Coffee Cuts Liver Cancer Risk by 40%

If you enjoy a morning cup of joe, you may be at a lesser risk of liver cancer than your non-coffee drinking counterparts. And if you like a few cups of coffee in the morning, you could be cutting your risk of liver cancer even more. Daily coffee consumption could cut liver cancer risk by 40%, according to new research.

According to new research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology:

“Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly the liver,” said Carlo La Vecchia, MD, study author. “The favorable effect of coffee on liver cancer might be mediated by coffee’s proven prevention of diabetes, a known risk factor for the disease, or for its beneficial effects on cirrhosis and liver enzymes.”

The researchers performed a meta-analysis of studies published between 1996 and 2012. A total of 16 “high quality” studies were used involving 3,153 cases.

What they found was that daily coffee consumption cuts liver cancer risk by a whopping 40%. Drinking three cups of coffee each day has an even more dramatic effect, reducing the risk of liver cancer by more than 50%.

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49 Uses for Tea from Care2 Healthy Living

By Steve Graham, Hometalk

I get through the sleepless days of being a stay at home dad, freelance writer and DIY remodeler with copious quantities of tea. I drink Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder tea in a big beer stein, which I believe to be quite manly.

I also hate to throw out anything I could reuse or recycle. So I scoured the Internet to find 50 uses for used tea bags and tea, other than the primary functions of keeping me hydrated and awake. With thanks to “Reader’s Digest” and “Mental Floss” magazines, the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House, Chinaculture.org and several bloggers and Web forums, here is the definitive list of other uses for tea. We can’t vouch for all these home remedies, as we weren’t able to test all 50 of these items, so let us know how they work. Also tell us if we missed anything.

Cleaning:

1. Clean carpets: Clean up musty, dirty carpets by sprinkling dry, used green tea leaves on the carpet. Let them work their magic for about 10 minutes, then vacuum them up.

2. Clean antique rugs: Delicate Persian and Oriental rugs can also benefit from a sprinkling of tea leaves. In this case, sprinkle nearly dry, used whole tea leaves on the rugs, and gently sweep them away.

3. Shine wood floors: The tannins in black tea can help shine and color hardwood flooring. Follow your regular floor cleaning routine by carefully rubbing some brewed tea into the floor (don’t use too much water on hardwood flooring) and letting it air dry.

4. Polish furniture: Brewed tea also can help clean and shine wood furniture. Dip a soft cloth in a small amount of tea, and use it to wipe down the tables, chairs and more.

5. Clean mirrors and windows: Tea can remove stubborn, greasy fingerprints from glass, and make it sparkle. Simply rub a damp teabag on the glass or fill a spray bottle with brewed tea.

6. Clean toilet stains: Rumor has it that used tea bags can magically remove stubborn stains in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Just leave them in the toilet for several hours, then flush the toilet and brush the bowl.

7. Get rid of fishy smells: Rinse your hands with tea after eating or preparing fish (or other stinky foods) to eliminate odors.

8. De-stink fridges: Instead of baking soda (or maybe in addition), try used tea bags in the fridge to absorb odors.

9. De-stink cat litter: Likewise, used tea leaves can help deodorize litter boxes when mixed into the litter. Dry, green tea leaves are recommended.

10. Prevent fleas: Tea is also rumored to help prevent fleas, so sprinkle some dry used tea leaves around pet bedding.

11. Kill dust mites: Carefully spray diluted black tea on the carpet to kill dust mites. Color-test the tea first in an inconspicuous spot. We’re a little skeptical of this one because dust mites like moisture, and we’re not sure that introducing more moisture to a carpet would kill them, but people say it works.

12. Clean the fireplace: Sprinkling wet tea leaves on fireplace ashes while scooping them out may help reduce blowing dust.

13. Make potpourri: The herbs and flowers in herbal tea bags may have run out of flavor, but they often still have a good scent. Dry out herbal tea bags and add to potpourri or scented sachets.

14. Make a car air freshener: Likewise, you can freshen up the car without a chemical-laden commercial air freshener. Put lavender tea or other soothing herbal tea in a bag under the seat to fight odors.

Personal:

15. Soothe a sunburn: Wet tea bags can soothe sunburns and other minor burns. For a full-body sunburn, soak in a tea bath.

