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Green tea offers a host of benefits, the latest of which hits you right in the gut — in a good way. In a recent study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, mice fed a high-fat diet that included 2 percent green-tea extract (about the equivalent of 10 cups of tea) gained 20 percent less weight, had less inflammation and had more beneficial microbes in their intestines than those that did not consume the extract. The green tea encouraged the growth of good gut bacteria, which led to a series of cascading benefits that significantly lowered the risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease and liver disease.
You don’t need to hit the 10-cup mark each day to garner the benefits, though. Even a few cups per day, when paired with a healthful diet, will improve overall health and well-being.
A six-year study out of Singapore reported that consuming two portions (one portion equals ¾ cup or 150 grams) of cooked mushrooms weekly could reduce the odds of mild cognitive decline, such as forgetfulness and memory loss, by 50 percent. The study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease concluded that a specific compound in mushrooms called ergothioneine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote cognitive health, while other ‘shroom compounds protect the brain from neurodegeneration and promote the synthesis of nerve growth factors. Incorporate mushrooms into your weekly meal planning by adding them to pizza, sandwiches, soups or salads.
Recent research published in Frontiers in Nutrition determined that drinking a shake made with casein protein before bed leads to increased muscle gains. Muscles grow and repair themselves overnight when provided with adequate amounts of the necessary building blocks — aka amino acids. Because the body does not release amino acids into the bloodstream for energy as it does glucose, they are not always in circulation when you go to bed and are therefore less available for muscle synthesis. Drinking a casein shake pre-sleep means more available aminos and more potential for reconstruction while you snooze.
Bonus: A separate study found that a pre-sleep casein shake increases fat metabolism the following day!