Why bananas are a good fruit for weight loss – and how many you should eat – Jessica Farthing and Karen Chan

  • Bananas can be good for weight loss because they contain lots of fiber, which slows digestion and helps you feel full.
  • Research has found that eating high levels of fiber can reduce the risk of weight gain by up to 30%.
  • You can eat up to one banana a day as part of a healthy diet for weight loss, and, overall, you should consume at least two types of fruit a day.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to improve your health. In fact, eating bananas can have many health benefits, whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve heart health.

To lose weight, it’s important to talk to your doctor about developing a safe and effective weight-loss plan that fits your individual health needs. On top of eating right, you should also get more exercise and sleep enough, for example.

But eating more fiber-rich foods like bananas can be a good start toward a healthy weight-loss plan. Here’s why.

Banana nutrition facts

Here are the nutrition facts in a medium-size banana, according to the Food and Drug Administration:

  • Fat, 0 grams, 0% DV
  • Sodium, 0 grams, 0% DV
  • Potassium, 450 mg, 13% DV
  • Carbohydrates, 30 grams, 10% DV
  • Dietary fiber, 3 grams, 12% DV
  • Vitamin A, 2% DV
  • Vitamin C, 15% DV
  • Calcium, 0% DV
  • Iron, 2% DV

A medium banana does have 110 calories, while a single serving of strawberries (about eight berries) has only 50 calories. Despite this caloric difference, the fact that bananas offer phytochemicals and a host of vitamins can make them a strong addition to a healthy weight-loss plan. The high fiber content in bananas can also help keep you feeling full for a longer time.

Are bananas good for weight loss?

“Bananas are a great source of multiple key nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and manganese,” says Chelsea Tersavich, a physician assistant who is a nutrition-outreach fellow through the PA Foundation, a position that challenges her to educate the public to be healthier. “The fiber also keeps us full during the day, which leads to a decrease in the total amount of calories we take for most people.”

The fiber in bananas is a key part of their benefit for weight loss. The fiber in a banana accounts for 12% of the recommended daily value, which directly contributes to weight loss. In fact, eating a high level of fiber may cut the risk of gaining weight by up to 30%.

Varying fruit intake can expose someone dieting to a range of key nutrients. While bananas are known to be full of potassium, other fruits can be beneficial as well. Though pears and apples are higher in fiber, bananas have more per serving than cherries, avocados, or grapes.

Overall, it’s recommended that people consume two or more fruits a day as part of a healthy diet. Bananas are certainly a good choice for one of those fruits, and you can enjoy up to one medium-size banana a day as part of a healthy weight-loss plan.

Does banana ripeness matter?

According to Tersavich, there isn’t a difference in the nutritional value of bananas as they ripen, but there is a change in the taste and carbohydrate levels.

Greener, less ripe bananas have a higher level of starch – especially resistant starch. This type of starch can be beneficial for weight loss because it is digested more slowly and helps you feel more full.

“As bananas ripen, the starch is converted into natural sugars which is why they taste sweeter and become soft,” Tersavich says. And even though they might taste better, the ripening process may come with slightly fewer health benefits.

This might be especially true for people with diabetes or prediabetes, who need to carefully control their diet and blood sugar. “For someone that’s diabetic or prediabetic, a banana on the unripe side of the spectrum may be better since it causes a slower rise in blood sugar,” Tersavich says.

Greener ripe bananas can also be tougher to digest, however, so anyone with digestive or gastrointestinal health issues may want to avoid them.

Insider’s takeaway

As part of a balanced diet, bananas can be nutritious and beneficial, even if you are trying to lose weight. It’s clear that eating more fruits and vegetables is a good choice for weight loss – and the high fiber content in bananas makes them an especially healthy option.

SOURCE:  Insider.Com, insider@insider.com, Jessica Farthing and Karen Chan

Vitamin C: Why you need it and how to get enough of it by Mercey Livingston

Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or boost your immune system, vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients you need to stay healthy and it’s a go-to for many people when they think they are getting sick. People have sworn by it for ages (whether in food or supplements) and for good reason. Health experts, nutritionists and science all agree that not only is it a vital nutrient but it can help prevent infections and help you get better when you are already sick. 

a close up of a slice of orange sliced in half: Vitamin C can help support your immune system and has many other benefits.

