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Mark's Daily Apple

29 May

Scheduled Maintenance

Greetings all! Mark’s Daily Apple is down for scheduled maintenance. We’ll be back tomorrow with the exciting unveiling of a brand spankin’ new weekly column from Mark for all you low-carbers, along with the Fuming Fuji and even more great news and views. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy all the features in the Best of MDA as well as peruse the archives and various categories for great insights and healthy tips. Cheers! We’ll see you tomorrow.

- The gang

25 May

Healthy Tastes Great!

Tea Poached Salmon with Fruit Salsa

Here is a simple and unique way to cook fish. Try it with your favorite green or herbal tea!

25 May

Tea Time

SMART FUEL

Reader Donna suggested that we share information on the benefits of tea. Good idea, Donna! Tea is incredibly healthy and is an easy way to get a daily dose of beneficial antioxidants. While we’re at it, let’s discuss the types of tea, too.

Tea Types

There is only one tea species. White tea, black tea, green tea, oolong – they all come from a single plant (camellia sinensis for you Latin nerds). The basic difference boils down (get it?) to how processed the leaves are and the level of fermenting involved. White tea is the least processed and the “freshest”, so it is highest in antioxidants. Yes, there is something better than green tea!

Antioxidant Potency

The differences are really not as extreme as is believed. All tea is healthy for you. However, the more processed teas are lower in antioxidants and much higher in caffeine. A hierarchy:

1. White

2. Green

3. Oolong (Really difficult to make – not for you, for the artisans. You boil it like any other tea leaf.)

4. Black

Pictures:

pearls

Top: white tea

Lower: jasmine pearls green tea – yum!

greenoolong

Top: green tea

Lower: oolong tea

pureh

Top: black

Lower: the ultra-rare (and uber-snobby) pureh

Pureh is pretty special stuff. Though popular in China, it’s rare here – we haven’t tried it yet. Have you?

Prep

Of course, boiled water poured immediately over the leaves, and 3 to 5 minutes of steeping time, will yield the best-tasting and most nutritious pot. Microwave is sacrilege and will invoke the wrath of the tea gods, so don’t even think about it!

Shopping Time

We had a lot of fun trying out many different types of tea from a local purveyor of some pretty fancy drinkable foliage. If you’re looking for flavor and health, white tea is even more delightful than green, but it’s very grassy and greeny, and definitely leaves a pucker. Black is nice in that “I grew up on it” way, but since coffee offers more caffeine for you addicts and other teas offer more antioxidants, black seems like sort of a sad little compromise. Still, many people prefer it, and there’s arguably nothing tastier than black tea with a little cream and honey.

Green teas are more varied than you might think. Our favorite was a special hand-rolled blend of green tea and lavender and jasmine similar to jasmine pearls. It was soothing, herbaceous, floral, and tasted like drinkable perfume. That is, if you could drink perfume (please don’t do this). This was a handcrafted tea, so it isn’t available everywhere, but jasmine pearls are a popular and high-quality offering available in many stores.

We also had a blast (and bounced off the walls) with a chocolate and mint infused black and green tea mix. It tasted like a peppermint patty! This was pretty strongly caffeinated and very flavorful. It would make a great after-dinner tea if you are entertaining and you and your guests plan to stay up late talking or watching a movie. It tastes like dessert!

Herbal teas are not really teas at all, of course, but dried herbs and flowers. They offer their own unique digestive, immune-enhancing and stress-relieving health benefits (just to name a few). Herbal teas are really more like natural medicinal treatments. Hey, that would make another great shopping expedition! (Looks like we just gave ourselves an assignment.)

Despite being a single species, teas are incredibly varied by region and processing technique. Try them all!

What’s your favorite tea beverage?

Sources:

2BaSnob.com

Why Green Tea Is Great

Imperial Tea (photos and information)

24 May

Los Linky Links

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

The best clicks from the world of health, Apples:

Mirkin Is Back with More Health Myths

You loyal readers know Mark (and your Bees) don’t buy into that whole “drink 8 glasses of water a day or else!” rule. While we’re big fans of drinking water, you don’t have to stress out about it. Drink when you’re thirsty. It’s a myth that by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. If that were true, think about it: dogs and cats would sure be hurting. Thirst is the body’s completely proper and natural indicator that it’s time to replenish liquids, but it doesn’t mean you’re about to keel over from dehydration.

How about water intake and dehydration issues when you’re working out? Dr. Mirkin sets us straight. By the way: eating salty foods and processed foods will interfere with your sense of thirst, so the “myth” isn’t completely off-base.

water 1

This is Greg Cullen’s Photo on Flickr

Baby Boomers Have Baby Brains

And that’s a really good thing. You can teach an old dog new tricks - and when it comes to neural pathways, you can fire new ones no matter what your age. Anti-aging and brain-building are set to become mammoth trends as the Boomers hit retirement. Fortunately, there’s scientific merit to a lot of these techniques and products. Not all, mind you. We’ll keep you posted. Speaking of aging, want to know one of the best ways to halt it? Even reverse it? Click here to find out.

Web it out:

Vioxx, Avandia, what next? Exactly!

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Top Posts at Mark’s Daily Apple

24 May

3 More Fast Foods That Are (Sorta) Healthy

Because nobody’s perfect!

1. McDonald’s chef salad

Only 150 calories (choose the vinegar dressing). Some franchises refer to it as the garden salad.

sidesalad

2. Wendy’s small chili

Only 200 calories of protein, fiber and very little fat.

chili 1

3. Taco Bell’s chicken soft taco

Just 190 calories – leave out the sour cream for an even lighter meal!

chickensoft

These foods aren’t ideal by any stretch. The meat is not organic, and there are some carbs to be found. No “fast food” is going to be earning high marks for nutrition. So when we look for reasonably healthy fast food options to bring you, we aim for those that are lowest in calories and offer some vegetables and a small portion of lean protein. Those are reasonable parameters for food establishments that are typically anything but reasonable in the nutrition department! When you’re on the road and in need of a small meal to stave off a blood sugar crash, you could do much worse than these light choices. Just make sure to skip the fries, chips and soda.

We recently brought you some other sensible fast food choices for those road trips and hectic days. Better choices, better body!

Notes: All photos are from company websites. Source for this edition of Sorta Healthy: StopGettingSick.com!

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