Because no single way of eating works for everybody.
See, this is a prime example of what I mean.
Green tea. Suddenly, when we least expect it, green tea becomes the magic cure-all for everything from cancer to obesity, from heart disease to dementia. Green tea, the real, single reason why East Asian people are healthier than Westerners. Green tea, the ultimate answer – the Perfect, Health-Giving SuperThing!
But so many other foods have been the Perfect, Health-Giving SuperThing, according to media in the past, that the green tea claims have a credibility problem for me. It’s not the tea I’m fed up with – I love tea. I’m annoyed because whenever a study indicates that a food may be good for us, we’re bombarded with hysterical reports about how that food is the Perfect, Health-Giving SuperThing.
It drives me nuts. Remember oat bran? Remember wheatgrass juice? Remember pomegranates and acai berries and prebiotics and blue-green algae? Oh, and yogurt – there was a time when yogurt would cure all ills. And yes, all of these foods are beneficial in some way. But none of them is going to cure all your medical problems and make you slim and happy. None of them is the Perfect, Health-Giving SuperThing.
This WebMD article is much more balanced about green tea. It states that, though most of green tea’s apparent health benefits have been seen in a lab, rather than in extensive human trials, it does appear that green tea is probably good for you, in several ways.
The green tea quote that sticks in my mind is this one, from Diane McKay, PhD, who studies antioxidants at Tufts University: “I don’t think it can hurt to drink it. I’d focus on dietary sources rather than supplements because there are several compounds in green tea that might need to be consumed together. We just don’t know yet.”
So, have some green tea, and maybe a pomegranate, and enjoy their flavour and nutrition. And keep on experimenting, and finding the foods that work best for you. 🙂
(Oh, and the tea snob in me insists that I mention this: to make the best green tea that isn’t bitter, use water that’s come off the boil – not fully-boiling water as you would for black tea. Enjoy!)