© Getty Images

Vitamin C can help support your immune system and has many other benefits.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for immune health. It works by helping your body heal from and fight off infections, and can help keep you from getting sick and support you when you are sick. But did you know your body needs vitamin C for a ton of other things? 

Why is vitamin C important?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your body from harmful substances such as free radicals caused by oxidative stress, which are molecules that can damage cells. It’s important to get vitamin C through supplements or food since your body can’t make it on its own. 

Besides its protective, healing and antioxidant effects, vitamin C is also shown to help cancer patients improve their quality of life and exhibit fewer side effects from treatment. Vitamin C is also thought to protect cardiovascular health. One study showed that people who took at least 700mg of vitamin C per day had lower risk factors for heart disease. 

a bunch of food sitting on top of a wooden table: Vitamin C is found in foods like citrus fruit, bell peppers and tomatoes. Getty Images

© Provided by CNET Vitamin C is found in foods like citrus fruit, bell peppers and tomatoes. Getty Images

How to get enough vitamin C

“Typically, I recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables for those seeking to boost their vitamin C content,” dietician Jenn Randazzo tells CNET. Vitamin C is found in many foods including:

  • Citrus fruits and their juices
  • Red and green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Baked potatoes 
  • Tomatoes
  • Some foods and beverages that are fortified with vitamin C 

“Because vitamin C content may be reduced by prolonged storage and cooking techniques, try to consume vitamin C foods either raw or steamed for a short period of time,” Randazzo adds. Another way to ensure you get enough vitamin C is to add a supplement. This can be helpful during times when you want to prevent illness, boost your immune system or get extra vitamin C support if you’re sick.

“If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin C into your daily diet, it is available as dietary supplements as well (usually in the form of ascorbic acid),” Randazzo says. “However, some supplements have other forms, like sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, and other mineral ascorbates too. Research has not shown that any form of vitamin C is better than the others, so it’s important that you use the form easiest to incorporate into your personal wellness routine.”PauseCurrent Time 0:12/Duration 5:18Loaded: 13.75%Unmute0LOCaptionsFullscreenTesting the accuracy of coronavirus antibody testsClick to expand

How much vitamin C should you take?

When it comes to vitamin C, many people think more is better. The recommended daily amount is about 65-90mg per day, and the upper limit is 2,000mg per day. Most supplements on the market provide much more than 90mg, and if you’re eating foods with vitamin C and supplementing, you’re meeting your 90mg requirement and then some. 

If you’re taking more vitamin C than is recommended, it’s unlikely to hurt you since the vitamin is not stored in the body. “For some, consuming too much vitamin C can cause stomach upset, like diarrhea, nausea or cramps,” Randazzo says. In fact, if you are sick, your body needs much more vitamin C and your needs can increase due to inflammation and other factors. This is why it’s important to talk to a health professional like a doctor or nutritionist to help you determine how much vitamin C you need to prevent or treat illness.

Vitamin C and immune health 

Vitamin C plays an important role in immune health and helps your body’s immune system in a few different ways. First, it supports the production of immune cells or white blood cells that you need to fight infections. Secondly, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, which protects you from oxidative stress, which is linked to chronic health conditions and illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

a glass with a blue bottle: Sarah Tew/CNET

© Provided by CNET Sarah Tew/CNET

Vitamin C and COVID-19

Vitamin C has been given to critically ill patients diagnosed with COVID-19, although there is no research to show it is effective at treating COVID-19 specifically. Studies are ongoing, but the National Institutes of Health still say there isn’t enough evidence to recommend the use of vitamin C for COVID-19 patients.

It’s important to remember that researchers and doctors don’t have all of the answers about COVID-19 at this time. The best ways to reduce your risk of being infected with the coronavirus is to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, abide by any health orders from your local officials, and to take care of your health as much as you can overall.

Vitamin C and stress 

One surprising fact about vitamin C is that it can help your body when under stress, whether that is physical or emotional. One study showed that vitamin C was helpful in reducing stress hormones in mice, which means it could help human bodies cope with the harmful effects of physical and emotional stressors.

Another 2015 study showed that vitamin C supplementation was helpful for people with anxiety. It helped mitigate the negative effects of anxiety in the body and showed promise for helping prevent future anxiety.

Given vitamin C’s benefits for stress, anxiety, heart health and immunity, making sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin C per day is a good step in the direction of better health. 

