Hunger Satiety

What do you feel like when you are hungry…tired, irritable, sleepy, frustrated, etc.  Are you starving and ravenous or just getting to the point of hunger.  Did you just eat a filling meal, yet still feel the craving for something else?  Many times people eat because it happens to be lunchtime or because their head believes it to be hungry.  What happens if you really listen to yourself and rely on what your stomach is telling you, whether it yearns for food or is happily digesting the nutrients you provided from your last meal.

It’s time to become in-tune with your body.  Are you hungry, tired and looking for a nap, or do you just need a few minutes to yourself, perhaps to decompress?  We live in a society where eating on the run or sitting in front of the computer is the norm?  What about these other countries that take a break in the middle of the day and close down offices so that everyone can enjoy their lunch with their friends or loved ones.  They take the time to enjoy every bite of their meal, the crisp bite of an apple, the smooth and creamy texture of yogurt, or the smell of sauteed onions and garlic tossed with fresh, seasonal veggies.  It’s time to step back from our busy lives and once again enjoy our meals, taste our food, and share memories along side others.

A study was conducted in which two distractions were placed upon an individual who was consuming a vitamin/mineral rich drink.  It turns out that there was 0% absorption of any nutrients and metabolism was altered.  There is more of a chance for these calories to be converted to fat instead of being optimally digested and/or utilized for energy.  Imagine our digestion then as we answer the phone, respond to emails, make a grocery list, watch TV, or grab a bite to eat as we head out the door and eat in the car. What are we actually absorbing?  Are we utilizing the nutrients from our food?  In our society, it’s not always easy to take that break in the middle of the day to eat your lunch, but there are steps to take to consume your meal in a serene environment.  While at work, take the time to eat away from your desk and join others for lunch; relax and savor each bite of your meal, put your fork down between bites. Imagine the energy you will have for the rest of the day from optimally digesting your meal.

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Tea for Better Bones

I’m an avid fan of tea, it warms me up on the inside, it’s soothing after a meal, provides a beneficial break in the day, and a cup is relaxing to enjoy before winding down at night.  With all the variety of flavors, types, and blends from green, black, white, oolong, rooibus, etc. it seems that everyone can find a cup of tea that suits them.

Well, here is some interesting news for all of you who love your cup of tea!  An article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from 2007 conducted a study on the benefits of tea drinking on bone density in older women (aged 70 to 85 years).  It’s important to maintain bone density to help prevent osteoporosis later in life, along with preventing fractures.  When it comes to optimal bone health, many factors play a role including exercise, smoking, caffeine, calcium, and protein. So how did this commonly consumed worldwide beverage in bone health pan out?

Overall, the tea drinkers had a higher bone mineral density at two different areas of the hip compared to non-tea drinkers.  As this study was done over several years, results also indicated that tea drinkers lost an average of 1.6% total hip areal bone mineral density compared to a 4.0% loss from the non-tea drinkers.

In the end, it’s important to realize that many studies have limitations that have to be taken into consideration such as factors that may have played a role in the outcomes of the study. For example, we don’t know the specific’s of these women’s dietary intake, how the additions of milk or sugar to their tea may affect the results, or mineral intake (magnesium, vitamin D & K) that may affect bone mineral density.

Overall, I think their are plenty of benefits from tea besides some benefits in bone health, inlcuding the high amounts of phytochemicals, flavonoids, catechins, and lignins that tea contain.  With that said, I’m off to enjoy my steaming mug of tea!