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10 Outstanding Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

What is Earl Grey tea? Earl Grey tea is a tea that is infused with bergamot. To produce Earl Grey tea, the rind of bergamot orange is usually cold pressed to produce bergamot oil extract. This fragrant oil is then added to the tea leaves. Another method of producing Earl Grey tea is to dry the rind of bergamot orange and then add it to the tea leaves.

Black tea leaves are usually used for Earl Grey, but sometimes, green tea leaves or oolong tea leaves are also used. The resulting floral and citrus flavors make Earl Grey tea a delight to drink in the morning and at night. Read below to discover 10 outstanding health benefits of Earl Grey tea.

History of Earl Grey Tea

History of Earl Grey TeaEarl Grey tea is associated with royalty and is a staple at high profile events such as meetings between heads of state. Named after Earl Charles Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s, Earl Grey tea is a blend of exquisite Chinese teas. There are many stories surrounding the origin of this flavored tea.

One of the most popular stories comes from the archives of the Grey family itself. It is believed that the tea was blended by a Chinese envoy for Lord Grey using a fruit called bergamot to counterbalance the taste of lime in the local water. The beverage became so popular that he was asked if the tea could be sold on the market and that’s probably how Earl Grey tea came into being.

Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea

1. Prevention of Heart Disease

One of the most outstanding health benefits of Earl Grey tea is heart health. Drinking three cups of Earl Grey daily may help reduce your risk for heart disease. A 2012 study published in Preventative Medicine found that individuals who drank three cups of black tea daily significantly lowered their blood triglyceride levels and increased their HDL (good cholesterol) after three months. Participants also had increased levels of antioxidants that help fight free radicals and their damaging effects.

2. Boosts Energy

Earl Grey tea can help boost energyEarl Grey made with a black tea base contains moderate amounts of caffeine. The energy boost that it provides is more subtle and stable compared to coffee. Additionally, the caffeine content is low enough that it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar, nor make you feel jittery.

3. Enhances Digestion

This type of tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate gastric problems such as constipation and bloating. It also soothes stomach muscles and reduces cramps. Furthermore, it minimizes nausea when consumed before boarding a plane or boat.

4. Detoxification

Do you want to detoxify your body? Then, Earl Grey tea is for you. This tea has antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals. These free radicals cause everything from premature aging to cancer. They result from an unhealthy diet, smoking, and pollution. Earl Grey tea helps detoxify the body of these free radicals.

5. Good for Oral Health

Tea contains high levels of catechins, an antioxidant which fights oral infections. Another component of Earl Grey tea is naturally occurring fluoride. Fluoride is good for dental health because it helps protect teeth from cavities. So if you’re water supply doesn’t contain enough of it, drinking Earl Grey tea is another way to get your daily dose of fluoride.

6. Cancer Prevention

Like most teas, Earl Grey contains high amounts of antioxidants which help your body to fight off free radicals that may cause cancer. Drinking this tasty beverage may reduce your chance of developing such diseases.

7. Boosts the Immune System

IEarl Grey tea can help boost the immune systemt’s no secret that citrus fruits help fight off colds and flu. Bergamot orange is no different. That is why Earl Grey is popular in the United States and Europe during winter months when colds are rampant. It helps boost the immune system, thanks to the presence of vitamin C.

8. Fights Anxiety and Depression

The bergamot in Earl Grey tea has a calming effect and can boost a person’s mood. This is due to its natural aromatherapy qualities. As such, Earl Grey is a good option for people suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.

9. Weight Loss

One of the most popular uses of Earl Grey tea is for weight loss. While there’s no alternative to regular exercise and a healthy diet to shed those extra pounds, drinking Earl Grey tea improves metabolism and can help you lose weight more quickly. The citrus extract in the tea is believed to increase energy consumption and regulate metabolic processes that both contribute to weight loss.

10. Keeps You Hydrated

Unlike the dehydrating properties of coffee, Earl Grey tea can help keep you hydrated as well as maintain your body’s fluid balance, thanks to its high potassium content. It is also a great alternative to plain drinking water. Its citrusy and malty flavors can also satisfy people with a sweet tooth.

Tips for Brewing Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey teas vary widely, so you may have to adjust temperatures and steeping times accordingly to achieve the best flavor. But in general, you can follow these tips to brew the perfect Earl Grey tea.