Read up on the best electric steel kettles on sale by clicking on these links: Breville, Cuisinart, Krups, Chef’s Choice
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Where to Buy Electric Kettle on Sale

You’ve decided it is time to replace your old kettle with the new one. Maybe your old one is completely worn out and out of order or you’ve heard of a new techy model you would like to have. When considering to buy a new kettle you have to make choices about the kind of kettle – stovetop or electric, size, material it should be made of, what kind of spout and handle and other features like whistle or not – you would prefer to have. I will talk about the choices to make when buying a kettle and then where to buy electric kettle on sale.

Stovetop vs. electric. This is probably the main decision to make. If you get stovetop kettle you get simplicity, but you also get some wasted energy in the form of heat that is not going directly on boiling water. With the electric kettle you get more features that offer increased safety and convenience (read more here).

Size. The size should fit your needs. If you boil water just for your drinks then you may want to go with a small kettle. It will also depend on how big your family is. If you are going to use your kettle to boil water for pasta and oatmeal in addition to making drinks you may want to buy a larger kettle.

Material. If you don’t want your water to taste like plastic and in addition have chemicals in it simply avoid plastic kettles. Stainless steel is a very popular material for electric kettles. It doesn’t leach any harmful chemicals into water (read more here).

Some spouts have filters that will keep water scales out of your cup of hot beverage. However, if the filter contains plastic and you don’t want it, you can remove it.

If the handle is made of a soft rubber it is pleasant to grip and lift. In most electric kettles the handle doesn’t get hot like in stovetop kettles.

Additional features – temperature control, automatic shut-off, cordless or corded, whistle, “keep warm” and “hold temperature” and water gauge.

Delicate tea drinkers are most excited about the temperature control settings of some electric kettles that allow them to heat the water to a particular temperature that is right for the tea. Delicate teas are best steeped at lower temperatures than black tea, for example. Before the emergence of these new kettles on the market some people would go into trouble of using thermometers to measure if the water is the right temperature before brewing tea. Green tea is best to steep at 175 F (80 C) and white tea at 185 F (85 C) and electric kettle solves the problem of getting the water at the right temperature. These temperature control settings certainly make life easier. More expensive kettles have this feature.

Automatic shut-off feature will prevent water from over-boiling so your water will not taste flat and will not boil dry.

Most often when they say the kettle is cordless they refer to the fact that the cord is attached to the base on which the kettle is placed. This base has a cord that is plugged to the outlet when kettle is in use. So the kettle itself doesn’t have a cord.

Different kettles have different whistles. Some sound shrilling and are quite annoying. It is helpful to read product description or customer reviews about the sound a particular kettle is making before buying it so you will not be unpleasantly surprised.

“Keep warm” feature in some electric kettles allows you to make more tea at the whim or re-boil the water quickly. “Hold temperature” will keep water at the specific temperature.

Another handy feature some electric kettles have is a water level window or water gauge. With this you don’t have to guess or look inside the kettle to see exactly how much water is in it.

Where to buy a kettle on sale

After you made a decision about what kind of electric kettle you want to buy you have two choices – drive to a physical store or buy it online. I prefer buying online because all the information in available right at the site that is selling the kettle and I can save time and gasoline by shopping at home. You can also compare the sales prices on different sites and save money.

Read up on the best electric steel kettles on sale by clicking on these links: Breville, Cuisinart, Krups, Chef’s Choice

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Tea Making with Electric Steel Kettle

Remember the tea kettle – it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!  ~Author Unknown

Over centuries tea making has become a kind of an everyday ritual. Some people perform this ritual several times a day. Choosing the right kettle to perform this ritual is as important as choosing the right tea. Electric kettles have been steadily replacing stovetop models. There are several reasons for that. Mainly tea making with electric kettle had become a better option.

Electric kettles have so many cool features that regular stove top kettles don’t. Electric kettles are more interesting to work with because of these features. If you like to keep things simple and don’t care about design and added features the stovetop type is a way to go.

Electric kettles are far more energy efficient than stovetop kettles – the estimated amount of energy saved is about 3 times of a stove top kettle. In electric kettles the heating coil is made into the base and that is why they provide superior heat to liquid transfer capabilities. Because of this, water heats up much faster. In Europe, where they have higher voltage system the kettle boils water even faster.  If you want to speed up the preparation time the electric kettle is a better choice.

Electric kettle’s handle remains nicely cool because it is shielded from the heating element. On the opposite, after a handle of a stovetop kettle has been under direct heat or flame for 8-10 minutes it gets really hot and can be very painful and injurious to grab. You have to use an oven mitt.

