5 ways Green Tea could add to your Well-Being!

5 ways Green Tea could add to your Well-Being!

My Tea lovers!

How does it feel when the aroma of freshly brewed tea enters your nose? It is a long lasting scent that helps keep you smiling and fresh throughout the day. Well, the first thought which comes into our mind as we hear tea is a box of ‘Lipton’ or ‘Red Label’ tea. At least that’s what I have seen growing up at my house! But are those tea bags of ‘Lipton’ really beneficial? What if a small change can turn this beverage into a ‘medicinal drink’? Here you go my love. 🙂
Ditch your normal tea with Green Tea! 

 

What turns it into the safest and healthiest drink?

Green Tea is made from Young shoots of Camellia Sinensis bush, a plant from India. Of all the teas, Green Tea undergoes the least transformation. It’s processing is still done manually for most part. This helps to keep the medicinal value of Green Tea intact. 

 

 In his book ‘The 17-Day Green Tea Diet’, authors Simon & Schuster suggest that if you drink four cups of Green Tea everyday accompanied with few more diet changes, you can loose large amount of fat. So, technically Green Tea also helps you to loose that extra amount of unwanted stuff from your body!

  • Green Tea deactivates your Fat storage genes:- It turns off the genes which are responsible for weight gain, and makes weight loss effortless. Two of the primary nutritional tools to turn off fat genes are EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) and Folate that are found at high levels in green tea. 

  • Green Tea protects your body from toxins :- One study found that Macha, a Japanese Green Tea protects body against liver and kidney damage. Another study published in the journal Biological Chemistry showed that green tea protected the liver from stress caused by alcohol (If you are fond of alcohol, don’t forget to drink your green tea the next morning!)

  • Green Tea boosts the immune system :- What makes this Tea special is the presence of a compound called polyphenols, most commonly known as Catechins. Catechins are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and help remove pathogens from the body. It is important to note that Catechin content of Green Tea varies greatly depending on area of cultivation, harvest season, and processing technique.

  •  Green Tea protects your body against Cancer :- Green Tea contains several Catechins, the star among them is EGCG. EGCG has been found to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in human Lukemia, renal cancers, Skin cancers, Mouth cancers, and Prostate cancers. These studies are significant because studies conducted on animals have shown that Green Tea prevents the development of many cancers triggered by carcinogens (cancer causing particles). Study also shows that EGCG stops angiogenesis ( formation of new blood vessels) around cancer cells.

  • Green Tea protects your heart:- Green tea has significant amounts of Flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant that protect against heart disease.  It slows down the breakdown of LDL cholesterol preventing blood clots and improving blood vessel function.  Since drinking Green Tea is associated with lower Cholesterol it results in less case of artery blockages.

Which Green Tea to choose?

When looking for a good tea, look for something which has good content of EGCG . The picture on the left shows the ranking of teas with respect to concentration of EGCG. Gyokuro Tea is my favorite, and it ranks second in terms of concentration of EGCG i.e has very high concentration of EGCG followed by Sencha Tea, Matcha Tea.
If you are in India, you might not find Gyokuro Tea, but Sencha and Matcha Tea can be found on Amazon website. As a general rule, Japanese teas contain far more EGCG than Chinese teas. 

 

 

 

How should you brew it?

The brewing period is also an important factor while making Tea. An infusion of less than five minutes allows only the extraction of 20% of Catechins. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to brew it for minimum 8-10 minutes.

Tea is an exquisite medicine that may prolong human life. The mountain country and the valleys where tea grow is holy and powerful. If you collect the young shoots, use them to brew tea and then drink the beverage, you will enjoy a long life. –EisaiKissa Yojoki (“Drinking tea for health”)

In summary, Green Tea contains large amount of Catechins, compound that boast many anti-cancer properties, and prevent you with various other diseases. If you do not like it’s taste or you have hard time adjusting to it’s taste, you can add little bit of Honey or any sweetener or a dash of fresh lemon juice to make it taste better. The tea master Sen-no-Rikyu said that the ritual of tea consisted of nothing more than act of boiling water, making tea, and drinking it. With all that we have learned since then, we can add a fourth action to the master’s list : Keeping us healthy.

