Tag Archives: Coffee

Enjoy A Polyphenol Packer Refresher

vine vera banner presents Enjoy  A Polyphenol Packer Refresher matcha tea

It seems that most people believe there is no crisis that cannot be handled with a coffee. Indeed, judging from the human dependency on coffee, it would appear that most humans don’t believe themselves capable of addressing most of the daily challenges of life without some kind of caffeinated beverage on hand to lessen pain, speed thinking, and quicken reaction time. While the growing news about the health benefits of coffee seems to make it more and more attractive, coffee does have its downsides: namely the tendency to produce jitters, difficulty sleeping and the lows that result as a reaction to the caffeine-generated energy boost. What if you discovered that there has recently emerged a beverage that provides all the positive effects of coffee, with little of the negatives? Matcha tea, anyone?

What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is the age old newest thing to hit the market. It originated more than 1,000 years ago in Japan when Japanese monks discovered its ability to make them feel “calm, yet alert” during endless hours of meditation.

The reason that the tea is so strong is that the leaves are not steeped in bags, but dissolved in water, leaving all the antioxidant powers of the leaf intact. As a result, you get antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 17 times that of blueberries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, anti-carcinogenic and 60.5 times that of spinach.

Cancer Prevention
Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants which knock out free radicals in the body. The most potent catechin in green tea is EGCG, which is anti-carcinogenic properties. A 2003 study done at the University of Colorado found that one cup of matcha has 137 times the EGCG or regular green tea.

vine vera banner presents Enjoy  A Polyphenol Packer Refresher matcha tea

Anti-Aging
Some of the oldest living people in the world live in Okinawa, Japan. The longevity of these people has been partially attributed to matcha green tea consumption. Although the tea is most popular in Japan, it is becoming widely recognized throughout the world for its ability to fight inflammation, aging, and oxidation.

Lowers Bad Cholesterol
According to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition green tea beverages can significantly lower serum total and LDL cholesterol concentration.

Weight Loss
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted in 1999 revealed that catechins found in green tea extract have thermogenic properties capable of promoting fat oxidation beyond that explained by tea’s caffeine content. The study showed that consuming green tea increases the body’s thermogenesis, or rate of calorie burn, by 8-10% to 35-43% of energy expenditure daily. Yet another study showed that exercise done immediately after consuming matcha green tea resulted in a fat burning increase of 25%.

Mood Booster
Matcha tea can contain up to 5 times more L-theanine than most tea. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive abilities which induce alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is associated with the brain’s beta wave activity. Alpha wave activity combats this, relieving stress, promoting relaxation, and lowering blood pressure, counterbalancing the jittery effects of caffeine. Thus, matcha tea promotes clarity of the mind without the nervous energy related to coffee.

What do you think? Are you ready to trade in your daily java for some matcha? Let us know!

Seven Daily Wellness Habits

good habits lead to good life

It’s true that sometimes the emphasis on self-improvement can be a little, well, much. After all, maybe you don’t want to improve, or maybe you’ve already improved, thank you very much, and if you get any better you may just start losing friends. While we don’t want people to stop ‘liking’ you on Facebook because of your glowing positivity, you may want to take a look at this list. You may actually find some things that are a little naughty, and even if you don’t, you and your friends can have fun discussing how much you don’t need to do them.

Coffee
Here’s a habit that most of us have mo trouble keeping, in fact, some of us might claim it’s more difficult to stop. Carlene Thomas, RDN, actually makes no bones about preferring it more traditional “health food” options. “My daily ritual during summer is two beverages- a green smoothie and a really good cafe latte from my Nespresso machine. A morning cafe latte is something I truly enjoy and crave, while a green smoothie is a great way to clear out my fridge and fit in more greens.”

Breakfast
The most important meal of the day should always be tops on your list, and not so hard to swallow. After all, what could be better than food to wake up to? Scott Keatley, RD, says, “My favorite daily habit is breakfast.” He points out that research shows that spending just 15 minutes devoted to making mindful food choices can lead to more satisfaction throughout the day and that breakfast is a great way to kickstart your metabolism in the morning.

Limit Technology
What? Turning off my computer and phone is supposed to be good for my mental health? While no one is suggesting that you miss important phone calls and emails, it has been shown that excessive attachment to technology can lead to isolation. One study of human behavior reported an indirect correlation between the use of social media and happiness. Taking a break may lead to some relaxation and more spare time.

thoughtful woman

Reflect
So, this may sound a little heavy to you, but, really who couldn’t benefit from a few minutes of quiet thought? Carley Sweet, INHC, says, “I take five to ten minutes a day to reflect on what’s going on. I struggle with anxiety, so finding time to go to a quiet spot and just chill really helps me to stay level-headed.”