Electric kettles are easier to clean. In some stove top kettles you can’t even see the inside because of just one entry – in the spout – to pour water in.

Electric kettles shut off automatically preventing over-boiling water and boiling kettle dry. The whistle in the stovetop kettle alarms you when the water is boiling, but it is irritating when you are doing something in a different part of a house and then you have to run to take the kettle off the stove.

Electric kettles have modern and techy looks. My electric steel kettle looks nice I don’t mind giving it extra space on my counter. As far as esthetics go electric kettles win.

A few drawbacks of electric kettles are:

  • They cost more than stovetop kettles
  • If your electricity is out you obviously will not be able to use electric kettle

As far as safety is concerned electric kettles are safer because of the auto shut off feature and the handle not getting hot. The only time a safety may become a concern is if electric kettle starts malfunctioning. Also electric kettles do not heat up the kitchen like stovetop ones do. Some heat from the gas range or electric stove heats up the air. You may want to consider this if you try to save on an electric bill. Overall convenience and safety that the electric kettles provide is the main reason why people prefer electric kettles to stovetop ones.

To learn more and to buy the best electric steel kettles click on the following links: Breville, Cuisinart, Krups, Chef’s Choice.

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Best No Plastic Electric Kettle

Some people are very health conscious and it is important to them to have as minimum as possible exposure to environmental toxins. One way people are exposed to toxins is through the use of plastics. Polycarbonate plastic, which is clear, is used to make many products such as baby and water bottles, internal coating of cans, kitchenware, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, household electronics, medical and dental devices and sports equipment. Kettles are a frequently used household item and can also contain plastic. This article will explore the effects of exposure to plastic, the ways plastic gets inside the body and the best no plastic electric kettles.

Adverse health effects

In September 2010 Canada became the first country to declare bisphenol A, also known as BPA, a toxic substance. BPA is used to make polycarbonate plastic. Experts found that average levels of BPA in people are above those that cause harm to many animals in laboratory experiments.

Bisphenol A is a known endocrine disruptor, mimicking the body’s own hormones which may lead to negative health effects. 2007-2010 studies on humans revealed that high levels of BPA in the body increased the risk of coronary heart disease, recurrent miscarriages, oxidative stress and inflammation in postmenopausal women, externalizing behaviors in two-year old children, altering hormone levels in men, declining male sexual function, ovarian dysfunction in women. It was found that immune and nervous systems may not be functioning properly due to BPA exposure.

In addition to human studies, studies of low exposure in lab animals found that BPA predisposed cells to cancer, adverse neurological effects and other negative effects.

Ways plastic gets in the body

The most common way BPA gets in the body is through ingestion of foods that came in contact with it. BPA leaches into food and drink through lining in cans, when acidic or high-temperature liquids are poured in plastic container, by microwaving food in plastic containers, by putting plastic containers in a dishwasher or using harsh detergents. Infants and children are estimated to have the highest intake of BPA because of BPA containing baby bottles and liquid formula sold in polycarbonate bottles. (As of 2009 some companies stopped using BPA in production of baby bottles. Some counties banned baby beverage containers made with BPA). If a mother is exposed to BPA breast milk may also contain BPA which can transfer to the baby. High concentrations of BPA are also found in thermal paper, which is used for receipts, airline and cinema tickets, labels. The BPA residue from thermal paper transfers to fingers and can possibly be ingested. Carbonless copy paper also contains BPA.

Best plastic free electric kettles

People consume a lot of water and it is important to keep water as clean as possible and BPA free. BPA can transfer to water through the use of kettles. Some kettles are made 100% out of plastic and those are the ones you want to avoid. I prefer to use kettles with minimum amount of plastic – stainless steel electric kettles. Some of these kettles have little parts made of plastic, but it is good as long as those parts do not come in contact with water, especially when water is heated.

Evaluating plastic content in the kettles featured on this site:

Breville SK500XL model contains a very small plastic part through which water goes through to the water-level window.

Breville BKE820XL – two very small plastic parts connecting with the water-level window

Breville One Touch Tea Maker – is BPA free

Cuisinart KUA-17 – has a plastic water level reminder which is removable

Cuisinart CPK-17 – the only non-steel component this kettle has is a silicone nub near the bottom, which is heat-resistant

Krups BW500 – even though it is a sturdy and easy to fill with water it has plastic parts – underside of the lid, water level window and spout are plastic. It will work well for those not concerned with plastic.

