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Matcha Green Tea

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Matcha Green Tea
How To Prepare Matcha Green Tea
Benefits Of Drinking Matcha Green Tea
Matcha Green Tea Nutrition Facts

A long standing tradition of Japanese culture, Matcha green tea is the highest quality powdered green tea available. Made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, Matcha is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder. The powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties.

Matcha is renowned for numerous health benefits. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. The health benefits of matcha exceed those of other green teas because matcha drinkers ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content.

Matcha contains L-theanine, an amino acid known to relax the mind. For this reason, matcha is also known as a mood enhancer. Buddhist monks drank matcha to assist in meditation, as matcha’s amino acids, combined with caffeine, offer a sustained calm alertness over time. Amino acids are also what gives matcha is distinctive taste. They contribute to what is known as the fifth taste, or umami, characterized by a rich creamy mouth feel.

Chlorophyll and amino acids give matcha its unique rich taste, an initial vegetal, astringent taste, followed by a lingering sweetness. Matcha made in the traditional Japanese style, whisked with water, is a full-bodied green tea. The intensity of the experience compares to one’s first taste of dark chocolate or red wine. When added as an ingredient, the taste of matcha becomes subtler. It adds the flavor and color of green tea to your creation, be it a smoothie, latte, savory sauce or pastry.

I heard that matcha shots were the “it beverage” at New York Fashion Week, and many dedicated coffee lovers are ditching java in favor of matcha. If you’re curious about this trendy beverage, here are things you should know about matcha

  • It's a special form of green tea
    Matcha literally means "powdered tea." When you order traditional green tea, components from the leaves get infused into the hot water, then the leaves are discarded. With matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves, which have been finely powdered and made into a solution, traditionally by mixing about a teaspoon of matcha powder with a third cup of hot water (heated to less than a boil), which is then whisked with a bamboo brush until it froths. Unlike traditional green tea, matcha preparation involves covering the tea plants with shade cloths before they’re harvested. This triggers the growth of leaves with better flavor and texture, which are hand selected, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage, which deepens the flavor. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder.
  • It offers health benefits
    Because matcha is made from high-quality tea, and the whole leaves are ingested, it’s a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea. In addition to providing small amounts of vitamins and minerals, matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been tied to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. Another polyphenol in matcha called EGCG has been shown in research to boost metabolism, and slow or halt the growth of cancer cells.
  • It contains caffeine
    Because you’re consuming whole leaves in matcha, you may get three times as much caffeine than a cup of steeped tea, about the amount in a cup of brewed coffee. Matcha aficionados say that compared to the caffeine buzz from coffee, matcha creates an “alert calm” due to a natural substance it contains called l-theanine, which induces relaxation without drowsiness. Still, I do believe it’s best to nix all forms of caffeine (including matcha) at least six hours before bedtime, to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • It traditionally involves meditation
    The preparation of matcha is the focus of Japanese tea ceremonies, and it has long been associated with Zen. This is likely one reason it’s becoming so popular, as meditation is becoming more and more mainstream.
  • The powders may be sweetened, and the quality varies
    The taste is of matcha is strong. Some people describe it as grass or spinach-like, and it has an umami taste. Because of this it may be sweetened to improve its palatability. One client was thrilled to tell me that he was drinking matcha, but instead of traditional matcha powder, he was drinking a powdered mix. The first ingredient was sugar, and it also contained powdered milk, so it was essentially like hot chocolate—but with cocoa swapped for matcha—something I wouldn’t recommend. Tea experts also warn that with matcha quality is key, and it comes at a cost. In other words, high quality, fresh, pure matcha is expensive. A low price tag can be a red flag for a poor quality product.

How To Prepare Matcha Green Tea

  1. Step one: Sift 2 teaspoons of Matcha powder into a bowl using a small sifter.
  2. Step two: Add 20 ounces of hot water (just below boiling point).
  3. Step three: Whisk using a bamboo whisk in a zigzag manner until frothy.
  4. Step four: Drink your tea directly from the bowl.

