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Why Green Tea is Perfect for Summertime!

Why Green Tea is Perfect for Summertime!

Green Tea is a great summertime drink to quench your thirst and help you get the most out of your long summer days.  Tea has been a popular summer beverage for a long time, but sugary teas can drain your energy more than they provide it.  Find out some of our favorite Green Tea tips and why Green Tea is your perfect light summertime beverage!

Why Green Tea is Great for the Summer

Caffeine, but Not Too Much

Green Tea has caffeine to help keep you going through the long summer days.  But, you want to make sure you hydrate enough as you consume caffeine.  Since Green Tea has lower caffeine levels than coffee, it reduces the dehydration process.  Remember: drink plenty of water on top of your caffeinated products to make sure you don’t end up dehydrated!

Matcha, Metabolism, and Mood

Matcha, the ceremonial grade Green Tea powder you find in high end Green Tea blends, enhances the metabolic benefits of VitaCup Green Tea.  Matcha contains the polyphenol EGCG which gets your motor running, increasing the rate at which you would normally metabolize.  It helps keep your system going strong with your mood, too.  The plant contains the natural amino acid L-Theanine which is known to help balance your sleep patterns, improve mood, and even improve overall focus.

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Moringa, B6 and Honey for Inflammation

Moringa is a plant that has antioxidant and inflammatory properties.  During the summer, the heat means that you can get a stressed cardiovascular system which reduces circulation and increases inflammation.  Chronic inflammation can cause a host of other issues including impaired immune system, digestive disorders, skin issues and emotional imbalances.  To avoid inflammation, the Moringa and green tea combine to make a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Low B6 levels have also been tied to chronic inflammation.  If you add some raw, local honey you may notice even more anti-inflammatory benefits from the phytonutrients. Raw local honey includes some phytonutrients from the plants and pollens that the bees come into contact with but lose the phytonutrients once the honey is processed.

Umami Flavor

Unlike other beverages it has a lighter flavor than coffee.  Green Tea is often said to have an “Umami” taste that hits a category of flavor similar to what we would consider “savory”.  This rich flavor is enhanced with ceremonial grade matcha powder which deepens the earthy profile.  This is due to the “Glutamate” present in the Green Tea, which provides a distinct trigger to specific tastebuds.  Whereas monosodium glutamate is a synthetic glutamate, the Glutamate found in Green tea is a positive, naturally occurring compound that can improve gastrointestinal health and actual help heal digestive issues like ulcers. The earthy flavor of Green Tea is one that you can enjoy all summer long that won’t leave you with a heavy aftertaste.    

Try VitaCup Vitamin Infused Green Tea with Matcha and Moringa.  Taste the Umami and get the benefits of our Vitamin Infused Green Tea all summer long!

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Why Take Vitamin B6?

Why Take Vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, helps the body metabolize proteins and fats, and keeps the hair, skin, eyes and liver in good shape just like its other fellow B complex vitamins. Specifically, your body uses B6 everyday so you can properly function in ways we frequently forget about or take for granted. If proper movement, memory and blood flow aren’t enough incentive, B6 is critical in the development of new neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit electrical signals from one nerve ending to another. 

Physical benefits: Primarily, your body needs B6 to regulate and reduce increased amounts of homocysteine, an amino acid that high levels of can lead to serious inflammation and an higher risk of heart disease. This amino acid comes from eating protein sources, especially meat, so taking in B6 is an important step in avoiding inflammation and lowering the risk of heart disease and even a stroke.

Anemia is a common condition where people do not have enough iron in their blood. It can result in fatigue and weariness. Consuming vitamin B6 is a great way to help prevent Anemia and even decrease existing symptoms. B6 is phenomenal for supporting our immune systems. It increases our metabolism’s ability to take nutrients and turn them into energy.

Mood benefits: Along with keeping your heart running smoothly, studies show that B6 is a significant player in your cognitive functions. Deficiencies in vitamin B6 have been linked to serious cognitive conditions such as dementia, depression, and anxiety.

B6 has been known to actually improve your mood since some prescription antidepressants actually work in the same way that vitamin B6 does, by raising serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin, also known as a “happy hormone” is important for preventing depression, pain, fatigue and anxiety. PMS symptoms can be minimized via B6 intake too.

Who should take B6: Due to the inflammation caused by a high-protein diet, B6 is a necessary complement to increased protein intake. As a general rule, the more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need. B6 can be especially beneficial for older generations since there is a much higher chance of developing those cognitive impairments at older ages. On the opposite end of the spectrum, children with learning and behavior disorders such as ADHD may benefit from taking vitamin B6. Researchers claimed that these disorders can be counteracted by taking B6 since they’re caused by low serotonin levels in the brain.

To sum up, this elemental vitamin is ideal for those of virtually any age, gender, or demographic group, yet those who may benefit the most are pregnant or breastfeeding women, older individuals at risk of macular degeneration, dementia, or depression, and anyone with a chance of experiencing heart disease in the near future.

Sources:
https://draxe.com/vitamin-b6-benefits/
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b6-pyridoxine
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002402.htm
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vitamins/health-benefits-of-vitamin-b6-or-pyridoxamine.html

Why is Vitamin B12 Important for Your Health?

Why is Vitamin B12 Important for Your Health?

We all know that vitamins are an important part of a healthy diet, whether taken as a supplement or found naturally in our food, because they help initiate and maintain crucial bodily functions.  B vitamins, in general, help the body convert food into fuel. B12 is a special B vitamin that possesses unique benefits. At the same time, a lack of B12 can come with some potentially serious effects. 