To Do List
The organization can be key to sanity. Cynthia Pong, JD, says making a to-do list keeps her focus. She says, “my favorite daily habit which helps me manage my stress, stay organized and be productive- is making a to-do list. It sounds basic, but writing things down can go a long way in keeping you sane.” She says just remembering what you have to do can be stressful enough!

Yoga
Not for everyone, but a life changer for some. Calli De La Haye, co-founder of Kali murti Yoga makes sure to find a place for it in her busy day. “I have a 10-month-old daughter, so I have to roll with how the day is going, but this is my savior for staying calm and finding some peace at the start of my day.”

Cooking
While the kitchen may be a disaster area for some, it’s a salvation for others. Says Pat Connelly, founder, and CEO of Cavity, “I cook dinner every night. I try new things and I eat beautifully organic and seasonal foods. It calms me there is something wonderfully methodical about cooking every night….. It helps me unwind from a long day.”

What do you do to stay maintain wellness daily? Let us know which habits keep you on the ball!

Mid-Day Refreshers

The tradition of the siesta is common throughout Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.  It is derived form the Latin word “hora seta,”  or sixth hour, otherwise known as midday, or six hours after dawn.  It is a time in which businesses close down so workers and employers can take a snooze during the hottest hours of the day.  Einhard’s  “Life of Charlemagne” most charmingly refers to the emperor’s siestas as a time,”In summer, after his midday meal (when) he would eat some fruit, and take another drink; then he would remove his shoes and undress completely, just as he did at night, and rest for two or three hours.”  Sound good?  Well, good luck trying that in the middle of your office.

Apparently, the need to sleep starts growing as soon as you wake up. (Seems about right.) Harvard Professor of Sleep Medicine, (Did you know there was such a job?) Charles A.  Czeisler says, ” The circadian system is set up in a beautiful way the override the homeostatic need for sleep.”  However, sometimes there is a dip in the day when the need for sleep has built up and  the second wind has not yet kicked in, hence the mid-day  slump.  Maybe someday we will all have the luxury of a siesta, but until then, here are some suggestions to help get past it.

Woman drinking coffee

Sip Some Green Tea or Coffee
Green tea is a less caffeinated and alternative to coffee and is full of antioxidants, but if coffee is still the way you roll, it has its health benefits as well.

Exercise
Gets the blood flowing and definitely keeps you awake.  You are much likely to fall asleep in the middle of jumping jacks than you are with your head down on your desk.  If going to the gym is not time permitting, just do a few stretches or light aerobics at the desk.

Eat
Eating is always  a good way of restoring energy to your body.  If its not lunch time, keep a healthy snack handy at your desk.  String cheese, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit are all great options.  Jerky is  another high protein alternative that is easy to pack and keep fresh, but try to avoid brands with high levels of sodium.  Another tip?  Resist  sugar. It may perk you up in the short term, but you’ll be comatose on the drive home.

Woman listening to music

Chew Gum
Sugar free gum is a great way to keep your jaw moving and your teeth clean at the same time.  The rush of flavor is invigorating and it does involve some physical activity, plus all the cool kids chew gum!

Turn On Some Music
Have you ever seen “Risky Business?”  Have a Tom Cruise moment in the middle of the afternoon!  Just turn on whatever rocks you to life.  Headphones are recommended to avoid a midday office dance party, and try to keep your pants on.

Take A Nap
Sure, take a cue from our Mediterranean neighbors. If you can afford to, and your boss is liberal, go for a power nap in the middle of the day.  Try to keep it down to 20 minutes, an alarm clock with a snooze button may come in handy.

Sip Coffee For Your Health

Woman sipping coffee

No doubt about it. Coffee is the new black.  These days your look is not complete until you are equipped with at least a small white cup in your hand with the telltale lid.  And for a bolder look, you may choose something with whipped cream on top in that cute little bubble cap.  Not only is coffee look, its a lingo.  Quelle  horreur  if you can’t throw the words macchiato and latte into a casual conversation. ( Ex.  While drinking vanilla non-fat latte, the cutest guy came in the shop…)  You get the picture.  What is it about coffee?

Drinking coffee has always been a social activity.  The beat poets gathered at coffee houses in the  1960’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to talk about peace with Bob Dylan. Philosophers gathered at coffee houses in Greece with Socrates to debate.  Why is coffee such a social drink?  It  takes a long time to drink.  Hot or cold, no one really chugs coffee.  Also, coffee makes people talkative.  So there you have it, empty time and a loose tongue.  The perfect recipe for conversation.