Chef’s Choice – water is poured through a plastic spout

In some of these models a spout has a mesh screen with some plastic in it, but the mesh screen can easily be removed. This way the hot water will not be poured through some plastic.

For people who have no tolerance for plastic in kettles the best choices would be: Breville One Touch Tea Maker and Cuisinart KUA-17 . These are no plastic electric kettles that can be used worry-free.

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The Health Benefits of Tea Drinking

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.  ~Chinese Proverb

Black tea, green tea, oolong tea and white tea are made from the same plant – Camellia sinensis. Ever since the first infusions of tea about 4700 years ago in China were made, the beneficial effects of tea have been examined. This article will talk about health benefits of tea drinking supported by some studies and also mention drawbacks.

Tea has negligible amounts of carbohydrates, fat and protein. The following are the many benefits of tea:

  1. It boosts mental alertness and lowers chances of cognitive impairment. Found almost exclusively in the tea plant amino acid L-theanine actively alters the attention networks in the brain by affecting neurotransmitters and increasing alpha brain-wave activity. This results in an alert, but more calm state of mind. Studies of the elderly Japanese people showed that those who consumed more than 2 cups of green tea daily had 50 percent lower chance of having cognitive impairment than those who consumed less. This is due to the presence of antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG – type of catechin) in tea.
  2. It lowers stress hormone levels. Researchers at University College London found that drinking black tea after a stressful event lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In this study those subjects who had been drinking 4 cups of black tea daily for 6 weeks had a 20% greater drop in cortisol than the placebo group.
  3. It helps to lose weight and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. Studies in Netherlands and Japan showed that green tea does both. Dutch participants who drank caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties of green tea noticed decrease in their waistlines. Japanese men and women who were given green tea extract for three months lost fat and had lower LDL levels.
  4. It increases metabolic rate (the amount of daily energy expended by humans and animals at rest). University of Geneva and University of Birmingham conducted clinical trials which indicate that green tea raises metabolic rates, speeds up fat oxidation, improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Caffeine and polyphenols in tea raise thermogenesis (the production of heat by the body) and thus increases energy expenditure.
  5. It boosts immune system. In 2003 study done by Brigham and Women’s Hospital during four week trial 11 coffee drinkers and 10 tea drinkers consumed 600 ml of coffee or black tea daily. Their blood sample analysis showed that the production of anti-bacterial proteins was up to five times higher in tea-drinkers, which was an indicator of a stronger immune system response. Tea contains theanine which might be responsible for boosting the disease-fighting capacity of gamma delta T-cells thus helping the body’s immune response to fight infection.
  6. It helps fight fungal and bacterial infections. Pace University conducted a study in which they found that white tea extracts are effective in treating bacterial and fungal infections. Green tea extracts did not show as much effect as white tea.
  7. It has antibiotic effects. Catechins in green tea are responsible for disrupting a specific stage of bacterial DNA replication process thus possessing antibiotic properties (citrus such as lemon added to the tea causes more catechins to be absorbed). White and green teas have the highest concentration of catechins.
  8. It has anti-cancer properties. Numerous studies suggest that green tea protects against different types of cancers, including breast, lung and prostate cancer. Again antioxidant EGCG is sited as the reason. One Japanese study showed that after drinking two to three cups of green tea growth of human lung cancer cells significantly slowed. Another study claims white tea to be even more effective in battling cancer than green tea.

If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.  ~Gladstone, 1865

Other benefits of tea include: possible prevention of diabetes, as a complementary therapy for HIV patients in combination with conventional medicines, reduction of the effects of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), reduction of the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath and other ailments.

Consumption of tea also has some drawbacks. The fluoride in tea leaves can increase the risk of osteofluorosis and fractures (applies to high daily fluoride intake of over 2 mg for children and 4 mg for adults). How much fluoride the tea will contain directly depends on the fluoride content of the soil in which it is grown. Due to environmental pollution aluminum can also be found in tea. (Organic soil provides non-chemical nourishment to the tea plants and that is why some people prefer organic teas. To buy organic teas click here.) Also consider that tea contains caffeine and too much of it can result in harmful side effects, such as certain sleep disorders and diuresis. Decaffeinated varieties of tea, however, contain less catechins (which have antibiotic and antioxidant properties). Because tea contains oxalate overconsumption of it can cause kidney stones. Some studies suggest that tea drinking maybe negatively associated with risk of esophageal cancer due to the chemicals known as tannins (milk binds with tannin making it harmless).