Benefits of Vitamin B12

B12 is a vital nutrient. Most of us know it as the energy vitamin; however, its job goes even deeper – all the way through your nervous system. (Henriques, 2017; Thomas, 2017) In fact Vitamin B12:

  • Fights fatigue
  • Boosts brain power in the following ways:
    • Improves memory and concentration
    • In high concentration, B12 increases GABA chemicals in the brain, which has been said to help protect against neurological and mental health disorders like depression, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Is a crucial component in producing functional red blood cells

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are much easier to prevent than to treat (but they are treatable,) so it is extremely important to keep an eye on any symptoms before they become a serious problem. 

According to the Consumers Union of United States Inc. (2017) vitamin B12 deficiencies are most often due to either a diet seriously lacking in nutrients, consistently taking certain medications including Metformin (a diabetes medication) and other types of heartburn drugs, or inability to absorb the vitamin into their gut. 

So what are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?

  • Fatigue – this is the most common and quickly identifiable symptom
  • If symptoms persist and the deficiency isn’t detected this can affect a person’s nerves, resulting in feelings of pins and needles in hands and feet, as well as a numb sensation.
  • Muscle weakness, heart palpitations, weight loss, diarrhea, unsteady movements, and mental confusion are all symptoms of vitamin deficiency anemia
  • Headaches
  • Mouth ulcers, sore tongue

Be aware of a parallel issue between iron and B12 deficiencies. Although iron is a mineral (whereas B12 is a vitamin) it is often linked to B12 because they are found in similar foods (Perkins, 2011.)  Why is that important? First, a B12 deficiency or iron deficiency can easily be misdiagnosed.  But furthermore, because vitamin B12 can be assist the body with effective iron intake. 

So, here are additional B12 health symptoms to pay attention to:

  • Cracking lips
  • Thinning hair
  • Split brittle nails
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Restless legs
  • Mouth ulcers, sore tongue
  • Bad breath (poor oral hygiene also linked to gut health and B12 deficiency)

 Foods That Contain Vitamin B12

B12 is naturally found in meat, fish, and dairy products. You know the watery liquid on top of your yogurt? That’s natural whey and contains B12 – so don’t dump it out; mix it in and enjoy!  Also, for all our British friends: Marmite (a British food spread) has a high concentration of B12 and in a recent study was found to increase levels of GABA (refer to the ‘benefits’ section for a reminder on GABA’s super powers; Henriques, 2017).

The daily required intake for proper health maintenance in the U.S is relatively small, only 2.4 micrograms daily, but few foods contain rich sources of B12 (red meats and offal are highly effective.) More restricted diets, such as vegan/vegetarianism, omit many essential nutrients.  The good news is that people can take more than the recommended dose of B12, so it’s always better to play it safe and increase your vitamin intake (Obikoya, 2017)! 

TRY Our Vitamin Infused Coffee & Tea Pods, Loaded with Vitamin B12!

Who Specifically Needs to Take B12 Vitamins?

Vitamin B12, the energy vitamin, is important for everyone, especially because the consequences of a deficiency can be significant.  However, it is a bit controversial in that it is believed to be a vitamin that is usually easy to get enough of in your diet, but is also famous for being a vitamin that is difficult to be absorbed efficiently in individuals with a disorder where they lack the proper protein for its digestion. Keeping that in mind, the following list looks at “specialized” groups of people who may benefit more than others from upping their vitamin B12 intake: 

  1. Vegetarians and Vegans:
    • May struggle to meet an adequate daily intake amount of B12
    • Most common group of individual to become B12 deficient based on diet alone due to elimination of meat and dairy sources
  2. Mature and aging adults:
    • As you age, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food alone decreases, especially depending on individual health histories
    • B12 is especially important for this group because it is essential for red blood cell formation (Obikoya, 2017; Scott & Malloy, 2012)
  3. Athletes:
    • B12 is necessary for the process of converting sugars and proteins into energy
    • B12 is used for the production and repairing of cells (Obikoya, 2017; Scott & Malloy, 2012; Woolf & Manore, 2006)
  4. Those trying to conceive:
    • When trying to conceive, many women start taking prenatal vitamins to increase their chances of becoming pregnant. 
    • B12 affects a man’s sperm count, and a vitamin deficiency can hinder a couple’s attempts to conceive (Hanton, 2012).

So have we answered the question, “Why take vitamin B12?”  Let us know if there’s anything we missed or something you’d like to know a little more about!

Always consult a medical health professional before starting, stopping, or altering your diet or prescribed medications. 

References:
- Consumers Union of United States Inc. (2017). Some vitamins and minerals may carry more risks than benefits. Retrieved from: ConsumerReports.org/Health
- Hanton, R. (2012). Vitamin B12 and fertility. The LBC Health Group
- Obikoya, G. (2017). Why take vitamins? The Vitamin and Nutrition Center.
- Perkins, S. (2011). How does B12 deficiency cause iron-deficiency anemia? - Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/403678-anemia-weight-loss/
Scott, J. M. & Molloy, A. M. (2012). The discovery of vitamin B12. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 61(3), 239-245.
- Thomas, A. (2017). Researchers study benefits of vitamin B12 in Marmite News Medical Life Sciences. News Medical Life Sciences.
- Woolf, K & Manore, M. M. (2006) B-vitamins and exercise: Does exercise alter requirements? International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 16(5), 453-484.