10 Healthy Habits for a New Year’s Resolution

10 Healthy Habits for a New Year's Resolution

Many of us start the New Year with a resolution to become healthier. These 10 Healthy Habits for a New Year's Resolution are an ideal way to detox our bodies, and build stronger immunity. But don't wait until January...Start Now!

Eat more fermented foods:
Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kombucha, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables contain beneficial bacteria that help you maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut. Eating fermented foods is one of the best ways to boost your digestive and immune health this new year.

Practice mindful eating:
Prepare your food with love and care. Eat when you are relaxed and sitting down, chew your food properly. Take the time to think about what you put in your mouth and what it is doing for your health.

Don’t skip breakfast:
You’ve heard it many times before, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but still over 50% of Australians choose to skip eating in the morning. Skipping breakfast leads to unbalanced blood sugar levels and increases the likelihood of overeating and poor food choices throughout the day. Skipping meals also slows down your metabolism and can lead to weight gain. Some nourishing choices for breakie include natural muesli with natural yoghurt, raw nuts, seeds and fresh fruit; organic eggs with avocado grainy toast with a side of sauerkraut or baby spinach; protein smoothie with natural protein powder, banana, LSA or chia seeds; or coconut chia pudding with berries.

Give sugary foods the flick:
Eating too much sugar will not only make you put on weight but it will increase your risk of type-2 diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and infections. Eating sugar to excess will weakened your immune function and can increase inflammation in the body. Foods to watch out for include processed foods, soft drinks, fruit juice, breakfast cereal, savoury biscuits and sauces, and yoghurt and muesli bars.

Cook more at home:
Getting take-out might seem like the best option when you're busy and getting home late from work. Unfortunately a lot of take-away choices are unhealthy and high in calories and damaging fats which can promote weight gain and heart disease. Start the new year on a healthier note by preparing nutritious dishes on the weekend to freeze and have during the week. Or cook a little extra so you can take leftovers for lunch. Keep some frozen veggies on hand, and find some quick and easy healthy recipes to give you some inspiration.

Drink less alcohol:
If you’ve overindulged over the Christmas period this is a good time to give your liver a much needed break. Alcohol is not only high in calories and will promote weight gain, it's also damaging to your liver and health. Go alcohol free for a month and then enjoy a drink in moderation. A few red wines week is a good choice that is rich in antioxidants.

Support liver detoxification:
After Christmas give your poor overworked liver a helping hand by increasing foods and nutrients that support liver detoxification and function. These include brassica veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale, which are rich in sulfur compounds important for liver detoxification. Enjoy a few green teas (try Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA) daily is another great way to support liver function. Use turmeric and ginger when you can in cooking, veggie juices, and in teas (try Bodhi Organic ZesTEA). Swap your morning coffee for a dandelion root coffee. Dandelion is a liver tonic herb which helps stimulate liver detoxification (try Bodhi Organic PuriTEA). Don’t forget to drink plenty of water daily to flush out toxins from your body.

Up your antioxidants:
Antioxidant-rich foods are a vitally important part of our diet. They help prevent oxidative damage in the body, reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and premature ageing. Some of the best antioxidant foods include berries, red and orange fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, mango, beetroot, tomatoes, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, turmeric, green tea, raw cacao, rosehip tea (try Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA).

Get juicing:
Juicing is a fantastic way to nourish, rejuvenate and energise your body. Fresh vegetable juices are rich in vitamins, minerals, living enzymes and antioxidants, which are essential for good health and prevention of disease. Choose organic vegetables when you can so your juice is free from pesticides and bursting with flavour and optimal nutritional goodness.

Boost your digestion:
Taking apple cider vinegar (ACV) before main meals is an excellent way to give your digestion and metabolism a boost. ACV is a thermogenic food, so it’s helpful for enhancing fat burning and assisting with weight loss. It will also help improve digestive issues such as reflux and indigestion, and prevent bloated distended stomachs. Try 1tsp-1Tbsp of ACV diluted in a little water around 15 minutes before eating. ACV can also be used in salad dressing. Including bitter foods like rocket and endives with meals. Having lemon in water first thing of a morning, or on salads or fish is a great way to give your digestion a boost.

6 Top Tips for a Hangover Cure | Bodhi Organic Tea

Hangover Cure

The warmer weather is here and there’s a party vibe in the air. With plenty of Christmas parties and work 'do’s' to go to, we can often get a little carried-away with the festivities and needing a hangover cure from our over indulgence in unhealthy foods and alcohol.