SOURCE: Mercey Livingston, CNET


Honey As Coffee Sweetener: A Healthy Idea? – Seema Prasad

Honey is used in place of sugar to cut down calories and to replace artificial sweeteners with this natural substitute. Many people like the thickness and flavor honey adds to their tea or coffee drink. Ultimately, it depends on individuals’ taste and food-related goals.  

Though honey enjoys a reputation of being healthier than sugar, it is not considered a superfood because, scientifically speaking, it is not an alternative to regular sugar. While both contain glucose and fructose, sugar provides zero nutrition except for carbohydrates, whereas honey has trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

The differences between sugar and honey are subtle. For instance, honey has more fructose than glucose. Hence it is sweeter than sugar and smaller quantities can be added, which does not compromise on the sweetness. The choice is up to each person. Here are a few important factors to ponder over while choosing honey to sweeten your morning coffee. 

Trace Amount of Nutrients

Honey is filled with dietary antioxidant flavonoids. However, only trace amounts of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins B and C are derived from honey. The antioxidants could help reduce the spread of free radicals and inflammation. For this reason, it may seem to provide many nutritional benefits as it is touted by many health-conscious individuals. In reality, this is to a very limited degree. 

Raw honey also has trace amounts of pollen and it can bring down allergies, and has a positive impact on immunity. Compared to sugar that has zero fats and proteins, honey is slightly more nutritious but the significance is very little. 

More Calories

One teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories, whereas one teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. Smaller proportions of honey are advised to be consumed since it could end up in diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Honey has bacterial spores that lead to botulism among infants, hence it has to be kept away from children. 

Added sugars should not exceed 5 percent of the daily calorie intake. Hence the amount of honey added to coffee should be watched since people tend to drink many cups everyday. 

The bottomline is that restraint has to be exercised by using only half a teaspoon of honey to prevent the many potential health risks.



It doesn’t matter if it’s sugary or diet: New study links all soda to an early death – Laura Reiley

Hold up, diet soda drinkers. Regular consumption of soft drinks — both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened — was associated with a greater risk of all causes of death, according to research published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Participants who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks per day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass per month.

The study, one of the largest of its kind, tracked 451,743 men and women from 10 countries in Europe. It found that consumption of two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases. For sugar-sweetened soft drinks, one or more glasses a day were associated with deaths from digestive diseases, including diseases of the liver, appendix, pancreas and intestines.

a glass of beer on a table: Pouring soda into a glass.(Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

© carlos alvarez/Getty Images Pouring soda into a glass.(Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

The researchers recruited people from Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden between 1992 and 2000, surveying them on their food and drink consumption. Participants were excluded if they reported incidents of cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Mean age was 50.8, and 71.1 percent of participants were women.

Similar results have been shown in several recent studies, but the researchers cautioned that elevated soft-drink consumption may be a marker for an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

“In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” said the study’s chief researcher, Neil Murphy of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. “We made statistical adjustments in our analyses for BMI, smoking habits and other mortality risk factors which may have biased our results, and the positive associations remained.”

The researchers saw similar associations in smokers and nonsmokers, as well as in lean and obese participants, which indicates that the association between soft drinks and mortality is not strongly influenced by smoking habits and BMI.

“The results of this study are significant,” said Sarah Reinhardt, lead food systems and health analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It reinforces a fact that won’t surprise anyone in the nutrition field: Processed foods loaded with artificial ingredients will never be the magic bullet to better health, no matter how low they are in sugar. Our bodies are smarter than that.”

While advocacy groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest are broadly appreciative of studies exploring the link between added sugars and human health, they caution that the results could be a “reverse causation” effect, where diet soda drinkers as a population have other common qualities that could indicate a different explanation for the results.

“This new European study is somewhat inconsistent with earlier findings,” said Bonnie Liebman, CSPI’s director of nutrition. “In the new study, the risk of dying of any cause was more strongly linked to people who drank more diet drinks than to people who drank more sugary drinks.”

Keri Peterson, medical adviser to the Calorie Control Council, which represents low and no-calorie sweeteners, said that numerous studies have proven that the sweeteners used in diet sodas are some of the safest and most thoroughly studied ingredients in the food supply.

“The safety of low- and no-calorie sweeteners has been reaffirmed time and time again by leading regulatory and governmental agencies around the world.”

