Oh happy day! It’s SATURDAY! That means it is NO ALARM CLOCK DAY! It means I actually got some rest . . . sleeping in is always a wonderful thing. Today I am finally starting the De-Christmas the house process. This always takes awhile since we take the decorations to an extreme. OK, I take decorations to an extreme. Every conceivable surface is covered . . . which is awesome when setting it up . . . not so awesome when taking it down. I’ve been dreading this all week long, but it must be done and the time is now. *sigh*
Trivia Day – People have always loved learning little tidbits of information about a variety of things. It doesn’t have to be important information, but it helps if it is unique. For many years the game Trivial Pursuit has come out with different variations on its theme, with different topics showcased for specific interests. People have won lots of money on games like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with brains stuffed full of trivia! When I was researching for this one, I found SO many interesting trivia facts that my brain was spinning. Here are a few food trivia tidbits for you, but to get a WHOLE bunch of them on lots of topics, click this link and happy reading! I just spent the last hour that I should have been writing, reading a bunch off to my hubby.
National Hot Tea Month – Is there anything more soothing after a stressful day than a hot cup of tea? It isn’t just the wonderful warmth of the mug held in cold hands, or the different spices and flavors of the tea that is wonderful . . . no, what is wonderful that this delicious beverage has so many health benefits . . . and it is a medicine that has been used since ancient times. Recent research suggests that drinking tea may possibly help with everything from preventing cavities to Parkinson’s disease. Some studies even say it could save lives. The benefits of drinking tea may extend throughout the entire body, and here is an eye opening list of conditions that some research has shown may be prevented or improved by drinking it (this list is a copy and paste of an article I found):
Arthritis: Research suggests that older women who are tea drinkers are 60 percent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who do not drink tea. Bone Density: Drinking tea regularly for years may produce stronger bones. Those who drank tea on a regular basis for 10 or more years had higher-bone mineral density in their spines than those who had not. Cancer: Green tea extracts were found to inhibit the growth of bladder cancer cells in the lab — while other studies suggest that drinking green tea protects against developing stomach and esophageal cancers.
- Sipping on a cup of hot tea may be a safeguard against cancer. Population studies have linked the consumption of tea with a reduction in risk for several types of cancer. Researchers speculate that the polyphenols in tea may inhibit certain mechanisms that promote cancer growth. Both green and black teas have been credited with cancer-inhibiting powers.
Flu: You may be able to boost your fight against the flu with black tea.
Your best defense against contracting the flu is to wash your hands often and get vaccinated against the influenza virus. Black tea may further bolster your efforts to stay healthy. In a recent study, people who gargled with a black tea extract solution twice per day showed a higher immunity to flu virus compared to the people who did not gargle with black tea.
Heart Disease: A recent study published in the journal Circulation found that drinking more than two cups of tea a day decreased the risk of death following a heart attack by 44 percent. Even less spirited tea drinkers were rewarded: Consuming just two cups a day decreased the risk of death by almost a third.
Tea is a rich source of the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, and research shows that high dietary intake of these compounds is associated with a reduced risk of fatal heart attacks. In one study, people who drank about a cup and a half of tea per day were almost 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack compared to tea abstainers.
High Blood Pressure: Tea lovers may be surprised to learn their beverage of choice touts yet another health benefit: blood pressure control. Drinking a half-cup of green or oolong tea per day reduced a person’s risk of high blood pressure by almost 50% in a new study. People who drank at least two and a half cups per day reduced their risk even more. Their risk was reduced even if they had risk factors for high blood pressure, such as high sodium intake. Parkinson’s Disease: Tea consumption may be protective against developing this debilitating neurological disorder. Oral Health: Rinsing with tea may prevent cavities and gum disease. So, what makes tea so good for us? Well, there is a complex group of chemicals that make up what seems like a simple beverage. The class of chemicals in tea are called flavonoids. Flavonoids are a natural class of antioxidants found in many natural plant based foods. In American diets, black tea is probably the single biggest source of flavonoids. Antioxidants ride the body of molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are side products of damage done to the body by pollution and the natural aging process. Free radicals that are in the body’s cells are unstable and they tend to react negatively with other important molecules, like DNA, causing our systems to malfunction and creates injury on the cellular level. The damage done by these free radicals can pave the way for heart disease and cancer. In the case of heart disease I read that the antioxidants in tea may prevent death from second heart attack by helping blood vessels relax, letting blood flow through more easily, with the potential to lower blood pressure and reduce the stress on the heart. Antioxidants are thought to be behind the benefits of tea on dental health as well. There have been a number of studies suggesting that rinsing with black or green tea may lead to better oral health. “We have found that the [antioxidants] in black tea will suppress the growth of bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum diseases,” says Christine Wu, professor of periodontics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. “These will inhibit or interfere with the attachment of bacteria to the tooth surface.” At this point they haven’t said how much tea to drink, but adding a cup or two to your daily intake would be a really good idea, don’t you think?
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Spaghetti Day – America is nuts for noodles, especially spaghetti! Many people eat the long spaghetti and swirl it up on their fork and slurp it off. I usually end up slapping the noodles across my chin, or dropping them on my shirt when I eat it that way. I honestly prefer smaller noodles I can actually pick up with my fork, like penne. To me, it all tastes the same . . . but maybe to some it doesn’t. No matter the pasta, have some to celebrate today!
- Jo Mama’s World Famous Spaghetti
- Spaghetti Tacos
- Slow-Cooker Spaghetti & Meatballs
- Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
- Spaghetti Rosti With Tuna
- Kung Pao Spaghetti
- Quick 5-Minute Chinese Noodles
Well, no matter how long I sit here and procrastinate, these decorations aren’t choosing to move themselves into the boxes all on their own . . . so I suppose I’d better get started! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!