Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Celebrating the Spring Holidays By Drinking Coffee and Tea Against the Backdrop of a Green-and-White Landscape

March in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) has been an interesting hodgepodge of green and white.  Buds started sprouting during a welcome mild spell a couple of weeks ago, and then a sudden snow storm (the second in two weeks) weighed down the saplings with heavy white flakes. As beautiful as it was (and still is) to look at, it was inconvenient, messy and dangerous.

Snowflakes even fell as revelers marched through the streets of Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day---a happy day where many people I know drank a lot of coffee. And other stuff too!

We bought more firewood, drank more coffee and tea---and tried to hunker down in small doses before picking up our shovels and laptops and heading back out into the wild, wild world of eclectic weather.
Perhaps we got healthier as we tried to stay warm by consuming more hot beverages…I think that most likely we did.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on March 15th 2013, confirmed something good about coffee and green tea: drinking these beverages may very well decrease the risk of stroke. In a study of 83,269 Japanese adults between the ages of 45 and 74, the more green tea and/or coffee consumed, the lower the risk of having a stroke. In fact, people who drank at least one cup of coffee or two cups of green tea a day had a 32% lower risk of having an intercerebral hemorrhage (also known as a ‘brain bleed’), compared with people who consumed less coffee and tea.

Why, I continue to ask when I read these studies, are coffee and tea so good for us? Many reasons, but in the case of this study, researchers hypothesize that the benefits derived from coffee and green tea come down to what I like to call the two C’s: chlorogenic acids and catechins---both of which contain a healthy serving of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activity.

So as you prepare for spring holidays and continue to get out and keep moving, have fun. Stay fit! Be happy and drink lots of coffee!

Chag Sameach!
Happy Easter!
Summer is coming. Yay!