Benefits Of Drinking Matcha Green Tea

  • High in Antioxidants
    We’ve all read this word before. Antioxidants are the magical nutrients and enzymes responsible for fighting against the negative effects of UV radiation, giving us younger-looking skin, and preventing a number of life-threatening maladies. Antioxidants are something that all health-conscious individuals seek from such foods as raw fruits, green veggies, and (let’s not forget) dark chocolate. Matcha Green Tea is that just one bowl provides over 5 times as many antioxidants as any other food – the highest rated by the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) method.
  • Weight Loss
    EGCG, found in high concentrations in Matcha, has been shown to increase the rate of burning stored fat as energy, as well as decreasing the formation of new fat cells. Other studies have shown that the catechins in Matcha increase the body’s rate of calorie burning each day and offered additional fat burning benefit during exercise.
  • Loaded with Catechin, EGCg
    You may have already heard that not all antioxidants are created equal. Green tea contains a specific set of organic compounds known as catechins. Among antioxidants, catechins are the most potent and beneficial. One specific catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) makes up 60% of the catechins in Matcha green tea. Out of all the antioxidants, EGCg is the most widely recognized for its cancer fighting properties. Scientists have found that Matcha contains over 100 times more EGCg than any other tea on the market.
  • Healthy Heart
    A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the catechins in green tea had a significant effect on lowering LDL cholesterol. A 2013 Cochrane review also showed that regular green tea consumption was associated with lower blood pressure and an decreased risk of stroke.
  • Enhances Calm
    For over a millennium, Matcha green tea has been used by Chinese Daoists and Japanese Zen Buddhist monks as a means to relax and meditate while remaining alert. Now we know that this higher state of consciousness is due to the amino acid L-Theanine contained in the leaves used to make Matcha. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without the inherent drowsiness caused by other “downers.”
  • Brain Power
    The L-Theanine in green tea is known to help stimulate alpha brain waves. These waves are known for their ability to help increase focus and concentration.
  • Boosts Memory and Concentration
    Another side-effect of L-Theanine is the production of dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals serve to enhance mood, improve memory, and promote better concentration – something that can benefit everyone.
  • Chlorophyll Source
    The process of shading the Matcha leaves creates an increased amount of Chlorophyll, which some preliminary research has shown may help the body eliminate heavy metals and other harmful buildup. Research is still lacking in this area, but many alternative doctors recommend Chlorophyll for this purpose.
  • Increases Energy Levels and Endurance
    Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan, drank Matcha green tea before going into battle due to the tea’s energizing properties. While all green tea naturally contains caffeine, the energy boost received from Matcha is largely due to its unique combination of other nutrients. The increased endurance from a bowl of Matcha Green Tea can last up to 6 hours and because of the effects of L-Theanine, Matcha drinkers experience none of the usual side-effects of stimulants such as nervousness and hypertension. It’s good, clean energy.
  • Skin Health
    The same antioxidants that make green tea protective, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may also help support skin health by reducing inflammation and free radicals that accelerate skin aging. This green tea facemask is a great example of that.
  • Detoxifies the Body
    During the last three weeks before tea leaves are harvested to be made into Matcha, Camellia sinensis are covered to deprive them of sunlight. This causes a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth of these plants. The resulting high levels of chlorophyll in Matcha green tea not only give this tea its beautiful vibrant green color. Matcha is also a powerful detoxifier capable of naturally removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.
  • Fortifies the Immune System
    The catechins in Matcha green tea have been shown to have antibiotic properties which promote overall health. Additionally, just one bowl of Matcha green tea provides substantial quantities of potassium, vitamins A & C, iron, protein, and calcium. Further studies have even suggested that the nutrients in Matcha may have the ability to inhibit the attacks of HIV on human T-cells.
  • Improves Cholesterol
    Researchers aren’t entirely certain how Matcha green tea has such a positive effect on cholesterol, however studies of different populations have show that people who drink Match on a regular basis have lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while at the same time displaying higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Men who drink Matcha green tea are about 11% less likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t drink Matcha.

Matcha Green Tea Nutrition Facts
There is no denying that matcha is one of the most nutritious foods available today. To give you a better idea of the other health benefits matcha green tea has to offer, take a look at its nutrition facts

Organic Matcha Green Tea Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 tsp

Matcha Green Tea Nutrition Facts
  Amt. Per  Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 3  
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated Fat 0 g 0%
Polysaturated Fat 0 g 0%
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g 0%
Trans Fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Potassium 27 mg 0%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 0 g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g  
Protein 0 g  
Vitamin A      6%
Vitamin C   3%
Calcium    0%
Iron   0%

A teaspoon of matcha also contains 15 times more than the amount of antioxidants in pomegranates and blueberries, and 60 times more than the antioxidants found in spinach.


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Sleep apnea

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Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night's sleep, you might have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen.

There are two types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.
  • Mixed sleep apnea: occurs when there is both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea facts

  • Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep,
  • The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea, and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea.
  • Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep.
  • The complications of obstructive sleep apnea include high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, automobile accidents, and daytime sleepiness as well as difficulty concentrating, thinking and remembering.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is diagnosed and evaluated by history, physical examination and polysomnography (sleep study).
  • The nonsurgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include behavior therapy, including weight loss, medications, dental appliances, continuous positive airway pressure, bi-level positive airway pressure, and auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure.
  • The surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include nasal surgery, palate surgery (including uvulopalatopharyngoplasty [UPPP]), upper airway stimulation therapy, tongue reduction surgery, genioglossus advancement, maxillo-mandibular advancement, tracheostomy, and bariatric surgery.

