Avoiding lactose intolerance

Cows' milk is used to make the dairy products we know and love: butter, cream, ice cream, chocolate, custard, flavoured milk, frozen desserts, buttermilk, yoghurt, cheese, and the myriad of processed milks created to satisfy our desire for low-fat, high calcium, lactose-free or long-life convenience. When we talk about 'milk', we usually mean cows' milk, …

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Juices, smoothies and shakes

Juices, smoothies and shakes are very popular, and most of us have a favourite concoction. They're convenient, tasty and available everywhere these days. But why are we drinking them? Are they good for us? Many of these drinks contain unnaturally high concentrations of nutrients; their ingestion can upset stomachs and send blood-sugar through the roof. …

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Coffee or tea?

Tea and coffee are popular for their caffeine hit as a morning pick-me-up and for many other reasons. One cup of tea contains about 40mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of coffee can have a whopping 60-100mg per cup, or even higher! Coffee’s caffeine content depends on the bean variety, how it’s roasted (lighter roasts …

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Chai tea: What’s in a name?

Across Asia, chai simply means ‘tea’. But in Western countries chai describes a black tea flavoured with a combination of aromatic spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, black pepper and vanilla. In villages of the Indian sub-continent, this fragrant concoction is a rich milky-sweet infusion made by boiling full-cream milk with black tea leaves …

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Shining a light on black tea

Scientists agree that tea-drinking can have positive health effects, but the 'mechanism of action' remains a mystery. Why is tea so good for us? Laboratory studies suggest a possible protective role against cardiovascular diseases (CVD) due to a reduction in platelet aggregation (blood thinning/anti-clotting) and a lowering of cholesterol. We don't know if the same …

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Teas and tisanes

Herbal 'teas' are not teas at all; they are tisanes - hot water infusions made with some type of organic matter other than the tea plant. The most recognisable tisanes are peppermint, camomile, licorice and rose hip, but many other herbs and spices are popular in certain cultures. Before the advent of modern medicine, tisanes …

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