Murphy said that he cannot rule out the possibility that the artificially sweetened positive associations were influenced by unhealthy individuals switching to artificially sweetened soft drinks.

“We recognize that a possible explanation for the positive associations found for artificially sweetened soft drinks is that participants who were already at greater health risk (those who were overweight or obese; those with prediabetes) may have switched to artificially sweetened soft drinks to manage their calorie and sugar intake,” he said in an email.

The good news? Researchers found no link between soft-drink consumption and overall cancer death or deaths from Alzheimer’s disease.

While the 50 international researchers who conducted the study advanced no theories about the relationships observed, they encourage public health campaigns aimed at limiting the consumption of soft drinks.

According to the American Heart Association, sweetened drinks are the biggest source of added sugar in our diet. In the United States, the percentage of obese children and adolescents has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 40 percent of adults are obese, according to the American Medical Association.

In the United States, four cities in California: Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany; Philadelphia; Boulder, Colo.; Portland, Ore.; and Cook County, Ill., have all moved to impose soda taxes, but more-widespread efforts have been met with resistance from the soda lobby. Even so, recent studies show that people are drinking less sugary drinks, opting instead for healthier choices.

William Dermody, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, notes that today more than half of all beverages purchased contain no sugar, and that “no one should overconsume sugar, and we stand by the safety and quality of our products.”

Seth Goldman, chief executive of Honest Tea, which is owned by Coca-Cola, said the study should prod big soda companies to introduce alternative beverages.

“It’s all the more imperative to successfully commercialize lower-sugar and less-sweet beverages,” he said. “There’s a recognition that the consumer is evolving, too. If [soda companies] don’t change, they’re going to miss that evolving consumer. We’re seeing shifts that are unlikely to reverse themselves.” an alternative pain management treatment that could help prevent opioid abuse. 

Source: The Washington Post

foods to avoid for type 2 diabetes

Foods to Avoid if You Have Type 2 Diabetes by Mr.HealthyFrog.Com

Diabetes is a condition that causes one to have high levels of sugar. For type two diabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin, which causes a buildup of sugar in the blood. Diabetes is harmful and the condition can not only affect the heart, eyes and other body organs but also increases your chances of getting high blood pressure, strokes and infections. It can also have you experience low energy.

Fortunately, your diet can help you relieve the symptoms of this condition. In case you have diabetes, it is advisable to maintain a diet that doesn’t expose you to dangerous spikes of sugar. A diet that allows you to maintain a reasonable weight for your body shape is just what you need.

Here’s a list of foods to avoid in case you have type 2 diabetes.

Now it might seem like we are contradicting ourselves by telling you to take a fruit and then saying juices are bad for you if you have type 2 diabetes, but it’s the truth.

The reason is that they have a higher concentration of fruit sugar but no fiber. It may be a better option compared to a soda but it will raise your blood sugar significantly. It may also make you overeat because it doesn’t make you feel full. Instead, go for sparkling water with a bit of lime juice or lemon added to it.

  1. Sugary Foods

Diabetes has a lot to do with sugar as you already know so just to be safe, stay away from foods that contain very high sugar so that your blood glucose doesn’t go overboard as well.

Candy, baked dessert and drinks like sodas will only cause weight gain and add to the problem. If you are craving some sugar, go for fruit instead. You will not only get the natural sugar which slows down the rate in which sugar is absorbed, but also fiber.

  • Fruit Juices

Now it might seem like we are contradicting ourselves by telling you to take a fruit and then saying juices are bad for you if you have type 2 diabetes, but it’s the truth.

The reason is that they have a higher concentration of fruit sugar but no fiber. It may be a better option compared to a soda but it will raise your blood sugar significantly. It may also make you overeat because it doesn’t make you feel full. Instead, go for sparkling water with a bit of lime juice or lemon added to i

3. Full-fat dairy products

You definitely need to stay away from saturated fats because they raise the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol which increases your chances of getting heart disease. Heart disease is a great concern for people suffering from diabetes.

These products, being high in saturated fats, increase insulin resistance which makes things worse. So, skip that full-fat yogurt, cream, ice cream, butter or cheese and choose dairy-free versions. If you have to take dairy products, then go for those that have reduced fats such as coconut milk.