For years, we have loved our coffee.  But for a while, coffee got a bad rap.  The acidity was bad for your stomach; the caffeine was bad for your nerves, coffee could lead to stroke or heart disease. It seemed to make sense; nothing we enjoy this much could possibly be good for you.  But then….. things changed.  All of a sudden, knowledgable medical professionals started revealing evidence that this caffeinated liquid was actually good for you!  Could it be?  Let’s have a look at all some of the reasons you can feel good about getting your java fix.

Coffee can Make You Smarter and Boost Your Energy
Caffeine blocks inhibitory neurotransmitters in your brain and increases dopamine and fires up your neurons.  Studies she that this improves memory, mood, energy levels and reaction time.  Drink coffee before you take your SATs!!

Coffee can Burn Fat
Caffeine boosts the metabolic rate by 3-11%.  Studies show that it can increase fat burning by 10% in obese people and 29% in lean people.

Coffee is the Biggest Source of Antioxidants in the Western Diet
Sort of sad, but true, studies show that most people get more antioxidants from coffee that fruit and veggies combined!

Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Some Kinds of Cancer
One study showed that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.  Another study of 489,706 people found the those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Liver and colorectal cancer are, respectively, the third and fourth leading cause of cancer death in the world.

and last but not least….

Coffee Makes You Happy
A 2011 Harvard study showed women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of depression and another study polled 208,424 individuals and found those who drank 4 or more cups o coffee were less likely to commit suicide.

So, be cool, smart, thin and healthy! Keep drinking that java.

Heart-Healthy Drinks

Heart disease is a serious threat, but with proper care and education, heart disease is also quite preventable. Maintaining a healthy diet full of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is one part of keeping your heart healthy. Getting regular exercise is also incredibly important when you are taking steps to keep your heart healthy, as is reducing as much stress as possible. However, food, exercise and stress reduction aren’t the only things you can do to help prevent heart disease. You may not put much thought into the beverages you consume, but if you want to keep your heart healthy, it’s time to start. Below, find some of the best heart-healthy drinks.

Coffee beans

Coffee
If you can’t live without your morning cup of coffee, then prepare to be excited. Coffee actually registers more antioxidant activity than tea, which is well-known and widely used for its antioxidant abilities. A study involving more than 83,000 women found that those who drank two cups of coffee each day were at a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than those who drank no coffee each day. The antioxidants in coffee inhibit inflammation in your body, and coffee not only lowers your risk for strokes, it lowers your risk for all cardiovascular disease. Consume coffee in moderation; about two to four cups of coffee each day.

Green Tea

Green Tea
Coffee may register more antioxidant activity than green tea, but that doesn’t mean that green tea is without benefits. Green tea contains plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants that have been shown (in a 2004 study) to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Additionally, green tea lowers cholesterol, decreases the risk of blood clots and stroke, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Aim to drink two to four cups of green tea daily for maximum heart benefits.

Server pouring red wine

Red Wine
Red wine is full of cardioprotective compounds and perhaps the most well-known is resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol that is found in the skin of grapes in addition to berries and some types of nuts. The antioxidant properties found in resveratrol have many health benefits, one of which is protecting the blood vessels around your heart and stopping blood clots from forming. There is also some evidence that red wine can raise your HDL (good) cholesterol. It is important to remember that drinking any alcohol, including red wine, in excessive amounts is detrimental to your health, so consume red wine in moderation. Experts recommend drinking no more than a four or five ounce serving of red wine once a day.

Your heart health is of the utmost importance, and there are many ways that you can promote heart health and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. Incorporate these heart-healthy drinks into your diet for increased heart health.

Science Says Eating These Foods Make You More Happy

Your diet is directly linked to your health, and not just your physical health. The foods that you choose to eat can improve your mood, keep you calm and increase your overall levels of happiness. If you want to be healthy and happy, consider adding the following five mood-boosting foods to your diet.

Coffee beans.

Coffee
If you can’t imagine a morning without at least one cup of coffee, then this study will make definitely make you happy. Research from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that the risk of becoming depressed is 15% lower in women who drank two to three cups of coffee each day. That number increased to 20% in women who consumed four or more cups of coffee daily. Researchers believe that this is due to the caffeine content found in coffee. Caffeine increases dopamine and serotonin transmission in as little as 30 minutes.

