Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Drink your vegetables

There are certain diseases and afflictions that I just have no connection to. I know a woman who's very active in Aphasia awareness and therapy and because I have no connection to it, I have no clue what Aphasia is. None. But most of us have some connection to Cancer. Some form or another. I'm constantly amazed at the general knowledge that the common person has about which Cancers are most fatal and what may or may not cause it.

A close friend of mine was diagnosed with not one but two forms of the really horrid varieties of Cancer. Won't go into any specifics about him here, except to say that this has completely changed the way he approaches nutrition. He's taking advantage of all the advantages Western medicine has to offer, but before he did any of that, he became quite an educated layman about what foods are and aren't safe.

When this blog was just getting off the ground and I wrote quite a lot about drinking tea with or without milk, he had some interesting points to make about the health benefits of avoiding cow's milk. Since then, he's kept me very well informed about different articles extolling the health benefits of green tea. If you're already into tea, this'll come as no surprise. Nevertheless, I do want to call attention to this.

Here's a page from the National Cancer Institute that says the results of tests are inconclusive:

But notice the green tea seemed to show results with stomach or throat Cancer, while researchers weren't able to prove black tea had any direct link to preventing the same Cancers.

And the link he sent me was promising because it showed a direct link between certain specific fruits and vegetables and their ability to help prevent specific forms of Cancer. You can see it for yourself here:

I love it that this delicious, soothing beverage is also aiding my body in warding off toxins, and even though I write much more about black teas, I drink more than my fair share of green and Oolong. There may be no scientific correlation between how well I feel and the obscene amounts of tea I drink, but it certainly doesn't seem to be hurting.

Aside from having to get up in the night to empty my bladder that is. That's the one downside to all of this tea.


  1. Tea; the tasty way to a healthy you!

  2. I'm a little suspicious of the US government agencies' perspectives on the health benefits of tea. Both the National Cancer Institute and the FDA seem overly skeptical--while these same agencies seem to turn the other way while commercial agribusiness contaminates our food supply with known carcinogens and allows genetically-engineered crops that are grown in unsustainable ways that create ecological devastation.

    Are they in the pockets of big agribusiness? Tea isn't a big industry in America, so it doesn't have the same lobbying influence as corn, soybeans, and chemical companies like Monsanto.

    Cynical? No. I want to expose these things so that they can be changed.

    I think there is strong science backing the health benefits of tea. Yes, a lot of the research is young and inconclusive, and more controlled clinical studies are needed. But the evidence all points in the same direction: tea is probably good for you, and unless you go overboard with massive amounts of it, it's probably not going to hurt you very much (and even then there are a lot of things that could hurt you much more).

  3. When I was much younger, I'd agree with everything you've written Alex. My radical days, when I trusted no authority.

    Then there was a time when I bought in to the system and believed that the FDA and similar outfits had our best interests at heart.

    The more I learn about food and its intersection with agribusiness and government regulation (and deregulation, as it were) the less I believe that the government is protecting us. Not that there's anyone out there purposely mucking up the food, but as you say there's a lot of money at play here.

    The lobbyists and their benefactors (the multi-nationals that're above the law) have little incentive to care whether our food is safe or even nutritious anymore.

    Enough of my soapbox. Wanted you to know that the more I learn about the topics your raise, I more agree with you. This is a crucial topic that we should be talking about regularly and with more urgency.