Use High-Quality Water

Use pure spring or filtered water in brewing Earl Grey tea. Spring water usually delivers the best taste results. If possible, avoid using distilled or tap water as herbs and tea don’t develop flavors well in these mediums.

Brew at the Right Temperature

For Earl Grey teas with a black tea base, you should brew at higher temperatures. As a rule of thumb, brew at 200 to 212 degrees F. On the other hand, for Earl green teas, brew between 150 and 180 degrees F.

The best way to control the temperature is to use a tea kettle with a built in thermometer. If you don’t have one, use the bubbles to gauge the temperature. Water simmers at around 190 degrees F and boils at 212 degrees F. If you’re going to use Earl Grey black tea, brew with water before it reaches a rolling boil. For Earl green tea, remove the water from the heat when tiny bubbles start forming on the bottom of the pan.

Use the Right Amount of Tea

You can skip this tip if you are brewing with tea bags. Otherwise, use about two grams of loose leaf tea for every eight ounces of water. Add a little extra or a little less to tweak the flavor.

Steeping Techniques

To enhance the flavor of your Earl Grey tea, use a lid to keep the heat in your cup. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavors will be. Keep in mind that teas that are brewed too long develop bitter flavors. Steep Earl Grey tea for 2 – 4 minutes. After two minutes, taste every 30 seconds to achieve the best flavor.

Flavoring

You can enjoy Earl Grey tea as is or with the addition of honey, and/or lemon. If it’s your first time to taste this type of tea, try it without additives. It’s the best way to enjoy its nuanced flavor profile. But if you want, you can add honey or lemon to Earl Grey tea to suit your taste.

Conclusion

The health benefits of Earl Grey tea range from improved heart health to improved digestive health. Classic Earl Grey features lemony and malty notes. These contrasting, yet delightful flavors make this tea a distinctive beverage that is beloved by many.

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10 Ways to Boost Your Energy

When you always feel tired, you may find it harder to concentrate on tasks, your level of frustration may rise, and you may not be as productive as you used to be. Sometimes the cause of persistent fatigue is obvious; other times, not so. Being energetic is important, especially if you have a busy schedule. Do you want to get out of your lethargic state and transform into a more active individual? Read this article to discover 10 ways to boost your energy.

Ways to Boost Your Energy

1. Get More Sleep

SleepIt is estimated that 20 to 30% of the general population experience poor sleep, thus missing out on vital rest time. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired, grumpy, and lethargic. If you often feel this way, you may not be getting enough sleep.

Most people need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. That said, sleep requirements vary from person to person; some require a little more, while others need a little less.

If you don’t get as much sleep as you need to, try winding down with relaxing behaviors before bed such as taking a bath, reading a book, or getting into bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Also, try to avoid using your phone around bedtime. It has been linked to poor sleep quality and increased sleepiness throughout the day.

2. Reduce Stress

High levels of stress can make a person feel tired and drained. When you’re stressed, you’ll find it hard to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, or have difficulty switching off. This can take a toll on both your physical and mental health.

In some cases, it may not be possible to completely remove the sources of stress from your life. However, if you are able to minimize lifestyle-related stress, it could increase your energy levels. Some of the things you can do to reduce stress include going for a walk and trying mindfulness or meditation techniques.

3. Exercise

ExerciseOne of the best ways to boost your energy is to move more. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Exercise is a natural energy booster. Whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges to your muscles, brain, and heart. Squeezing a workout into your day will help keep your energy levels at their peak. So move around every chance you get. For example, you could go for a walk on your lunch break or walk to and from your place of work.

4. Avoid Smoking

Smoking is harmful to your health. The smoke from cigarettes increases the risk of various health conditions such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. The tar and toxins in the smoke reduce the efficiency of the lungs. Over time, this can reduce the amount of oxygen transported throughout the body, making you feel tired.

If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do to boost your energy levels and improve health is to quit smoking. If you’re finding it hard to quit, reach out to a doctor who can help you get the support services that you need.

5. Limit Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is another habit that can make you feel tired. Alcohol acts as a sedative and makes a person feel drowsy. Some people believe that drinking an alcoholic drink at night can help them sleep more soundly. However, drinking alcohol before going to bed can interfere with the quality of sleep. It could make you feel more tired than you otherwise would.