To make sure you stay in good health during the silly season, so you can enjoy your summer to the fullest, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of drinking too much alcohol. Ideally of course you should always drink sensibly and keep an eye on how much you are drinking.

TIP ONE: Keep well hydrated when out drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a major cause of dehydration. We lose fluids and important electrolytes every time we have a drink. Electrolytes are minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium that are vital for keeping fluids balanced in our bodies and are needed for good health. Those common symptoms you wake up with after a night out drinking – the headache, nausea, dry mouth and thirst - are all symptoms of dehydration. The best way to combat this is to get into the habit of having a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks when you are out.

‘The morning after’, why don’t you try a smoothie to help you re-hydrate and treat your hangover symptoms. Into a blender pour the water from one fresh young coconut, one frozen or ripe banana, a handful of frozen mixed berries and a heap tablespoon of chia seeds. Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes, bananas help replenish low potassium, berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and chia seeds contain fibre to help the body eliminate toxins from the body.

TIP TWO: Make sure you eat something nutritious before you go out drinking and try to snack on healthy foods when you’re out. This will slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream. Healthy snacks to nibble on while having a drink include hummus, avocado and other dips with breads and crackers, nuts and pretzels, grilled fish and seafood, and olives and mezza plates are also a healthier choice compared to wedges and crisps or deep fried foods.

TIP THREE: Play it safe and stick to one drink an hour. This will give your liver time to detox the alcohol properly, and prevent a build-up of alcohol in your blood.

TIP FOUR: Increase your B vitamins. The body uses up a considerable amount of nutrients when processing alcohol, such as niacin (vitamin B3). If you are low in vitamin B3 levels are low, this elimination process will be impaired and will prolong alcohol levels in the system. By increasing vitamin B-rich foods and taking a complex B supplement daily you will be ensuring that your vitamin B levels are adequate to deal with any increase in alcohol intake. Good food sources include wholegrains, legumes, avocado, nuts, seeds, and red meat.

TIP FIVE: Rich fatty foods and excessive alcohol consumption places a heavy burden on our already overworked livers. Give your liver a helping hand by consuming certain foods and herbs that help support healthy liver function. Have a good serving of sulfur-containing vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and onion and garlic with your festive meal. When cabbage is fermented to make sauerkraut, these protective sulfur compounds increase, making it a great addition to meals. Take the herb Milk Thistle daily to protect your liver cells from alcohol-induced damage, and to enhance liver detoxification. Swapping your morning coffee with a detoxing herbal tea containing liver tonic herbs such as dandelion root, schisandra berries, and turmeric, to help the liver remove alcohol and other toxins from the body safely. These herbs are found in Bodhi Organics PuriTEA and ZesTEA.

TIP SIX: Increase antioxidants in your daily diet. Antioxidants are important to help fight the cellular damage alcohol consumption can cause, as well as giving immune function and boost. Best sources of antioxidants include green tea (Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA), citrus fruits rich in vitamin C, berries, green leafs, kiwi fruit, rose hip tea (Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA)and turmeric.  Vitamin C is destroyed by alcohol, so supplementing with vitamin C daily is also recommended.

10 Top Ways to Boost Liver Detoxification

Liver Detoxification

10 TOP WAYS TO BOOST LIVER DETOXIFICATION

1. Dandelion root: This super liver herb makes a great caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Dandelion root stimulates liver detoxification, helping clear toxins from the body. It also boosts digestion and improves gallbladder function.

2. Kale: This nutrient-rich brassica vegetable contains high levels of sulfur compounds that are vital for liver detoxification. Add kale to your next veggie juice or salad.

3. Green tea: This antioxidant rich tea can help improve liver function by protecting it from the harmful effects of toxic substances including alcohol. Catechin, a polyphenol found in green tea, has been found to help prevent inflammation of the liver.

4. Avocado: This highly nutritious fruit helps boost glutathione production, which is one of the body’s master antioxidants necessary for the liver to remove toxins from the body safely.

5. Globe artichoke: This super liver vegetable contains cynarin, a chemical found mostly in the leaves of globe artichokes, which helps increase bile flow and strengthens liver and gallbladder function. The steamed leaves are delicious dipped in hummus, baba ghanoush, or tatziki. You can also take globe artichoke as a herbal tincture.

