SOFT DRINKS: HOW BAD CAN THEY BE?

Many believe that soda and other carbonated beverages are relatively harmless. A close look at the impact of these drinks on the human body reveals a different story.

The facts:

  • Sodas with added sugars act as a diuretic, flushing water and minerals from the body. These drinks actually make one thirstier.
  • Carbonated beverages contain excessive amounts of phosphorous. This interferes with calcium uptake in the body, greatly exacerbating the effects of osteoporosis in middle-aged woman. The same effects are true for men; the only difference being a 10-15 year lag before becoming obvious.
  • Soft drinks cause weight gain due to the ‘cephalic phase response’ – a reflex established when the brain reacts to sweet tastes and is tricked into sending false messages to the liver. When sugars (artificial or natural) stimulate the tongue, the brain programs the liver to prepare for the acceptance of new energy. The liver in turn, stops manufacturing glucose from the protein and starch reserves and instead begins to store the metabolic fuels that are circulating in the blood. When the sugar that was promised by the taste buds is nowhere to be found, the brain and liver panic – instructing the person to eat more.
  • The carbonation in soft drinks – when ingested in conjunction with food – bloats the system, disrupts the release of stomach enzymes (interfering with digestion), and halts the absorption of minerals.
  • Sodas with added sugar have been implicated in ADD, adult onset diabetes, and a litany of other health problems.
  • Aspartame (the primary sweetener in the majority of diet soft drinks) is an Excitotoxin, chemicals that excite brain cells till the die. They are very similar to MSG in their deleterious effect on the nervous system.
  • A new study found a significant correlation between carbonated beverage consumption and esophageal and enocacinoma decades later. In the past 25 years, the number of cases of this cancer has risen by 570% among Caucasian men in the U.S. – the group that consume the most soft drinks.

Biologically, we drink liquids for two reasons: to flush the system of impurities; to minimize the amount of food we eat.

 

Healthy Alternatives

Water

The ultimate thirst quencher. However, not all forms are safe. The EPA (environmental protection agency) says our drinking water is safe. They analyze 30 elements in our water to determine purity. Dozens of highly regarded independent scientific studies show that the levels of substances the government says are safe, are not. While testing for thirty elements sounds very impressive, there are over three hundred elements comprising our water. Tap water is not healthy; it is dangerous, filled with heavy metals. Only distilled water goes through the heating and purification needed to insure safety. Artisan spring water, well water, etc., do not go through these steps and are not fit to drink.

Green Tea

Because our diet consisting primarily of processed foods, we do not ingest nearly enough anti-oxidants. Further, some foods and drinks, because of their make-up, require the body to draw on its stores of anti-oxidants to process them. Soft drinks fall into this category. There is one liquid that will not only satisfy our thirst, but also add to the body’s stores of anti-oxidants: Green Tea. It contains polyphenols (a powerful class of antioxidants). By weight, polyphenols comprise about 30% of the green tea leaf. One recent study compared polyphenols with the standard of antioxidants, vitamin E. The green tea extract was shown to pack 200 times the antioxidant punch of vitamin E.

Green Tea’s Impact On Obesity:

While, at first, it seems amazing that something as simple as green tea can have such curative powers, we really shouldn’t be surprised. After all, how else would a tradition be carried on for over 4000 years if it did not have lasting benefit? Here is the hard research behind the claims.

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG, a powerful antioxidant in green tea, is twice as powerful as resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wines and thought to be the explanation as to why the French consume a diet rich in fat yet enjoy a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans.

People living in Asian countries have enjoyed the benefits of drinking green tea for thousands of years. In the past several years, over fifty studies have been published that support the consumption of green tea, or green tea supplements help prevent, treat, or in some cases, kill cancer cells.

In a study by Andrew L. Rubman, ND, indicates that caffeine can lessen the side effects of some drugs, so they work more effectively.

It has been found that people who live in countries where tea is a staple – mainly China and Japan – enjoy very low rates of cancer. In Japan, where up to 75% of men smoke, they have the lowest rate of lung cancer in the industrialized world.

Researchers have found that higher consumption rates of tea reduce the risk of cancers including breast, prostrate, lung, colon, stomach, pancreatic, leukemia, and skin cancer. Now it has been established that a phytonutrient in green tea (diphenylamine) lowers blood sugar activity. This works only if you drink the tea. This way you get the entire complex of bioactive compounds.

Over 50 years ago, Dr. J Minowada of Kyoto University reported that the urine levels of hospitalized diabetes fell when they consumed green tea. More recent studies have shown that green tea plus caffeine increases the body’s metabolic rate for a 24-hour period. Caffeine consumption alone does not account for this rise in metabolic rate. The thermogenic properties in green tea work in synergy with caffeine to promote body fat loss.

Green tea mimics the life-extending effects of calorie restriction by lowering blood sugar and insulin levels. Green tea also reduces iron absorption, which can lead to organ damage, heart disease, and cancer. Tests of various green teas found widely varying levels of catechins – the group of antioxidants that account for much of its disease-fighting power. The results of that research are a follows:

Celestial Seasonings green tea                                  217 mg.

Lipton green tea                                                          201 mg.

Bigelow Darjeeling blend                                            164 mg.

Uncle Lee’s green tea                                                 157 mg.

Stach Premium green tea                                          53 mg.

Twining Earl Grey Black tea                                       46 mg.

Bigelow Constant Comment Decaf                            10 mg.

 

An extract found in green tea – epigalloctechin gallate – helps cut fat. It blocks the production of digestive enzymes that break down fat in the digestive system, allowing fat to pass through the system undigested.

Green tea extract also reduces blood cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol). Subjects taking the supplement showed a 11.3 percent decrease in cholesterol and a 16.4 percent decrease in LDL in only three months

EGCG reduces the body’s synthesis of DHT, a potent form of testosterone that causes prostate enlargement and perhaps prostate cancer. In women, EGCG also helps keep breast cells from turning cancerous. Green tea enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and helps protect against radiotherapy damage. There seem to be a synergy between tamoxifen and EGCG in producing apoptosis (programmed cell death). High doses of EGCG have been found to be effective in preventing inflammation and skin cancer.

The antioxidant potential of green tea – based on flavinoid count – was found to be significantly higher than that of red wine. Most research has focused on people who drink between 3 and 6 cups of green tea each day.

 

 

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