During 2011, I spent a lot more time than I usually do reading and researching nutrition. Why? Because this year, in particular, it seemed like the more I read about it, the more confused I became. I’ve always been interested in wellness, so I do enjoy the topic. However, just when I think I’m onto the “right answer,” doing something positive for my health, some new piece of information comes along that tears it all down.
Whether the information comes from health journals, published studies, books, magazines, blogs / health websites, TV, podcasts, newspapers, or movies, it feels like we are constantly bombarded with conflicting health and nutrition data these days. For example, for years we have heard that soy products are healthy, great sources of protein, and full of antioxidants, but now we’re hearing just the opposite. For the longest time, we were told that saturated fat causes heart disease and other lifestyle-related problems, but now many fats, including palm and coconut oils, are being lauded for their health benefits. Eggs and especially egg yolks were demonized for years as being too high in cholesterol to enjoy, but the latest buzz is that the nutrient-rich yolk has many benefits, including lowering your LDL cholesterol. Agave was supposed to be good for you, but now word is getting out that most of what we get is highly processed and not at all good for you (a well-written article on the subject can be found here). The icing on the cake? I just saw an article entitled “Seven Foods Experts Won’t Eat” and lost my appetite.
But hey, I’m still thirsty. What about tea? I’m grateful that I’m not hearing a lot of negative, conflicting information about tea! Whether or not all the purported health benefits are true, I love the fact that, if made properly with quality leaves, tea tastes delicious without sugar, artificial flavors, or other additives, so there is no need to worry about which sweetener or milk is best for health. I know it makes me feel vibrant and happy without the free gift of a crash or hangover. I know it has substances in it that are good for me: vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, and even a little caffeine to nudge me along when I need it. And, it quenches my thirst. That’s really all I need, and as health and nutrition fads and news change all around me, tea seems to be about the only thing I can count on as being good for me. I won’t give up trying to learn all I can about health and nutrition, but I’m most thankful that I don’t have to give a second thought to what’s in my cup all day. I’ll drink to that!