4. White rice, bread, and flour

It is generally not advisable to take refined starches, but it’s even worse for people with diabetes. White rice and white flour are not nutritious. They are a result of highly processed and refined whole grains, a process that makes the whole grains lose fiber.

Eating these bad carbs will spike glucose levels because they will break down into sugar in your body. Go for whole grains found in foods like wild rice or cereals and whole grain bread. These contain carbs that break down slowly.

5. Alcohol

If you have diabetes, you should either stay away from alcohol completely or drink in moderation as per the doctor’s recommendation. Different levels of alcohol cause a rise or fall of blood glucose.

Some diabetes pills will stimulate more insulin production by the pancreas in order to lower glucose levels. The combination of alcohol and medicine could cause hypoglycemia or insulin shock. Another thing to remember is to never take alcohol on an empty stomach and to check your blood sugar before drinking.

6. Fried foods

Fried foods may be very tasty, but they are equally dangerous. They have lots of fats and calories. They add to your weight and will cause your blood sugars to rise. Different fried foods affect people differently. French fries, compared to fried chicken, for example, will spike blood sugar faster because potatoes are pure carbohydrates while fried chicken has some protein.

These fried foods are often prepared in hydrogenated oils so they contain dangerous trans fats that lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol.

7. Fatty cuts of meat

Meat also contains high levels of saturated fats. Certain levels of it could increase inflammation in the body and increase the risk of getting heart disease. For those who already have heart disease, it’s even worse.

According to research, some components of red meat increase the risk of diabetes. Sodium, for example, could raise blood pressure and lead to insulin resistance. Nitrates present could also cause insulin resistance. If you really want to have meat, choose fish, turkey or skinless chicken instead.

8. Sweetened breakfast cereals

You might want to avoid having cereals for breakfast if you have diabetes. Despite the fact that they say “healthy” on their boxes, they are usually very highly processed.

Cereals contain more carbs than most people even realize. They also don’t have that much protein to keep you full for a longer period of time. Therefore, to keep your blood sugar under control, it’s better to skip these cereals and go for a protein-based breakfast that is low in carbs.

ginger tea

Benefits of Drinking Ginger Water by Keri Gans, USNews

Move over lemon water, there might be a cooler kid in town – ginger water! Also known as ginger tea, this drink is becoming quite popular due to all the health claims surrounding ginger itself.

Technically, though, using ginger has been around for centuries. And if we get really specific, it’s been used for medicinal purposes to treat mostly stomach aches, diarrhea and nausea in Asia for more than 2,500 years. Hmm, maybe like so much else, it seems more popular today because of Instagram.

a cup of coffee: Cup of tea with ginger root on grey wooden table

Cup of tea with ginger root on grey wooden table

Ginger Ale – Homemade lemon and ginger organic soda drink, copy space.

Ginger homemade tea infusion on wooden board with lemon still life

ginger lemonade with honey and lemons


drink against flu and cold

Anyway, the health claims are endless: alleviate nausea, improve symptoms from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, prevent blood clotting and even decrease one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease. But is there conclusive scientific research to substantiate any of this? The answer is both yes and no.

Does Ginger Have Health Benefits?

One published scientific review, which looked at the relationship between cancer and ginger, found that gingerol, a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in ginger, was shown to have cancer-inhibiting effects.

Another scientific review paper that compared experimental studies, specifically conducted in-vivo and in-vitro, suggested a potential positive outcome with more research needed. And yet one more study showed promise specifically with colon cancer.

A study looking at the connection between osteoarthritis and ginger showed that the daily consumption of raw and heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury, suggesting that ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties could be beneficial in osteoarthritis patients.

Related Slideshow: Tea customs around the world (Provided by Photo Services)

Tea customs around the world

Tea is what unites many cultures, and at the same time sets them apart. Different countries have their own customs and ways of preparing a tea. Explore some of these unique tea customs from around the world.

High Tea and Afternoon Tea – UK

English High Tea usually involves tea with accompaniments such as bread, pies and cheese and was originally a working class meal served at the end of the work day, around 5 pm. In comparison, Afternoon Tea is a social event enjoyed mainly by the middle and upper classes, where tea is taken alongside cake and sandwiches in a leisurely but refined fashion.

Ice Tea – USA

Scorching summers usually make Americans (especially in the hot south) discard hot tea for a cooler version – a thirst-quenching drink made with plenty of sugar or flavoured syrup and ice.