6. Garlic: Consuming garlic regularly is a great way to enhance liver function. It is a good source of selenium which is needed to produce glutathione in the liver, which is vital for detoxification to help eliminate toxic substances from the body.

7. Turmeric: Studies suggest that this super antioxidant-rich spice is beneficial for the liver by helping improve detoxification. Turmeric has also been shown to help increase glutathione production.

8. Broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts contain concentrated levels of sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy liver detoxification. Broccoli sprouts contain anywhere up to 100 times more of these compounds compared to broccoli. Add fresh sprouts to meals, or add the powder to smoothies or fresh juices.

9. Milk Thistle: St Mary’s Thistle or Milk thistle is widely used by herbalists throughout the world for its ability to treat and protect the liver. Milk thistle enhances liver detoxification, helping to remove toxins from the liver and body. This valuable herb has the ability to protect the liver and regenerate injured liver cells. The dried herb can be taken as a tea or it is available in tablet or fluid extract form.

10. Reduce your toxic load: We ingest toxins daily in the foods we eat, in the water we drink and in the air we breath. All these toxins put extra pressure on our hard working livers, which will have a negative impact on our health. Lighten your toxic load by eating fresh organic produce, and drinking organic tea that’s free of pesticide and herbicide residue. Eat wholesome unprocessed foods that don’t contain artificial additives, preservatives and harmful trans-fats, and drink plenty of filtered water. Your liver will love you for it!

How to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue

How to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue

Wondering How to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue? Try these natural herbal remedies.

Withania (Withania somnifera), also known as Ashwagandha, is a popular Ayuverdic herb that is a highly effective ‘adaptogen’. Withania is used widely by herbalists to
improve the body’s resistance to stress along with strengthening the immune system. Withania supports adrenal health and calms the nervous system, making it beneficial for alleviating anxiety in people who feel stressed, strung-out, and exhausted. It also helps promote better quality sleep.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine as an ‘adaptogenic’ herb, to increase the body’s resistance to stress, beneficial during times of increased physical and mental stress. It is commonly used by herbalists to treat adrenal exhaustion, and helps boost immune function and vitality.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) has been used for centuries in Europe as an adaptogenic’ herb, to help reduce fatigue and exhaustion associated with prolonged stress. Rhodiola can also help improve mood and reduce stress levels. It has been found to have an antidepressant effect as it helps improve serotonin and dopamine levels, your ‘feel good’, calming hormones.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a highly effective adrenal tonic traditionally used in China for thousands of years, for alleviating stress and adrenal fatigue. Licorice helps prevent the breakdown of adrenal hormones including cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone), which makes these hormones more available to the body. Licorice is also beneficial for supporting immune health and decreasing inflammation throughout the body. Poor immune function and increased inflammation are symptoms fo adrenal fatigue.

Tulsi or holy or sacred basil is a well respected Ayurvedic herb which has been used for over 5,000 years to help promote longevity, and improve energy levels and treat fatigue. This effective ‘adaptogenic’ herb, which can be consumed as a tea, is beneficial for treating anxiety and adrenal fatigue.

Green Tea for Beautiful Youthful Skin | Bodhi Organic Tea

Wrinkles are a natural part of getting older. We all eventually get them, however some of us seem to get more of them at a younger age than others.

As we age our skin begins to thin, collagen production declines, and we lose moisture and elasticity - which makes us more prone to fine lines and sagging as we grow older.

Free radicals are bad news when it comes to our health, especially for our skin. Free radicals are one of the main culprits when it comes to wrinkles and skin aging, and are linked to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Various environmental and dietary factors and even certain daily activities can increase the presence of destructive free radicals in the body. These include exposure to sunlight, environmental pollutants like exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, strenuous exercise, and glycation and elevated blood glucose levels from eating sugary foods.

Free radicals play a major role in driving skin aging, as it breaks down collagen, which decreases the skins suppleness and elasticity, along with damaging DNA, and promoting inflammation, which can trigger inflammatory skin conditions like eczema (1,2).

Thankfully mother nature has provided us with plenty of powerful antioxidants, to help fight free-radical damage and reduce premature ageing.

Drinking green tea regularly is a fabulous way to maintain beautiful healthy skin and prevent signs of aging. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, namely catechins and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which are powerful antioxidants that can reduce premature skin aging and offers protection against many types of cancers. EGCG slows down collagen breakdown and can help regenerate aging surface skin cells.

