natural vitamins.  Superfood Smoothie Mix contains hemp, maca, acai, mesquite, lucuma and goji berry extract.
Health is not a complicated formula, all it requires is some simple changes to diet, activity levels and managing stress in a balance way.  Add to this a few key supplements because they offer concentrated nutrition thus boosting vitamin, mineral and anti oxidant intake without much effort.  We are here to  support you by offering you a selection of hand picked top quality products and valuable information.
All the Best and Happy New Year to you and yours!
From the Zebra Organics team

Drink Tea

Tea, is a healthy ritual beverage enjoyed by people around the world. Next to water tea is the most widely consumed beverage.  At Zebra Organics we love tea and we love the varieties available, from herbal to caffeinated, we carry a select range of fine teas.

Eco Teas Yerba Mate, our most popular tea comes from Argentina. Yerba Mate is a member of the holly family and when brewed produces a green, earthy tasting stimulating beverage.  Mate is rich in vitamins and minerals and unlike coffee mate produces a clean jitter free lift and nurtures your body at the same time. Mate is a wonderful tea to use to help increase metabolism and burn fat, this makes it a great addition to any weight lose program. Mate does contain caffeine at half the rate of coffee per cup.

We are also pleased to offer you Eco Teas newest product, “Holy Mate” a combination of the revered Indian herb tulsi with yerba mate.  This combination supports balanced energy and a clear mind. Tulsi is highly revered in India for its uplifting effect on the mind and spirit.  This tea blend will support you both physically and mentally in all you have to achieve in your day.

Need a break from caffeine take a trip to South Africa to the home of Rooibos, an herb in from the pea family.  When brewed as a tea it provides the body with abundant antioxidants and soothes the the nerves.  Rooibos is traditional beverage in South Africa, it is known for its hydrating and calming effects especially on the stomach, for this reason it is good for children.