Samovars – Russia

Tea drinking in Russia is linked with samovar which is essentially a vessel combining a bubbling water heater and a teapot. A previously prepared tea kept warm in a dish on the top of the samovar is poured into a cup, which is then diluted with boiling water from the vessel and served.

Koicha and Usucha – Japan

Japanese culture is known for its tea rituals, one being the elaborate Japanese tea ceremony known as ‘chado’ (the way of tea). The complete ceremony lasts four hours and includes a light meal followed by a serving of ‘koicha’ (thick tea) and ‘usucha’ (a lighter tea), which are prepared from a fine powder green tea called ‘matcha’ mixed with hot water in respective proportions.

Mint Tea – Morocco

A mixture of green tea and mint leaves, the drink is sweetened with sugar and poured from a height into glasses. According to custom, refusing to accept the drink when offered it by a host is rude.

Butter and Salt tea – Tibet

Po Cha or Butter and Salt tea is made from yak milk and is a tea unique to Tibet. A pinch of salt is also mixed with the butter and added to the tea.

Masala Chai – India

Indian is one of world’s biggest producers of tea. One of the popular tea variants is Masala chai, which is generally taken with milk and sugar and mixed with rich spices such as cardamom, ginger, clove and cinnamon.

Three-layered tea – Germany

Tea is poured over a rocks of white sugar that melts slowly. Heavy cream is then added to form three layers, which are made of sugar, tea and cream.

Green Tea – China

Legend has it that that tea was first discovered by the Chinese emperor Shennong in around 2000 BC, when a dead leaf from a tea bush fell into his cup of hot water. One of China’s most popular – green tea – is consumed on both casual and formal occasions.

As for lowering cholesterol levels, a single study found that dietary supplementation with ginger prevented hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) in rats that ate a high-cholesterol diet. And one systematic review concluded that ginger may not have an effect on fasting blood glucose levels in persons with Type 2 diabetes. However, ginger did improve HbA1c levels, showing blood sugar control over a longer period of time.

There have definitely been a wide range of studies – many with promising results. However, one must keep in mind that a large amount of these studies were either conducted in test tubes or on mice – and those that included humans had small sample sizes. Therefore, nothing at this point is 100% conclusive.

Are There Side Effects To Consuming Ginger?

The good news is there are little to no side effects reported in regards to ginger consumption. However, there are some concerns that pregnant women shouldn’t exceed 1,500 mg/day, so one should definitely check with their doctor. As for healthy individuals, one shouldn’t consume more than 4 grams/day. But honestly, I highly doubt anyone is consuming that amount in a single cup of tea.

What I see to be the most promising attribute of ginger water/tea at this point is that it’s hydrating. Most people don’t consume enough water daily and if they enjoy the flavor of ginger, this will get them to drink more. One should make sure though that their choice of ginger beverage isn’t loaded with added sugars and one way to guarantee this is to make it yourself.

Make Your Own Ginger Tea

Peel and thinly slice ginger root, approximately one tablespoon. Put in a saucepan with around 8 ounces of water and bring to a boil. Depending on how potent you like your tea, you could add either less or more of the ginger. Once boiling, cover with lid, turn off heat, let stand for around 15 minutes and then strain through colander.

The remaining ginger-flavored liquid can be either enjoyed warm or refrigerated to be served cold later. If you like your tea sweet, I suggest adding a teaspoon of honey or even some cinnamon. You could also experiment with adding some other flavors to the water, such as lemon or lime. Bottoms up! ff

Increasing red meat consumption tied to higher risk of early death, study says

yan W. Miller, USA TODAY Published 10:03 a.m. ET June 13, 2019

Research has shown that eating too much red meat can increase your risk for cancer. Buzz60’s Nick Cardona (@nickcardona93) has that story. Buzz60CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

Increasing the amount of red meat you eat can increase your risk of early death, a study that tracked more than 80,000 people’s eating habits found.

Just half a serving per day more of red meat was associated with a 10% increased risk in premature death. Researchers also found that decreasing red meat consumption while also increasing consumption of nuts, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, whole grains or vegetables was also associated with a lower risk of early death, too.

“This long-term study provides further evidence that reducing red meat intake while eating other protein foods or more whole grains and vegetables may reduce risk of premature death,” study author Frank Hu of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a statement.