Love and peace always,

Ankita

 

Quick meditation tip for beginners!

Quick meditation tip for beginners!

Hey people,

Here is a story I want to share. Story of a battle between me and my ‘MIND’.

This is the story of my roommate. So, here it goes!

He thoroughly enjoyed my company and asked me if he could stay with me as my ‘roommate’. 

It was fun to live with him. 

He had some great thoughts and gradually I started relying on him for everything, In fact I started losing my identity. 

However, with the time he started dominating me. He would misread every situation and would give me unwanted advice. Surprisingly, I would listen to his non-sense without thinking about what I want. 

He started interfering in every aspect of my life, be it relationship or financial advice or my own identity! 

Worst thing was that he would NEVER cooperate. 

He had something to say about everything and everyone. Basically, I was not alone but with a chatterbox 24*7. 

The day I realized where I went wrong, I wanted to free myself from his negativity. I started observing his behavior and would sit quietly, watching him talking. 

Was it easy? 

No! But I was trying every day. 

I remember once my husband got a bit late from work, the few things my roommate had to say was: ‘Why is he is not picking up the call? Is he partying somewhere and ignoring your call? Does he really care about you? I hope everything is fine with him.’ 

Since I was alert enough to analyze what he was saying, I discarded his opinion. 

Latermy husband informed me that the subway was running late, and his phone was on silent mode. 

When my roommate started realizing that he was being watched, his behavior started changing. 

He started creating less chaos. 

Aha! It felt wonderful to get my kingdom back. I would not get lost in chatter and would observe him. Sometimes, I would ask him to keep quiet or go away. 

He still talks nonsense sometimes but, he is no more a chatterbox. He talks less and tries to be a good friend of mine. 

Best thing is that I have taken back control of my life. 

The roommate or ‘inner roommate’ is my mind. 

I observe him daily when I meditate. 

Since I have become conscious, I am able to recognize the negativity and change it to positive thoughts. I am happier, calmer and, more positive person now. 

Struggling for months to find out the easiest way to meditate, I could figure out few ways to start without getting overwhelmed.

  • Thoughts are cats: I imagine a blank screen in front of my closed eyes. I imagine my thoughts to be ‘Rats’. My aim is to catch as many rats as possible in the next 10 minutes. Sometimes, I forget that I have to catch them and I try to get along with them, but as soon as I remember, I start it again. 
  • 1 Minute tip: For a quick 1 minute meditation, I count 1 to 60 with my eyes closed, and observe how the numbers change from 1 to 60. I might get lost midway but again coming back is the trick.
  • What matters is ‘Now’: Sometimes, I sit for 5 minutes, and say ‘Now, Now’ with a pause in my mind. It reminds me of the current moment. For me, this method has worked it’s best. I even try to incorporate it while doing yoga.
  • Tik Tik counterI have bought a clock with ‘Tik- Tik’ voice. In the evening, I sit in the room with that clock. I just sit calmly and observe it’s sound. It’s important to realize that the sound isn’t bad or unpleasant for ears.
  • Mindful walk: I try to be mindful of my walking. Once in a day, while I am walking from one room to another, I just watch my steps. Though it’s not for a longer duration, but it cultivates the habit of mindfulness.
  • Imagine a real person:  When you sit for meditation, visualize your mind as a real person in front of you. Sit in silence watching him speak.  You don’t have to do anything expect watching him. With time, this practice will make you more concioous of your thoughts.

Most of the time, we think that our mind should be still in the first attempt only.

I have friends who said that they stopped meditating because they couldn’t keep their mind calm. But, if our mind is calm why would we need meditation? We don’t have be a yogi or a Buddhist to practice it. Let’s just be gentle with ourselves. Important is to be persistent. With time, we can definitely see a positive change in our life and choices. 

Happy meditating!

How I connected back to my soul…..

How I connected back to my soul…..

