Does green tea have health benefits?

jasmine tea

Recently I’ve been drinking a lovely Jasmine Blossom Green Tea from Newbys.

The tea is quite expensive but has a lovely, delicate flavour.

For years I’ve been under the impression that green tea is beneficial to health without really knowing why so I’ve  consulted Dr Google.

The NHS choices website has an excellent analysis of the claims made for the health benefits of green tea.

The article explores a wide range of claims for the benefits of drinking green tea including:

Does drinking green tea protect you from cancer?

Can green tea aid weight loss?

Does green tea cut cholesterol?

Can green tea help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease?

Can green tea lower blood pressure?

Can green tea prevent tooth decay?

In concluding the article, NHS Choices refers to dietitian Alison Hornby

who says:

“In the Far East, green tea has been used as a treatment for a variety of conditions ranging from arthritis to weight loss, as well as a preventative measure for diseases such as cancer, although the evidence for the majority of these conditions is weak or lacking.

“However, as a social drink, it appears to be safe in moderate amounts, so lovers of green tea can continue to enjoy it.”

Overall, it seems that green tea won’t do any harm, might do a little bit of good but probably won’t make any difference. So, I’ll keep on enjoying my Jasmine Blossom Green Tea although I doubt that I will ever be paying £57 for 250g!

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You might also like 5 Best Literary Tea Quotes


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Yes! We Have No Bananas


Bananas are the UK’s most popular fruit.

On average we eat 10kg of bananas every year, about 100 bananas each. (BBC Good Food)

The health benefits of eating bananas are many.

7 Wonderful Benefits of Banana

11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Bananas

25 Powerful Reasons to Eat Bananas

But have you seen that the Cavendish Banana, the banana that most people in the world eat, is being wiped out by fungus?

ITV News covered the story on 20th December 2017.

Banana plantations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and Taiwan have been destroyed by the fusarium fungus, which is spreading through much of Southeast Asia.

So far the fungus hasn’t reached the Caribbean where most of the UK’s Cavendish bananas originate but the clock is ticking.

The Cavendish banana has a fascinating history.

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire seems an unlikely birthplace for today’s global banana industry but that’s exactly what’s happened.

But now experts say the fungus could eventually wipe out Cavendish bananas worldwide.

This has happened before!

Up until the 1960s the Gros Michel banana was more popular than the Cavendish. Gros Michel was larger and considered tastier than the Cavendish. But the Gros Michel variety was killed off by a fungus.

To save the banana, scientists are trying to genetically alter the Cavendish to make it able to resist the fungus.

They are also developing another variety that they hope most consumers would find an acceptable substitute.

And it looks as though the scientists have solved the problem

as long as you don’t mind eating genetically modified crops.

Saving Cavendish: Team grows world-first Panama disease-resistant bananas.

So, hopefully, we won’t have to join Billy Jones in his 1923 rendition of “Yes! We Have No Bananas”.

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My top 3 non-alcoholic ginger beers

ginger beer

Since starting my chemotherapy treatment I’ve become strictly teetotal.

Consequently I’m now a connoisseur of ginger beer.

These are my 3 favourite ginger beers:

Fentimans Traditional Ginger Beer

Established 1905

Read the company history here.

A 275ml bottle costs £1.20 at my favourite supermarket.

(To price compare with the other two: 750ml would cost £3.27).


Carbonated Water, Fermented Ginger Root Extract (Water, Glucose Syrup, Ginger Root, Pear Juice Concentrate, Yeast), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Pear Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavourings (Ginger, Lemon, Capsicum), Cream of Tartar, Citric Acid, Herbal Infusions (Speedwell, Juniper, Yarrow)

This is a fiery ginger beer, full of flavour with a real kick in the after-taste.

Belvoir Fresh Root Ginger Beer

Established 1984

Read the company history here.

A 750ml bottle costs £2.40 at the supermarket.


Carbonated Spring Water, Sugar, Lemon Juice (from Concentrate), Fresh Root Ginger Infusion 2%, Pressed Ginger Juice 2% (not from Concentrate), Ginger Extracts, Capsicum Extract

A lighter and more gentle flavour which leaves behind a sharp, spicy zing.

Franklin and Sons Brewed Ginger Beer 

Established 1886

Read the company history here.

750ml bottle costs £2.50 at supermarket prices.


Sparkling Water, Sugar, Non Alcoholic Ferment of Water, Malted Barley Extract and Ginger Extract, Lemon Juice from Concentrate (2.5%), Natural Flavouring, Stabiliser: Gum Acacia, Antioxidant: Ascorbic Acid

Warm ginger overtones combine with a sharp lemony kick to create a lovely traditional ginger beer.

If you’re in the mood for a glass of ginger beer I’d recommend any of these three. Although, of course, you can always make your own!

image credit:

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5 non-alcoholic drinks for the Festive Season



starting my chemotherapy treatment alcoholic drinks have been totally banned by the oncology doctor. Even alcohol in cough syrup!


I’ve been looking for something special and/or different to drink during the Christmas Festivities.

Belvoir Fruit Farms have three non-alcoholic wines. I’m going to try the Shiraz-without-a-hangover.

I love Fentimans Ginger Beer so I’m trying a bottle of their Rose Lemonade with my Christmas Dinner.

I’m going to make

Spiced Apple Fizz


Pineapple Coconut Fizz

from Sainsbury’s Tasty Christmas Mocktail Recipes.

There’s lots more recipes for mocktails on the Town and Country website. And even if the ingredients make most of the recipes too ambitious, the photos are lovely and could inspire some simpler adaptations I’m sure.