The study was published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal.

Whether the red meat was processed matters, too. Researchers found that at least half a serving more of processed red meat increased the risk of premature death by 13% whereas the same amount of unprocessed red meat increased the risk by just 9%.

‘Ultra-processed’ foods: Too much junk food may lead to early death and heart disease, studies say

The results held true, regardless of the person’s age, physical activity level, dietary quality, smoking status or alcohol consumption, the study authors say.

The researchers tracked 27,916 men and 53,553 women from two groups between 1986 and 2010 and looked at their red meat consumption over eight-year periods and their health in eight years that followed.

Speaking with NPR, Georgetown University professor Tom Sherman, who was not involved in the study, called the study “pretty interesting” because it tracked changes in behavior.

“Changes in behavior are fairly illuminating, and diagnostic,” he told the public broadcaster. However, the study is observational and can only prove an association, not causation. Sherman said a weakness of the study is that its can’t fully control for independent factors that may be adding to the trend.

Diet and breast cancer: Low-fat diet with more fruits and vegetables may decrease risk of dying from breast cancer

Heather Fields, an internal medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic, told CNN that the study contributes to a growing body of research that shows the potential negative effects of eating more red meat.

“Keeping these findings in mind, we can now shift focus on which foods we can add to the diet to improve longevity and decrease risk of chronic diseases,” she said. Fields was not involved in the study.

Hu advocated for changes in diet, too.

“To improve both human health and environmental sustainability, it is important to adopt a Mediterranean-style or other diet that emphasizes healthy plant foods,” he said in a statement.

Where to find vegan fast food: Vegan and meat-free fast-food options are growing. Here’s where to find them.

Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

The Benefits of Tea—A Scientific Perspective by Amy Chun

What are some of the many benefits of tea? Tea is a nice remedy for when you are sick, but it has a lot more benefits than you might think. I personally like to drink a cup of warm tea at night while I’m doing homework. Also, whenever I’m tired or feeling under the weather, I opt for tea!

From panda’s poop to bug’s crap, the world has a taste for some of the most incredibly weird teas that one wouldn’t drink on a normal day. Click through to have a look at them.2/13 SLIDES© CHINA DAILY/REUTERS

Panda dung tea

If you think you are actually buying the poop, think again. Unlike what the name implies, this green tea is grown in southwest China using panda poop as a sole fertilizer. The tea is listed as one of the most expensive teas in the world with the price as high as US $3,500 for 50 grams.3/13 SLIDES© Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Bubble tea

This cold tea, which originated during the 1980s in Taiwan, is more like a milkshake. Traditionally, the recipe has tea base, milk, fruits and chewy Tapioca balls. As the drink became trendy across the globe, coffee houses have started experimenting with different flavors.4/13 SLIDES© VeraPetruk/Getty Images

Pu-erh Tea

When the green tea is slowly aged with the help of fungus, pu-erh tea is produced. According to the Chinese government, authentic pu-erh tea is produced only in Yunnan province. Believed to be good for health, the brew is gaining popularity with tea lovers. Unfortunately not everyone can afford it as it’s one of the most expensive teas in the world.5/13 SLIDES© DANIEL ACKER/Bloomberg

Kukicha green tea

Japanese have their own method to produce this unique aromatic green concoction. Twigs, stems and stalks of the tea plant are used to make this traditional tea. As it carries negligible amount of caffeine, it can be used to make children’s drinks too.6/13 SLIDES© STRINGER/REUTERS

Guayusa Tea

The leaves of the guayusa (Ilex guayusa), a tree native to the Ecuadorean rain forest, are rich in natural caffeine and antioxidants. Native tribes in Ecuador brew them like a tea for they enjoy its stimulating effects.7/13 SLIDES© PA ARCHIVE IMAGES/Press Association

Bug feces tea

Can you image the tea made from bug’s feces to be as expansive as gold? The Taiwanese farmers pick up the poop of the bugs, who only eat organic tea leaves all their lives, using magnifying glasses and tweezers. According to the tea-selling company Tearroir, this brew is believed to save lives and it’s value is equal to that of gold. (Pictured) Vijay Dudeja, chairman of Calcutta’s teabrokers, pours the world’s most expensive tea for Harrods’ owner and chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed.8/13 SLIDES© CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/REUTERS