Symptoms

Common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
  • Loud snoring
  • Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
  • Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
  • Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
  • Morning headaches
  • Restless sleep

Children’s Sleep Apnea
Does your child snore? Does your child show other signs of disturbed sleep: long pauses in breathing, much tossing and turning in the bed, chronic mouth breathing during sleep, night sweats (owing to increased effort to breathe)? All these, and especially the snoring, are possible signs of sleep apnea, which is commoner among children than is generally recognized. It’s estimated than 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea, many of them being between 2 and 8 years old.

Furthermore, while there is a possibility that affected children will “grow out of” their sleep disorders, the evidence is steadily growing that untreated pediatric sleep disorders including sleep apnea can wreak a heavy toll while they persist. Studies have suggested that as many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may actually have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and that much of their learning difficulty and behavior problems can be the consequence of chronic fragmented sleep. Bed-wetting, sleep-walking, retarded growth, other hormonal and metabolic problems, even failure to thrive can be related to sleep apnea. Some researchers have charted a specific impact of sleep disordered breathing on “executive functions” of the brain: cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, planning, organization, and self-regulation of affect and arousal.

Several recent studies show a strong association between pediatric sleep disorders and childhood obesity. Judith Owens, M.D., director of sleep medicine at the National Children&’s Medical Center in Washington, DC, who is a member of the ASAA board of directors, believes that adequate healthy sleep is as important as proper diet and sufficient exercise in preventing childhood obesity.

Causes

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
    This occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. These muscles support the soft palate, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate (uvula), the tonsils, the side walls of the throat and the tongue.

    When the muscles relax, your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in. You can't get enough air, which can lower the oxygen level in your blood. Your brain senses your inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don't remember it

    You might snort, choke or gasp. This pattern can repeat itself five to 30 times or more each hour, all night, impairing your ability to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep.

  • Central sleep apnea
    This less common form of sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles. This means that you make no effort to breathe for a short period. You might awaken with shortness of breath or have a difficult time getting to sleep or staying asleep.

Complications

  • High blood pressure or heart problems
    Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system. Having obstructive sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension).

    Obstructive sleep apnea might also increase your risk of recurrent heart attack, stroke and abnormal heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation. If you have heart disease, multiple episodes of low blood oxygen (hypoxia or hypoxemia) can lead to sudden death from an irregular heartbeat.

  • Type 2 diabetes
    Having sleep apnea increases your risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

  • Metabolic syndrome
    This disorder, which includes high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and an increased waist circumference, is linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

  • Liver problems
    People with sleep apnea are more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are more likely to show signs of scarring (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)

  • Sleep-deprived partners
    Loud snoring can keep anyone who sleeps near you from getting good rest. It's not uncommon for a partner to have to go to another room, or even to another floor of the house, to be able to sleep.

Risk Factors

Adult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition. One frequently cited study suggests that 4% of middle-aged men and 2% of middle-aged women in the United States have OSA.1 However, this is a conservative estimate, and the number is likely much higher.

Several factors can increase the risk of developing OSA. Some are hereditary; others are the result of age and/or lifestyle. Do any of these risk factors apply to you?

  • Obesity: approximately two-thirds of people with OSA are overweight or obese
  • Family history of OSA or snoring
  • Small lower jaw and certain other facial configurations
  • Male gender
  • Large neck circumference
  • Large tonsils
  • Alcohol consumption at bedtime
  • Post-menopausal (for women)
  • Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone)
  • Acromegaly (high levels of growth hormone)

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What is snoring?

In This Article
What is snoring?
How common is snoring?
What causes snoring?
Why do only certain people snore?
Stages of sleep and snoring
Sleeping position and snoring
Snoring in children
SYMPTOMS
What is the treatment for snoring?

Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. It is a common problem among all ages and both genders, and it affects approximately 90 million American adults — 37 million on a regular basis. Snoring may occur nightly or intermittently. Persons most at risk are males and those who are overweight, but snoring is a problem of both genders, although it is possible that women do not present with this complaint as frequently as men. Snoring usually becomes more serious as people age. It can cause disruptions to your own sleep and your bed-partner's sleep. It can lead to fragmented and un-refreshing sleep which translates into poor daytime function (tiredness and sleepiness). The two most common adverse health effects that are believed to be casually linked to snoring are daytime dysfunction and heart disease. About one-half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea.

While you sleep, the muscles of your throat relax, your tongue falls backward, and your throat becomes narrow and "floppy." As you breathe, the walls of the throat begin to vibrate - generally when you breathe in, but also, to a lesser extent, when you breathe out. These vibrations lead to the characteristic sound of snoring. The narrower your airway becomes, the greater the vibration and the louder your snoring. Sometimes the walls of the throat collapse completely so that it is completely occluded, creating a condition called apnea (cessation of breathing). This is a serious condition which requires medical attention.

