It is common knowledge that healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables contain certain nutrients that promote good health -- namely antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body. However, once these compounds enter the body and become digested, do they still possess the same healthful qualities? Do they still perform the desired action to create a positive result?
That is what researchers at Newcastle University recently set out to discover. Scientists analyzed the polyphenols in green tea to see how they affect the body once digested. Although the polyphenols in tea are known for health benefits, Dr. Ed Okello and his team wanted to better understand how these polyphenols act once inside the body. Their study, which was recently published in the journal, Phytomedicine, showed that the chemicals resulting from the breakdown of polyphenols were more effective at promoting cellular and neurological health than the polyphenols alone.
"There are certain chemicals we know to be beneficial and we can identify foods which are rich in them but what happens during the digestion process is crucial to whether these foods are actually doing us any good," said Dr. Okello.
The research showed that once the enzymes in the gut digested the polyphenols, the resulting compounds had a more potent ability to bind to toxins.
"Green tea has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries and what we have here provides the scientific evidence why it may be effective against some of the key diseases we face today."
Tea is one of the many common and natural dietary staples in Asian cultures shown by modern science to have multiple unique health benefits. Mushrooms are another common food that have been consumed for centuries and are also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for their ability to promote cellular and immune health. Certain species of mushrooms have potent natural abilities to modulate the immune system and promote balance within the body. These mushroom species offer benefits even after digestion and absorption into the blood stream.
By Dr. Isaac Eliaz M.D., L.Ac., M.S.
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