Garlic tea

Not so bizarre for people who want to lose weight as garlic tea is believed to help you maintain the perfect metabolism for shedding that extra layer of fat. This hot drink will also help you avoid heart problems and regularize blood pressure.9/13 SLIDES© marekuliasz/marekuliasz/Getty Images

Gunpowder tea

Another tea of Chinese origin, this centuries-old brew is named so because its leaves resemble the grains of black powder. The leaves are rolled by hand or machine to avoid physical breakage, and to keep their flavor and aroma intact.10/13 SLIDES© Maren Winter/Getty Images

Salvia tea

Made from salvia herb, this tea is an integral part of Mexican culture and rituals. Mazatec shamans, native to Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca, consume this drink to induce visions during rituals. As the brew is made up of hallucinogenic substances, salvia remains the main choice.11/13 SLIDES© David Pimborough/Getty Images

Fermented yak butter tea

Perfect for chilly weather of Tibet and Ladakh, yak butter tea takes almost half a day to prepare. The boiled tea is mixed with yak butter and salt until it’s as consistent as stew or oil. Tibetans consume it throughout the day as it provides high amount of energy and warmth.12/13 SLIDES© urbanraven/Getty Images

Labrador tea

The tea gets its name from a Canadian region where it was invented and it has nothing to do with dogs of any kind. Made from three kind of plants from the Rhododendron family, the brew is effective for many ailments, including cold, heartburn and hangovers. However, one needs to be careful because it contains ledol, a poisonous substance that causes cramps, delirium, and even paralysis when consumed in large amount.13/13 SLIDES© GreenArtPhotography/Getty Images

Kombucha tea

Known for its sour taste, Kombucha is Russia’s answer to the world’s weirdest teas. The drink is prepared by fermenting the black tea with bacteria and yeast. People claim that it strengthens the immune system.13/13 SLIDES

A Scientific Explanation

Compared to coffee, tea contains more antioxidants, which are essential to prevent particles called free radicals that could damage the body’s cells. Also, tea also has less caffeine compared to coffee. Caffeine can make us feel energized and more alert because it stimulates the body’s central nervous system. As the saying goes, sometimes, too much of something might not be good for the body! In fact, a safe amount of daily caffeine consumption is up to 400 milligrams, which amounts to roughly 4 cups of coffee and about 8 cups of green tea. Due to this, if one prefers to drink in large quantities and still get a dose of caffeine, he or she could instead, go for some tea! 

Physical Health Benefits

On top of that, tea could potentially reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to a study that compiled reports regarding the relationship between tea and heart health, there was a 20% reduction in the risk for heart attack, as well as up to 35% reduction in the risk for stroke. In addition, additional research shows that tea could help with weight loss, (although there is not enough evidence to provide complete support). 

Mental Health Benefits

Besides the physical benefits of tea, tea can also help with your mentality as well. For example, a study showed that black tea reduced the participants’ stress levels, as seen by a 20% drop in cortisol levels (cortisol is a hormone released during stressful situations). Tea also generally eases irritability and headaches. Moreover, tea has multiple benefits for the body, whether it be physical or mental.

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© azuladofarah on Instagram Farah Alani ☂️ on Instagram: “قبل فترة آنسة رُلى دزتلي صورة مال أكياس چاي مرسوم عليهة، وآني أحب من أحد يتذكرني بمشاريع فنية ? بديت أجمع حتى أنفذ الفكرة وعجبتني النتيجة…”

What About Bubble Tea?

When talking about tea in the 21st century, we can’t leave out bubble tea! Bubble tea has been widely popularized, with its tasty appeal and chewy “bubbles.” However, drinking too much bubble tea might not be the best option when considering your health! The Tapioca pearls in bubble tea are known to be made with a lot of sugar and can add more calories to your drink. To compromise, you can still have the best of both health and taste by drinking a cup of herbal or plant-based teas! (If you want a sweeter taste like bubble tea, I recommend rooibos tea.)

Personally, I really love drinking tea for the slightly sweet taste and the way it relaxes my body after I drink it. My favorite types of tea include black tea and oolong tea, although I look forward to trying different types of tea in the future! I definitely encourage opting for tea once in a while over other beverages because of the amazing health benefits it has. For more information about tea, check out the perfect tea for every college situation and, if you’re new to tea, look out for the beginner’s guide to tea drinking!