How common is snoring?

Any person can snore. Frequently, people who do not regularly snore will report snoring after a viral illness, after drinking alcohol, or when taking some medications.

People who snore can have any body type. We frequently think of a large man with a thick neck as a snorer. However, a thin woman with a small neck can snore just as loudly. In general, as people get older and as they gain weight, snoring will worsen.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is usually caused by the vibration of the soft tissues in your tongue, mouth, throat or nose.

During sleep, parts of your body relax, including your tongue, mouth, nose and throat, and this can lead to floppiness in your airways. This causes vibrations, which in turn leads to snoring. It can also sometimes be caused by an abnormality in your nose.

When we exercise, the air moves more quickly and produces some sounds as we breathe. This happens because air is moving in and out of the nose and mouth more quickly and this results in more turbulence to the airflow and some vibration of the tissues in the nose and mouth.

When we are asleep, the area at the back of the throat sometimes narrows as the muscles relax, and even close off temporarily. The same amount of air passing through this smaller opening more rapidly can cause the tissues surrounding the opening to vibrate, which in turn can cause the sounds of snoring. Different people who snore have different reasons for the narrowing. The narrowing can be in the nose, mouth, or throat. Palatal snoring is often worse when an individual breathes through his or her mouth or has nasal obstruction.

Why do only certain people snore?
There are certain factors that can mean you’re more likely to snore. This includes:

  • if you are overweight - this is the most common reason, as the fat in your neck causes pressure on your airway
  • if you sleep on your back - gravity can cause your throat to narrow
  • if you are drunk - this can cause the muscles in your neck to relax
  • if you smoke - this can cause the back of your throat to become infected
  • if you have a problem with the back of your throat
  • if you take sleeping pills, as this can cause you to become too relaxed
  • if you have sleep apnoea, where your airways become blocked whilst you are asleep
  • if you have a cold, the flu or another condition that affects your airways
  • if you are a man - men are more commonly affected by snoring than women
  • if you are between the ages of 40 to 60, but it can affect anyone, including children

Stages of sleep and snoring
Sleep consists of several stages, but in general they can be divided into REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM stages. Snoring can occur during all or only some stages of sleep. Snoring is most common in REM sleep, because of the loss of muscle tone characteristic of this stage of sleep, and during deep sleep or non-REM Stage 3 sleep.

During REM sleep, the brain sends the signal to all the muscles of the body (except the breathing muscles) to relax. Unfortunately, the tongue, palate, and throat can collapse when they relax. This can cause the airway to narrow and worsen snoring.

Sleeping position and snoring
When we are asleep, we are usually (though not always) lying down. Gravity acts to pull on all the tissues of the body, but the tissues of the pharynx are relatively soft and floppy. Therefore, when we lie on our backs, gravity pulls the palate, tonsils, and tongue backwards. This often narrows the airway enough to cause turbulence in airflow, tissue vibration, and snoring. Frequently, if the snorer is gently reminded (for example, with a gentle thrust of the elbow to the ribs or a tickle) to roll onto his or her side, the tissues are no longer pulled backwards and the snoring lessens.

Snoring in children
If you have noticed that your child is snoring, then you should watch out for other symptoms such as a poor attention span and behavioural issues, caused by tiredness - it’s a sign they are waking up throughout the night.

Usually, their snoring can be put down to having a blocked nose, but if you’re worried, or if it happens regularly, then it is a good idea to talk to a doctor.

SYMPTOMS:

People who snore make a vibrating, rattling, noisy sound while breathing during sleep. It may be a symptom of sleep apnea. Consult your doctor if you snore and have any of the following symptoms or signs:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Recent weight gain
  • Awakening in the morning not feeling rested
  • Awaking at night feeling confused
  • Change in your level of attention, concentration, or memory
  • Observed pauses in breathing during sleep

What is the treatment for snoring?

Snoring cannot be cured, but it can be effectively treated and controlled in most cases. The most common treatments include:

  • Lose weight - if you are overweight then you will have more fat around your neck and this can limit the airflow and cause you to snore.
  • Wear nasal strips - if blocked nasal passages are causing you to breathe through your mouth.
  • Sleep on your side - you can use pillow to prop yourself up on one side.
  • Nasal dilators – these can help keep your nose open, encouraging you to breathe through it.
  • Mandibular advancement device - this device pushes your jaw and tongue forward to make more space in your airway.
  • A chin strap - this keeps your mouth closed during the night.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Ear plugs - these are for your partner, not for yourself!
  • Stop smoking if you’re a smoker.
  • A vestibular guard – this is a plastic mouth guard that forces you to breathe through your nose Stop taking sleeping pills - these can cause snoring
  • If your snoring is down to another condition, medication may work - for example, if you have hayfever, antihistamines may help with decongestion.

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