I like the look of mulled tea on the BBC Good Food website although I don’t happen to have any dried rose petals in the store cupboard. I’ve got the other ingredients so I’ll just omit the petals.

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You might also like Is drinking wine good for you?

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Have you tried hemp seed on your porridge?

three bears

I’ve been adding ground flaxseeds to my porridge for several weeks.

I’ve also been trying hemp seed hearts which add a lovely nutty flavour.

The hemp seed packaging offers persuasive health reasons for eating the contents. However, after reading 6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds I’m definitely keeping hemp seeds in my diet.

I bought my hemp seed hearts from Sainsbury’s but they’re produced by Good Hemp Food. The website for Good Hemp Food is packed with information and recipe ideas. The story of the business is very interesting and the recipe for  Christmas Pudding Volcanoes with Hemp Seed Ice-cream looks delicious.

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You might also like Who’s been eating my porridge?

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Red vs. green and how to celebrate National Eat a Red Apple Day.

red apples

Put a red apple in your lunch instead of a green one.

Is there a nutritional difference between red and green apples?

Science Student Brandon Lobo researched journals on fruits and the human body as part of his Biology course. In 10 Health Benefits of Green Apples he makes a strong case for the benefits of eating green apples particularly related to dietary fibre.

However the Healthfeed website doesn’t appear to find much difference between apple types determined by the colour of the skin.

Vicky Derosa of VWell Health is a gourmet cook whose eyesight was saved from blindness by healthy eating. Her view is that green apples have greater nutritional benefit than the red ones but more importantly whatever apples you eat should be organic to avoid the adverse effects of pesticides. She’s got a recipe for a Glorious Green Apple Smoothie which might tempt you.

Check out this amazing list of 20 unexpected ways to use apples from Melissa Breyer at

From recipes to beauty advice, decorations and household tips, it’s well worth spending a couple of minutes reading this fascinating article. I think I’m going to try the Apple Oatmeal Face Mask.

 Learn how to grow apples with this fascinating video:

Revisit your childhood and join Jan, Don and Laurie in a rendition of “Way Up High In An Apple Tree”:

Or go funky with The Apples mind-blowing performance of Do the Car Horn (live) and believe me it’s live!

While you’re eating your apple, red or green, get some extra brain food from these three apple quotes:

Martin Luther

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Che Guevara

“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

Carl Sagan

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

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You might also like If you can’t eat citrus fruits for your Vitamin C, try these instead.

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5 reasons to eat avocado


I can’t eat citrus fruits as they seem to exacerbate my muscositis and I’m eating more papaya, mango, canteloupe and kiwi fruit instead.

Although avocado are not big for Vitamin C (10mg per 100g) I’m eating them regularly too.

1. Minerals

Avocados contain a number of useful minerals such as iron, copper and potassium.

2. Vitamins

Avocados are a good source of Vitamin B and Vitamin E.

3. Fibre

Avocados have more soluble fibre than other fruit.

4. Carotenes

Avocados are a source of carotenes which help to keep the eyes healthy.

5. Cholesterol

The oils provided by an avocado include oleic acid and linoleic acid and are recommended as part of a balanced diet to prevent high cholesterol.

Avocados are high in calories due to their high fat content and anyone who’s weight-watching will want to keep consumption low. 

Read more about the health benefits of avocados here.

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You might also like 10 reasons to add ground flaxseeds to your daily porridge.

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10 reasons to add ground flaxseeds to your daily porridge.

There was a time when this blog could have been called The Daily Porridge Blog.

Who’s been eating my porridge?

More porridge!

Blueberries: a great porridge topper and good for you too!


But I haven’t had a porridge post for quite a while.

So here are 10 reasons to add ground flaxseeds to your porridge each day.

1. Flaxseeds Are Loaded With Nutrients.

2. Flaxseeds Are High in Omega-3 Fats.

3. Flaxseeds Are a Rich Source of Lignans.

4. Flaxseeds Are Rich in Dietary Fiber.

5. Flaxseeds May Improve Cholesterol.

6. Flaxseeds May Lower Blood Pressure.

7. They Contain High-Quality Protein.

8. Flaxseeds May Help Control Blood Sugar.

9. Flaxseeds Keep Hunger at Bay, Which May Aid Weight Control.

10. Flaxseeds Can Be a Versatile Ingredient.

Read more on this very informative and useful website.

I don’t know whether the above assertions are entirely true but they certainly match some of the claims on the packaging by the manufacturer’s of the Ground Flaxseeds I buy.

Prewett’s Ground Flaxseeds

Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseeds

But the authors of the above 10 reasons to add ground flaxseeds to your porridge each day have missed the best and most important reason.

They are marvellous for helping to manage constipation!

Yes the “C” word!

Not the one that rhymes with the surname of the Secretary of State for Health.

And not the euphemism for Cancer so prevalent a decade or so ago.


which according to the NHS website


one in every seven adults and up to one in every three children in the UK at any one time.

Well, I’ve found that a daily serving of ground flaxseeds is a great help and I can’t understand why the producers don’t make more of this helpful selling point!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

If you’ve followed all the links in today’s blogpost you probably don’t want to follow any more but you might like Enjoy these Victorian Dinners on Cabbage and Semolina Blog.

Have a good day! 🙂





What’s the most popular fruit in book titles?

Writing about my new top fruits started me thinking of books I’d read with fruit in the title.

I could only think of six:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov

Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Looks like Oranges and Peaches are the most popular fruits on my bookshelf.

What about yours?

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