Yoghurt

Yogurt
Eating cultured dairy products increases your probiotic bacteria (the healthy kind of bacteria) in your gut, but it may also do a bit more. A UCLA health study indicated that women who consumed probiotic yogurt twice daily had a decreased stress response when shown images of angry or frightened faces. This finding aligns with a study that found mice who were fed a probiotic had a significantly diminished stress response during the completion of a maze and being forced to swim (two activities that generally stress rats out). The theory as to why cultured dairy increases happy is that your gut and brain send messages via the vagus nerve and probiotics may send a message to remain calm and lessen stress. When you go to the market for your yogurt, be sure you are buying yogurt that is labeled as having “live and active cultures.”

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
The idea that chocolate makes you happy may not be new to you, but there is actual science behind why this happens. You know that dark chocolate contains tons of antioxidants, perhaps most beneficially polyphenols. Studies have shown that one of the polyphenols in dark chocolate actually mimics the effects of marijuana on the brain. An Australian study showed that individuals who consumed a drink with high doses of dark chocolate received a contentment and calmness that other participants didn’t. When choosing your chocolate, remember that the darker it is, the better it is for you. Strive to always eat chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher.

Walnuts

Walnuts
A Nurses’ Health Study discovered that women with the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in their diets were less likely to be depressed than those with a low intake of ALAs. The science behind this mood-boosting food is pretty straightforward: when you have low levels of ALA, inflammation in your body increases which is linked to depression. Not consuming enough alpha-linolenic acid actually decreases your natural levels of dopamine and serotonin, leading to depression.

Steamed clams.

Clams
Clams are loaded with vitamin B12, which is may keep you happy. Low levels of B12 can lead directly to depression, because the vitamin is necessary in order for the brain to function properly. Studies show that people with depression who added a B12 supplement to their antidepressants had significantly improved mood after a three-month period. Don’t worry if you don’t like clams, you can also get B12 benefits from tuna, salmon and beef.

Your diet not only keeps your body healthy, it can keep your brain happy as well. By stocking up on the five foods above, you feed your body and brain with essential vitamins, minerals, chemicals and antioxidants that help you perform at your highest, and happiest, level.

Beauty Ingredients That Make you Look More Awake – Vine Vera Reviews

Whether you are a new mom or just a night owl, you do not want to hear “are you feeling okay today” constantly because you didn’t have time for your beauty routine in the morning. For long nights and mornings that come way too quickly, VineVera highlights a few beauty ingredients will help you look more awake and refreshed.

Hot coffee with coffee beans.

Caffeine
Coffee is not your only friend in the morning containing caffeine, there are tons of beauty products that contain caffeine to help wake up your skin. Caffeine in skin care ingredients gives you several beauty benefits. First, caffeine restricts blood vessels which reduces redness in your skin, a perfect solution for someone with irritated skin or rosacea. Secondly, caffeine reduces puffiness making it an ideal ingredient in your eye cream. Lastly, caffeine helps skin appear firmer and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Choose skin care or beauty products with ingredients such as green or black tea and coffee to help wake up tired skin.

The word "Hyaluronic Acid" written on a tablet.

Hyaluronic Acid
Beauty bloggers, magazines and experts have been raving for some time about hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that your body normally produces. Unfortunately, the older you get the less hyaluronic acid your body produces. The reason that hyaluronic acid is great for when you’re looking extra tired is that it hydrates the skin while acting as a skin plumper, filler and firming agent. When you are tired and your skin is looking less than bright, a skin care product with hyaluronic acid can provide the dewiness and suppleness you want.

Woman enjoying a milk bath at a spa.

Exfoliants
There are tons of exfoliants in the world of beauty from gels to scrubs. One of the easy ways to add life to your tired looking skin is to use an exfoliator. A mask with a scrub is great, but when you don’t have the time to pamper your skin, look for gentle chemical exfoliants. Two effective and easy exfoliants are Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid. As a general rule, AHAs are for you if your skin is on the dry side while BHAs are perfect for you if your skin tends to be a bit oilier.

Wine being poured in a wine glass.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants are not only great for your helping your body function at it’s best, they also are super beneficial in skin care as well. Antioxidants occur both synthetically and naturally and they protect your skin against damage from free radicals and your environment. These skin care ingredients not only help you look more refreshed and awake, they also provide protection against things such as further sun damage. The reason that antioxidants are great for when you’re looking (and feeling) less than energized is they help reduce inflammation in the skin. So if you’re pulled an all-nighter, antioxidants in your skin or beauty products help take down inflammation and the puffy look that tired skin often has. The also can reduce redness, soften your skin and add much needed moisture.

Just because you look less than your best when you wake up doesn’t mean you need to spend time you don’t have to carefully make your entire face look perfect with cosmetics. Having a few well chosen skin and beauty products that contain the above ingredients (bonus if the products include more than one ingredient in the list) to help wake up your skin is all it takes for a perfectly refreshed complexion.