Like with anything else in life it is good to maintain balance. Drinking too much tea may be harmful and drinking too little may not be beneficial enough.

It is better to drink tea when it is lukewarm or warm temperature – at least 4 minutes after it has been poured.

Check out the electric kettles to help you prepare the perfect cup of tea: Breville, Cuisinart, Krups, Chef’s Choice.

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Brewing Tea Leaves in Different Countries

Tea is a cup of life.  ~Author Unknown

People in different parts of the world favor different varieties of tea – black, green or oolong. They also use different flavorings, such as sugar, milk or herbs. The temperature and strengths of different teas also vary widely. This article will describe different traditions for brewing tea leaves in top five tea consuming countries in the world. They are Turkey, Great Britain, Ireland, Iran and Morocco.

Turkey has the highest consumption of tea in the world. An average consumption of tea per person is 2.5 kilograms (88 oz) per year. In Turkey the tea is prepared using two kettles stacked up on the top of each other. In one at the bottom the water is boiled. Then the water is poured into the top kettle (tea pot) which is filled with tea leaves. Turkish tea is served either strong or weak, by diluting with the remaining water. Pieces of sugar are added into a hot tea consumed from small glasses. As a social beverage tea replaces both alcohol and coffee. Within the country the tea is known as Rize tea.

The British are the second largest group of tea consumers in the world (2.1 kg or 74 oz per person per year). The tea was first introduced in United Kingdom in the 17th century. Usually it is a black tea served with milk (never cream) and sometimes with sugar. The brewing process goes like this: the water in the kettle is brought to boil. The water is swirled around the tea pot to warm it and then poured out. Loose tea leaves or tea bags are added to the pot and hot water is poured into it. A tea cosy is then placed on the top of the tea pot to keep it warm. Boulder’s tea is a strong tea and is served with lots of milk and couple teaspoons of sugar in a mug. Cups and saucers are used for slightly formal events.

Irish are third on the list of the biggest drinkers of tea. In Ireland a person consumes 2 kg or 71 oz of tea per year. To brew a perfect Irish tea fresh cold water is brought to a boil. Tea pot is usually a piece of an Irish earthenware, called Belleek China. The tea pot is usually warmed before adding tea leaves and boiling water. The portion is one teaspoon of tea for the cup and one extra for the pot. The boiling water is added and stirred. The steeping time last 3-5minutes, but no more than 5 minutes. Somebody who would act as a mother serves the tea – young or old, a man or a woman. A whole milk or cream (1/3 to 1/4 of the cup) is first poured into a cup before adding tea. After that the sugar is added to taste. Traditionally a cup of Irish tea is served with scones, biscuits (cookies), cheese or other light sweet items.

The fourth largest tea drinker in the world is Iran (1.4 kg or 49 oz). Iranians love to drink their tea (Chai) many times throughout the day and consider this ritual an art. A couple of pinches of loose tea and one pinch of rose petals are placed into a tea pot and boiling water is added to it. Tea pot is then covered with a lid and tea is steeped for 5-10 minutes. Some tea is poured into a clear glass to check the color and then poured back into a tea pot (doing this also mixes up the tea). A clear glass cup is filled 1/3 or half with tea. Then hot water is poured to fill up the glass. Some Iranians like their tea strong some like it light. Pouring tea into a glass cup clearly shows the strength of the tea. Tea houses are an important social place for Iranians.

Morocco is the fifth largest tea consumer (1.2 kg or 42 oz a year). Moroccan people drink exclusively green tea – a gunpowder tea variety imported from China. Unlike cooking food, tea preparation is usually a man’s affair. This is the Moroccan method of preparing tea: two teaspoons of tea leaves are combined with a liter of boiling water and steeped for 15 minutes. The mixture is then filtered into a stainless steel pot so that the tea leaves and powder are removed. Sugar is added. Then the tea is brought to boil over medium heat (sugar undergoes hydrolysis which gives the tea a very distinctive taste). Mint leaves can be added to the tea pot or directly to the cup. If you are a guest and tea is offered to you it is impolite to refuse it.

Brewing tea in different countries has its similarities, but also variations. These variations in tea preparation came about many centuries ago and still evolve. No matter how a tea ceremony varies from country to country it was created for one purpose – enjoyment of a great cup of tea.

One tool you need to enjoy tea is a great kettle. Check out the best electric kettles here: Breville, Cuisinart, Krups and Chef’s Choice.

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