4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Health

Ready? Each step is the same, and you repeat them every day. Drink a cup of tea!
According to the Daily Mail, researchers are stating that intake of tea, even black tea, is a healthful practice with diverse benefits such as increased concentration, dental health and cardiovascular benefits.

I don't know how far we should go with this practice, but it's here in this article. 
I tend to drink quite a bit of tea, along with coffee (which doctors usually want us to drink less of) so maybe it will balance out somehow?

In any case, the process of brewing tea can be brought into your meditation practicce. The Japanese call it "tea ceremony".  While I am not a tea ceremony practitioner, I can advocate that the steps in making tea lend themselves to that quiet concentration that we strive for in daily life. Bring your full attention into the process of gathering your materials, boiling water, brewing and drinking the tea.  Use hyperaesthesia to amplify every sense and bring yourself totally into the present moment, and enjoy the calm of sipping your favorite tea blend.

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Life Extension Foundation is Having a Clearance Sale

I'm not an affiliate sales site for Life Extension, but I value their products and, if you've been reading this blog, you know I support their mission :-)

For those of you that are members, or are thinking of becoming members, Life Extension is having a clearance sale of many of their popular supplements in order to make room for new formulations and fresh inventory. The cool thing about Life Extension is that they do the research, and they actually update their products in accord with the most current knowledge in nutritional supplements.

Discounts in the clearance sale range from 60-80% and the sale includes such items as Super Alpha Lipoic Acid with Biotin, Coenzyme Q10, Silybinin Plus, Cognitex, Resveratrol, Super CLA Blend with Guarana and Sesame Lignans, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and of course several variants of Life Extension Mix.

Head on over to www.lifeextension.com/clearance to take a gander at their offer, and to join up hit www.lef.org

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L-Theanine: Take a Chill Pill

I've been using L-theanine supplements periodically for a few years now. And a lot of us get it through one of our favorite beverages, green tea. What's l-theanine? Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

Theanine is an amino acid, commonly found in tea (infusions of Camellia sinensis), that can produce a feeling of relaxation. Theanine produces these effects by increasing the level of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) production. Theanine affects the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. It also inhibits glutamic acid excitotoxicity.

Theanine is most readily available in green tea and can also be purchased as a supplement. Unusual for an amino acid, it crosses the blood-brain barrier in animal studies. It is also theorized that the GABA-binding properties of theanine reduce the caffeine buzz delivered in black tea versus that of coffee. It also promotes alpha wave production in the brain. Alpha waves are commonly associated with a state of alert relaxation. Theanine is not removed by the decaffeination process because it is not an alkaloid.

What's all that boil down to? L-theanine is espoused by the Life Extension Foundation as a vehicle to help reduce stress and fight free radicals. I've even heard it called "zen in a bottle".  I wouldn't go quite that far, but it may come in handy in certain circumstances.

If these claims are true, L-theanine might be useful as a supplement to help take the edge off a very stressful day. Readers of this site will no doubt have an arsenal of breathing techniques and hypnotic triggers set for relaxation and stress reduction. So maybe we don't need supplemental l-theanine at all, especially if we're getting small amounts of it through drinking tea.

I decided that its potential was interesting enough to begin tracking information about l-theanine like I'm tracking resveratrol, omega 3 (fish oil) and green tea for life extension and peak performance. While none of this information is validated by the FDA, for informational purposes we might want to keep an eye on supplements of this nature.

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Green Tea: Antiobesity Effect Gets More Attention

The linked article's headline says "deserves more attention" but the article goes on to detail how green tea, and its component epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) are getting attention for their effects on obesity.

From the article: "Green tea, green tea
catechins, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have been demonstrated
in cell culture and animal models of obesity to reduce adipocyte
differentiation and proliferation, lipogenesis, fat mass, body weight,
fat absorption, plasma levels of triglycerides, free fatty acids,
cholesterol, glucose, insulin and leptin, as well as to increase
beta-oxidation and thermogenesis."

Green tea is a beverage that's consumed around the world and as its health benefits are revealed, it's gaining popularity in the U.S., where obesity is a growing health concern. Other studies have suggested possible other health effects related to cancer and aging.

While I am not a doctor and can't authoritatively state that green tea is good for what ails ya, I can continue enjoying a few cups a day of this refreshing drink.

For the rest of the story, visit Life Extension Daily News.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Ready for the Trypophan?

Happy Thanksgiving! Today is a day that many in the United States visit relatives and eat huge amounts of food, namely, turkey. After the main mid-day meal, it's usually nap time en masse. Popular  myth has said for a long time now that the culprit is the amino acid tryptophan, found in turkey meat, and said to promote a sleepy feeling. I've done some searching and the consensus nowadays seems to be that it's an urban myth. The best summary I found is from Environment, Health and Safety Online:

Sorry to say, that if you're looking for the sedative effect, it's unlikely you'll get it from eating meats like turkey. L-tryptophan doesn't act on the brain unless you take it on an empty stomach with no protein present. Additionally, the levels found in a turkey dinner are far, far too low to have such an effect.  So, even though the mass media, CNN and Fox like to hype it and blame post holiday meal sleepiness on the turkey dinner... that's just a catchy sound-bite.. not the reality. The trypophan isn't to blame  for the sudden drowsiness that hits right after the meal when the football games come on, and the dishes are waiting!

It's more likely due to the combination of drinking alcohol and overeating...

So watch the overeating, and enjoy yourselves! You may find youself surprised and delighted by how useful NLP rapport skills can be when used in these family settings; these are good opportunities for practice, especially since family gatherings aren't always known as the arena where everyone already agrees with you ;-)

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Omega 3 from Fish Oil May Help Hyperactive Kids

Enough news of research into the realm of nutrition and its effect on performance has come across my radar screen that I'll be adding some of that information to this site as it comes up.  Remember to consult your physician before undertaking any kind of dietary supplement regimen.  Particularly with the supplements, it seems that one day a study will come out, only to have a contradictory one come out not long afterwards, so let the buyer beware.

From the Daily Mail:

During trials, Dr Richardson found children with dyslexia and ADHD tendencies experienced improved concentration, decreased anxiety and a reduction in disruptive behaviour, after three months of fish oils.

She admits: "We don't know the exact mechanisms of why fish oils help the brain, but they do.

Additionally, the article has a hidden gem buried at the bottom: a reference to the Food And Behavior Research group. This site is a must-read.

Source: Daily Mail

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