Furthermore, alcohol acts as a diuretic. If you drink it before bed, it can make you wake up at night to urinate, disturbing your sleep. If you want to consume alcoholic beverages, be sure to drink within recommended limits, and if possible, avoid drinking alcohol close to your bedtime.

In the United States, the recommended alcohol guidelines are: maximum of one drink/day for women and two/day for men. A standard drink equals to one beer (12 oz) or a glass of wine (5 oz). But keep in mind that this is the maximum recommendation. When it comes to your health, it is advised to limit alcohol as much as possible.

6. Eat a Nutritious Diet

Fruits and VegetablesIf you always feel tired, sluggish, and low in energy, it might be a good idea to analyze your eating habits. Good dietary habits lower your risk of developing chronic diseases and can also boost your energy levels.

Your body needs fuel to keep going. Eating nutritious foods will provide your body with most of the nutrients it needs to function at its best. On the contrary, if you are eating mostly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat, you will realize that they affect not only your energy levels, but also your health.

If you have an erratic meal pattern or regularly skip meals, you may be missing out on essential nutrients, making you feel tired. One study reported that students who skipped breakfast or had an irregular eating pattern were much more likely to experience fatigue.

7. Avoid Added Sugar

When you feel tired, you might crave for a sweet, sugar-filled snack. Although sugar can give you a short term energy boost, it tends to wear off quickly. This is because high-sugar foods cause blood sugar to rise quickly. This prompts the body to release large amounts of insulin to bring the blood sugar level back down.

It’s believed that this rise and fall in blood sugar causes a rush of energy followed by a slump. Consuming large amounts of added sugar can also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

8. Stay Hydrated

Glass of WaterThe body is made of 55 to 75% water. Throughout the day, you’ll lose water via sweat and urine. In order to stay hydrated, one has to drink enough water. If not, dehydration may affect brain function, mood, and energy levels. Remember that if you sweat a lot due to physical activity or hot weather, you may need a little more water.

9. Be Social

Social connections are also important for maintaining good health. To prove this point, one of the common factors in areas of the world where there are unusually low rates of disease and high number of centenarians (people over 100 years old) is a strong social support network.

Social isolation can cause sad mood and tiredness, especially as one gets older. If you feel tired or in low spirits most of the time, it can be helpful to socialize with friends, join a club, or start a new hobby that involves social activities. Socializing virtually via video conferencing or phone can be just as beneficial as socializing in person.

10. Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Eating a balanced diet can help ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. But if you still always feel tired, you could have a magnesium deficiency. This mineral is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy. When magnesium levels are low, energy can drop.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 310-320 mg for adult women, and 400-420 mg for adult men. To make sure you’re getting enough, include almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, and whole grains (particularly bran cereal) in your daily diet.

Conclusion

Many people feel tired and lack energy to perform daily tasks. Stress and unhealthy lifestyle habits contribute to the problem. Hopefully, these 10 ways to boost your energy can help you transform yourself from lethargic to energetic.

Do you want a great exercise and nutrition program you can follow from the comfort of your home? Sign up to FITin56 now!

9 Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is a sweet, refreshing, and low-calorie fruit. It contains essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae (also called cucurbits or gourd) family, along with cantaloupe, honeydew, and cucumber. There are five types of watermelon — seeded, seedless, mini, yellow, and orange. In this article, we will discuss nine health benefits of watermelon.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

1. Contains Nutrients and Beneficial Plant Compounds

Nutrition Profile of WatermelonOne cup of watermelon (154 grams) contains many nutrients, including these vitamins and minerals:

• Vitamin C: 21% of RDI
• Vitamin A: 18% of RDI
• Potassium: 5% of RDI
• Magnesium: 4% of RDI
• Vitamins B1, B5, and B6: 3% of RDI

RDI = Reference Daily Intake

Watermelon is also rich in carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene. It also has citrulline, an important amino acid that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to fruits, watermelon is one of the lowest in calories. One cup of watermelon only contains 46 calories. That’s lower when compared to other low-sugar fruits such as berries.

2. Helps You Hydrate

Drinking water is the best way to keep the body hydrated. That said, eating foods with a high water content can also serve the same purpose. Did you know that watermelon is 92% water?