Catechins benefit the skin by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which is a major cause of fine lines and wrinkles. Catechins prevent the death of fibroblasts, which are cells within the dermal layer of the skin that responsible for making connective tissue (collagen and elastin) and supporting healthy wound healing (3).

An Arizona study found that the more hot tea people drank rich in these anti-cancerous compounds, the less likely they were to develop squamous cell skin cancer (4).

Consuming polyphenol-rich foods like green tea can also improve blood flow and oxygen supply to skin cells as well as helping to reduce inflammation.

A study revealed women who consumed catechin-rich beverages daily noticed a oost in their overall skin health, with improvements in skin hydration, elasticity and roughness. They also felt their skin was better protected against the suns damaging UV rays (5).

Aim to drink 3 cups of organic green tea daily to fully reap all of it’s wonderful skin benefits.

 

 

How to Brew The Perfect Cup of Tea | Bodhi Organic Tea

How to Brew Tea

To make the perfect cup of tea you should generally use one heap teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

Different teas have different brewing times and preferred temperatures.

White and green teas should be brewed at around 70*C, and black around 85*C. Steeping tea for too long or using boiling water will result in more tannins being released, resulting in a bitter and more astringent tea. The amino acids responsible for teas flavour are released at a lower temperature. There are two ways to make sure your water is not too hot, either stop the kettle just before it boils, or pour boiling water into your tea cup or pot first to allow it to cool a little before adding your tea.

White tea should be steeped for 1-3 minutes, green steeped for 1-2 minutes, and black tea either 45-60 seconds (without milk), or for a stronger richer tea served with milk, 2-3 minutes.

Good quality teas can be reused. They can be infused two to three times, which will bring out different flavours and subtleties in each brew. The Chinese believe that the second or third brew of good quality tea is often the best.

Herbal teas on the other hand which can be made from flowers, leaves, branches, barks, seeds and roots should also be brewed for different lengths of time, to get maximum flavour and health benefits from your tea.

A general rule of thumb if it is a flower or leaf you can pour boiling water over your herb and then infuse it for 3-4 minutes. Harder herbs like seeds, roots and barks will produce a richer tasting tea and will draw more therapeutic properties by brewing them for longer. A decoction which is when you simmer your tea in a pot for 5-10 minutes is ideal for teas made up of these tougher herbs like that found in chai. When you have tea blends though with leaves and roots you have to find a happy medium with your brewing time.

The History of Tea

“Tea is the ultimate mental and medical remedy and has the ability to make one’s life more full and complete”.

-Kissa Yojoki (How to stay healthy by drinking tea) by Eisai, 1211.

Tea, or it’s botanical name ‘camellia sinensis’ is the second most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. It is estimated that every year around 2.5 million tons of tea leaves are produced and enjoyed around the globe.

The history of tea ‘camellia sinensis’ spans over thousands of years and across many different cultures. Teas long and fascinating past full of Ancient legends and rituals makes this much loved drink a special part of many countries past and traditions. Tea has played a significant role in Asian culture for centuries as a staple
beverage, medicine, and status symbol.

The origins of tea dates back thousands of years, with ancient records indicating that tea was first consumed in China way back in 2737 BC by Emperor and herbalist Shennong. The legend has it that when a leaf from a nearby wild tea bush fell into the Emperors cup of drinking water he discovered a very refreshing drink that ‘gave joy to the body and sparkle to the eye’. During the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE) tea became a popular drink. Tea was prepared differently to how we enjoy it now, it was compressed into bricks and ground into a powder with a stone mortar, then hot water was added. Bricks of tea were also used as currency. Tea production and preparation changed during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), to loose-leaf that was steamed. Then the Chinese discovered a better way to process their tea during the mid 13th century, when they started roasting and crumbling tea leaves. Tea drinking is a symbol of Chinese culture and a respected custom. Today, China has 8 million tea growers and is the biggest producer of tea in the world.

During the Sui Dynasty (589-618 AD) tea was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks. It became a drink of the royal classes when Emperor Saga encouraged the growth and cultivation of tea plants in Japan. Green tea became a staple among cultured people in Japan, enjoyed by aristocracy and Buddhist priests alike. The tea ceremony of Japan (chanoyu) was introduced from China in the 15th century by Buddhists monks. This semi-religious social custom traditionally performed with matcha green tea, reflects on being in harmony with nature, purity, and tranquility.

Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century with the British East India Company brining back tea from China. Tea was initially promoted as a edicinal tonic however soon became a popular drink among Royalty and the higher class. The British loved sweet black tea, often with milk.

Tea was first introduced into India in 1836 by the British in an attempt to break the Chinese monopoly on tea. Commercial production of tea in India did not begin until the arrival of the British East India Company, when large plantations were established in Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon. Today India is one of the biggest tea producers in the world, with well known teas like Darjeeling and Assam being grown only in India.

Types of Tea Varieties

Types of Tea

‘Camellia sinensis’ Tea Varieties – White, Green, Black

There are many Types of Tea. All varieties - white, green, and black - come from the same plant, camellia sinensis. To make the different varieties of tea the fresh tea leaves undergo different levels of oxidization, which is a natural chemical reaction that produces a variety of different tastes and colour characteristics.

Tea plants are immaculately maintained and cultivated, as the quality of tea is highly dependent on a number of factors including the colour of the leaf, their nitrogen content and if there is any damage to the leaves. Harvesting is carefully done either by hand or finely tuned machines which remove only the top most 2-3 leaves from any tea plant.

White

White tea leaves are harvested at a younger age than green tea leaves, picked just before the tea leaf fully opens, while it’s still a bud and covered in white, silvery, fine hairs. White tea is considered a rare tea and is usually more expensive than other teas, as it can only be hand picked during a few days of early spring and has to be handled with such care. White tea can only be picked for a short time each year, making it a rare and precious tea.

Unlike black and green teas, white tea isn't rolled or steamed, but simply air dried in natural sunlight, making it the least processed of all the teas. This preserves more of its antioxidant properties, about three times as many antioxidant polyphenois found in green tea and contains the least amount of caffeine.

There are four main varieties of white tea: Silver Needle (made just from silvery white buds), white peony (buds and leaves), long life eyebrow (leaves), and tribute eyebrow (made with a special tea bush, which is processed slightly differently).

Green

Green tea undergoes only a minimal amount of processing. The freshly harvested leaves are immediately steamed or pan fried to prevent oxidization.

The leaves are then rolled which ruptures the cells of the leaf to enhance brewing, and to make drying easier. The rolled leaves are then dried. The processing methods used to make green tea help preserve the leaves natural antioxidant polyphenol levels, and health promoting properties. It also results in green teas subtle taste, green colour and grassy aroma.

Green tea is the perfect beverage to assist with meditating, as it is mildly stimulating with it’s moderate caffeine content, yet it helps to keep you calm and focused due to its L-theanine levels.

An ancient legend has it that Bodhidarma, a Buddist monk and Zen master who lived during the 5th and 6th century, wished to meditate in front of a wall for 9 years. To
prevent himself from falling asleep at night he would pluck out his eyebrows. As his hairs fell to the ground they grew into the first tea bushes. From then on it became a ritual in Buddhism to drink tea when meditating to stay awake and alert.

There are many different varieties of green tea available, created through varying growing conditions, processing methods, and harvesting times. Some of the most popular varieties include Japanese sencha, a roasted green tea which is the most popular tea in Japan; gyokura, an expensive fine tea; bancha, a lower grade tea made from the twigs of the tea plant; genmaicha, which is made with roasted brown rice; matcha, a powdered green tea; and jasmine tea, a well known Chinese tea scented with the aroma of jasmine blossoms.

Green tea has become increasingly popular addition to heath foods and beverages, nutritional supplements and even cosmetics.

Black

Black tea undergoes the most processing and oxidation of all the teas, giving it its distinctive aroma, taste and dark colour. Black tea is also called Qi Hong or Red Tea by the Chinese.

There are four basic stages involved in producing black tea, withering, which soften the leaves to reduce moisture; rolling, which breaks the leafs cells and starts the oxidation process; then oxidation, when the tea starts to develop its unique aroma, colour and taste.

As green tea is fermented to Oolong and then to black tea, polyphenol compounds (catechins) in green tea are dimerized to form a variety of theaflavins, such that these teas may have different biological activities.

This longer oxidation process changes catechins in green tea into a variety of theaflavins, which are unique to black tea. These polyphenols aren’t as potent as catechins, however they still provide health benefits.

There are two different methods used to process black tea, orthodox, which yields loose leaf artisan made teas, and cut-tear-curl which produces broken leafs, fannings (finer broken particles) and dust (fine powder), used for tea bags.

The cut-tear-curl method is often thought of as being inferior in quality and flavor as whole leaves are most desirable.