Years ago, I came across an article which talked about soul satisfaction. The writer had experienced how using meditation, she connected back to her soul.  It was like a homecoming for her.

Just a brief overview and I was eager enough to scroll. ‘Soul connection!’ -it sounded to be an alien term to me.

It can happen only to sages and saints. No! It’s not for you, for me, it’s their world!

It’s not that I did not believe in God, but I never had time to connect to the Universe. For me, God was only there when I had to crib and I needed someone to blame. ‘You don’t love me eh? I did not get this job? Why? Why are my things not getting sorted?’

I turned blind to all the good things and would curse my destiny for all the bad things happening.

I was not living my life, rather crawling through it.

I remember, someone once told me about a miraculous story of how she got a job. I made fun of him showing in all the logics and calculations behind his success. Miracles do not happen, not on this earth at least!

In short, I was someone who believed that I am here to live forever, old people have always been old, you can exploit your body for whatever reason you can and it would say nothing, and you are here on this planet to work, get married, have kids, get them married and die!

Life changed after I miscarried. Not everything looked the same!

Losing the first child was bad. Also, it did not fit my sequence of marrying and having kids. There was physical trauma, and a mental one too though I did not realize it then.

Weeks later after my appointment with my doctor, I was heartbroken only to know that my baby had a heartbeat. I felt like a part of me was lost. The thought that it was more than a flesh hit me hard.

I restlessly looked for some relief, for an answer to my questions!

Why did this happen to me?

Is there something more beyond this life?

Can things change so suddenly for anyone? My friends still have the same happy life though!

If the sequence of my life is not the one, I thought of or not the one everyone does, why am I here?

While everyone in my friend circle was planning for kids, switching jobs, and having fun, I was trying to solve the puzzle of life.

I still remember the day; I closed my eyes for praying. This time, it was different. It was not to curse the universe, not to ask something from God, and not to lure him by saying, ‘I will do this if you give me this.’

I just kept quiet.

I got a strong surge of emotions. It was different, it was divine. The flow of energy I had never experienced before! There were emotions I wanted to vent out but beneath it was something very calming, very peaceful. 

Those few moments of calmness were enough to understand what a soul connection meant. Those moments of stability had an unsaid communication with me saying, ‘Things are Okay. You will be fine. Everything will be fine’. I started looking for more of those moments. It was like something I had never experienced before. Though it did not have answers to all my questions, it gave me something I craved for.

There I started learning more about meditation. With 3 months of continuous practice, I could understand what is meant by ‘Homecoming’.

A calmer mind would give all the space to question my existence. With time, I learnt about how powerful prayers could be. I was widening my spiritual dimensions by meditation, prayers, reading books, writing.

There was more to life than to just run for a 9-5 job, have kids, and die! I learnt that everything which makes you feel lively is like a soul food. And we are here to see colours of life, learn from the mistakes, awaken our buried creativity and make the best of what life has to offer!

I do not regret my past, I do not regret not knowing what life was about, for whatever happened paved the way for where I am, and I am really proud that I am moving, and growing.

I believe we all need to broaden our spiritual dimension to feel alive!Many of us do it unknowingly, they do everything they love which keeps them alive and glowing.

But there are a certain set of people like me who was busy sorting out life and fixing its problem, and such people need a soul connection.

While there are ways to awaken yourself, it’s important to recognize what works for you. ‘Listening to music’, ‘Reading books’, ‘Walking in Nature’, ‘Dancing’- it can be anything.

Following are the things you can try:

  • Sitting in the park or outside for 10 minutes while listening to birds chirping.
  • Sitting idle in a chair or bed for a few minutes, and thinking about all the beautiful memories of past starting from childhood.
  • Dedicating a couple of minutes to do what you love. It can be as small as reading a book or gardening.
  • Praying for 10 minutes while connecting to the universe.
  • Taking out some time in the evening with your favorite coffee while watching the clouds moving.

While these are the things which have worked for me, you can definitely find something better, more natural to you. But the bottom line remains the same.

Connecting back to ourselves is like charging our battery, it is important to charge it before the light gets so dim that we get misguided by the puzzles of life!