Eating fruits and vegetables with high water content can help you feel full. Also, the combination of water and fiber means you are eating a good volume of food without so much calories.

3. May Improve Heart Health

Watermelon Is Good for the HeartLifestyle factors, including diet, may reduce the risk of heart attack by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Some nutrients in watermelon are beneficial for heart health. For example, studies suggest that lycopene may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies in obese, post-menopausal women and Finnish men show that lycopene may also reduce the thickness and stiffness of artery walls.

Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid which can increase nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide helps blood vessels expand, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Other vitamins and minerals in watermelon, including vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium, and potassium, are also good for the heart.

4. Can Improve Digestion

Watermelon has lots of water and a small amount of fiber, which are both important for healthy digestion. Eating water-rich and fiber-rich foods such as watermelon can be helpful for promoting normal bowel movements. Fiber provides bulk for the stool, while water helps keep the digestive tract moving efficiently.

5. Good for Skin and Hair

Beautiful Hair and SkinTwo vitamins in watermelon – vitamin A and C – are important for skin and hair health. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin because it helps create and repair skin cells. If your body doesn’t have enough vitamin A, your skin may look dry and flaky. Meanwhile, vitamin C helps the body make collagen, a protein that keeps the skin supple and the hair strong.

In addition, the lycopene and beta-carotene in watermelon may also help protect the skin from sunburn.

6. Contains Compounds That May Help Prevent Cancer

Researchers have studied lycopene and other plant compounds in watermelon for their anti-cancer effects. Although lycopene is associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, study results are mixed. The strongest link so far is between lycopene and cancers of the digestive system.

It appears to reduce the risk of cancer by lowering insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which is a protein involved in cell division. High IGF levels are linked to cancer. Also, cucurbitacin E has been studied for its ability to inhibit tumor growth.

7. May Lower Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

Inflammation is a key driver of several chronic diseases. Watermelon can help reduce oxidative damage and inflammation as it is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants such as lycopene and vitamin C.

In one study, lab rats were given watermelon powder to supplement their diet. Compared to the control group, the subjects developed less oxidative stress and lower levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein.

In another study, humans were given lycopene rich tomato juice with added vitamin C. Antioxidant levels went up while markers of inflammation went down. Watermelon contains both lycopene and vitamin C.

Lycopene may also be beneficial to brain health. It can help delay the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. May Help Prevent Macular Degeneration

Lycopene is found in different parts of the eye, helping protect against inflammation and oxidative damage. It can also prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is an eye problem which can cause blindness in older adults. Lycopene’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent AMD from developing and getting worse.

9. May Help Relieve Muscle Soreness

An amino acid found in watermelon, citrulline, may reduce muscle soreness. It is also available as a supplement. Watermelon juice can enhance the absorption of citrulline.

One study involved giving athletes plain watermelon juice, watermelon juice mixed with citrulline, or a citrulline drink. The watermelon drinks resulted in less muscle soreness and quicker heart rate recovery, when compared to citrulline on its own.

Researchers also studied the absorption of citrulline. The findings suggest that citrulline absorption is most effective when it is consumed as a component of watermelon juice.

Tips for Buying and Serving Watermelon

Buying Watermelon

When buying watermelon, look for one that’s firm, heavy, and symmetrical. It also should have no soft spots or bruising. Tapping the outside can provide a clue to the texture of the fruit inside. Listen for a light and hollow-sounding thud. This indicates that the fruit is intact and has a stable structure.

How to Serve Watermelon

How to Serve WatermelonJuice – Place diced watermelon and ice cubes in a blender for a cold and refreshing drink that’s perfect for rehydrating.

Salad – Add watermelon, mint, and mozzarella to spinach leaves for a tasty and healthy salad. Drizzle with balsamic dressing.

Smoothies – Make a watermelon smoothie or mix with orange juice for extra tang. Juicing breaks down fiber, making sugar easier to absorb. Those with diabetes should consider eating fresh watermelon rather than drinking juice.

Conclusion

Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that’s good for you. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and contains several healthy plant compounds. After knowing the health benefits of watermelon, consider adding this fruit to your diet.

Do you want to know more on how to be fit and healthy? Sign up to FITin56 now!

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FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

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