My Phytonutrient was Green Tea!

2 06 2009

Hey bloggies!  Hope you all have been well.  I have been super duper busy since the school quarter is coming to an end, and my business at the fitness studio has been picking up!  Yippee!!!  I haven’t been able to post as much as I would like, but of course I still have to make time to catch up on all of my favorite blogs! 

Today in my nutrition class we are having a “feast” and I am going to be there ready to sample everything with my camera in hand so I can share all of the lovely food with you guys.  So, why are we doing this?  At the beginning of the quarter we were assigned a research project on phytonutrients.  

Phytonutrients: The active health-protecting

Currently, the terms “phytonutrient” and “phytochemical” are being used interchangeably to describe those plant compounds which are thought to have health-protecting qualities.

The antioxidant, immune boosting and other health promoting properties of active compounds in plants are being investigated. Phytonutrients or phytochemicals that are being studied presently include (and are not limited to) terpenes, carotenoids, limonoids, and phytosterols.” (www.medicineterms.com)

The phytonutrient that I picked to do my research project/presentation on was green tea.  I learned a lot of cool stuff and it was cool to learn things about the health benefits since I love to drink it often.  I drank it a lot when I was in China last summer, and even brought some back with me when I came home.  

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The silver package is black tea, the canister is green tea

 

So, I wrote a 7 page paper on green tea, and talked about the health benefits and some of the draw backs, etc.  Unfortunately I found a lot of information about green tea and it’s “health benefits”, but couldn’t really find any substantial data to back that information up.  Basically, I only found two clinical trials that were done, and they were done about 20 years ago in Japan.  What I did learn that I didn’t know before though is that taking green tea supplements are pretty dangerous and contain 50 times more polyphenol in one capsule than drinking a cup of green tea.  I had no idea that getting too many polyphenols in your body could be harmful, but in fact this can cause liver toxicity and kidney damage.  I guess when you think about it though, extreme amounts of almost everything can be toxic to some degree.  So, if you guys are taking green tea supplements as a means to boost your energy, please be careful and back off a little bit.  

Polyphenol: A kind of chemical that (at least in theory) may protect against some common health problems and possibly certain effects of aging.

Polyphenols act as antioxidants. They protect cells and body chemicals against damage caused by free radicals, reactive atoms that contribute to tissue damage in the body. For example, when low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is oxidized, it can become glued to arteries and cause coronary heart disease.

Polyphenols can also block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth and they can deactivate substances that promote the growth of cancers. The polyphenol most strongly associated with cancer prevention is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG.

All tea contains polyphenols. Teas and polyphenols isolated from tea have been shown in the laboratory to act as scavengers of oxygen and nitrogen-free radicals, protecting the fatty membranes of cells, proteins and DNA. However, the results of human studies of tea and polyphenols to date (2001) have been inconsistent and have yet to prove anything one way or the other as regards the value of polyphenols.” (www.medterms.com)

I am glad that I got to learn more about green tea and the benefits since I am always looking for ways to boost my health in the most natural way possible.  

So, the third part of our phytonutrient project was to make a yummy dish that contains our phytonutrient.  At first I wanted to be lazy and just make a huge pot of green tea, but my nutrition professor wouldn’t let me off that easy.  I had a really hard time finding any recpies that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg to make.  The reason for this is that almost all recipes that I found (besides the one that I made) call for Matcha powder, which is really hard to find around here, and really expensive.  Matcha powder is “A brilliant green powdered tea served in the Japanese tea ceremony. Matcha, also called hiki-cha , is made from very high quality tea, which is too bitter for most western plates.” (www.epicurious.com) 

Well, because my nutrition professor is awesome and really excited about this project, she helped me find a recipe for “Hint of Green Tea Muffins”!  The ironic thing is that she found it on a health food blog!  How funny is that.  You should check out the link, she has tons of great recipes on this blog.  The muffins turned out pretty good!  I tweaked the recipe a little bit though.

I added Blueberry Green Tea from Trader Joe’s instead of regular green tea, and added a little more than the recipe called for.  I also added walnuts to them too, just because I wanted to add some protein, and who doesn’t like some walnuts in their muffins?  🙂

014(I didn’t use the green tea in the cannister, it just happened to make it into the picture)

So, I DO NOT bake (every time I try to make cookies they burn and I finally just gave up), and was a little worried about how these would turn out.  I don’t even have muffin tins in the house because, I haven’t made muffins since I was a kid.  But, I was impressed with how well they turned out and think that I will start finding/creating healthy recipes for muffins and cookies, etc instead of going to the store to get them whenever I need a fix.  I really love how I am learning more every day about cooking and how much I love to do it!!

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I decided to make little single serving mini-muffins and was a little worried when I stuck them in the oven.  I was thinking to myself… “Please don’t burn, please don’t burn!”  No pressure since I am only presenting them to my whole nutrition class right!?

So here they are, in all their deliciousness!

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This is how small they are…..so cute right?

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I think they are the perfect size!

Well, I need to get my stuff ready and head out to class.  I’ll be taking lots of pics of all of the food and will share with you guys later.

I’m also going for an awesome run at my favorite trail around the zoo today!  I haven’t run this since before my injury so I’m pretty excited!  

Catch up with you guys soon!!!!

Dayna 🙂

 

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2 responses

3 06 2009
My Phytonutrient was Green Tea! « The Life of the Hopeful Runner | Green Tea Advantages

[…] learn things about the health benefits since I love to drink it often. … Original post: My Phytonutrient was Green Tea! « The Life of the Hopeful Runner Share and […]

17 06 2009
Tea Extreme Weight Loss | Tea health benefits

[…] My Phytonutrient was Green Tea! […]

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