You may have heard that Green tea might be the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is loaded with an excellent source of antioxidants and nutrients that can greatly benefit your body. According to recent media interest, it seems losing those excess pounds could be as easy as sitting back and drinking tea all day. However, there is a catch, drinking only green tea will not give you instant weight loss but will help you lose weight in many beneficial ways. Numerous scientific studies have determined that green tea drinkers lose weight faster than those who do not.
According to an article published in the “Journal for Nurse Practitioners” in 2010, Green tea can help aid in weight-loss efforts by reducing your appetite and boost metabolism. The health benefits of green tea came from the fact that it goes though minimal oxidation while it is made, making it extremely rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants contained in green tea make it much more beneficial than drinking regular teas, as it consists of around 22% of tea polyphenols.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is more than just any green liquid. It is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which work as powerful antioxidants. Green tea contains B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine and other antioxidants, particularly catechins. Green tea contains 10 times more antioxidants than the amount found in fruits and vegetables.
Another compound found in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea, has such powerful medicinal properties. Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression. Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride.
Types of Green Tea
Although Green tea is rich with amazing health benefits, it is a not a winner when it comes to taste. Some types of green tea are quite strong than the others and can have an undesirable taste. Green tea is available in a variety of flavors and types. Many choices will lead you to decide between loose green tea and tea bags. While tea bags are more of a convenience to use, drinking loose tea gives you a more authentic taste for a more satisfying experience.
Some common green tea types include:
Flavored Green Tea
Green and white teas are offered in many mixtures of flavor. Try to purchase green tea that contains caffeine as caffeine-based tea provides the maximum calorie burn. Green tea is available in flavors like raspberry, mint, elaichi, ginger, tulsi and lemon.
Matcha is powdered form of green tea leaves. It turns bright green in color when water is added to it.
Sencha is a common class of Japanese green tea. The taste is better than most of the green teas available in the market. Its taste is very savory and earthy, and has leaves that look like pine needles but with a smooth texture.
Agar wood has a typical taste of green tea. Make sure to use whole leaves and not the tea made from the wood.
Hyson Green Tea
Hyson green tea has a very strong and bitter taste. It has thick, greenish yellow leaves that are twisted into thin and long shapes.
Pi Lo Chun
Pi Lo Chun is a rare type of green tea. It has little rolled back leaves that look like snails. Since this tea is grown in the orchards, it has flavors of plums, peaches and apricots embedded in the leaves.
This green tea resembles tiny gunpowder pellets. It is also known as “Pearl tea”. These little pearls spread out when the water is added to them. Gunpowder green tea also stays fresh for the longest period of time.
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Hojicha is a type of green tea with large, unrolled leaves. It has a nutty taste unlike other green teas.
Dragonwell green tea is very popular in China. It has a mellow taste and is light green in color. The leaves reveal a tiny bud when the water is added to it.
How You can Benefit from Green Tea for Weight Loss
Boost Metabolism and Energy Levels
The high amounts of antioxidants contained in green tea benefit the body in several ways. Epigallocatechin, which is a powerful antioxidant contained in green tea, stimulates the body’s metabolism, speeding up the weight loss process. Along with the caffeine, epigallocatechin stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and releases fat into the blood stream, so it can be processed and be used as fuel. This process is known as thermogenesis. Green tea stimulates the metabolism by 4%, which can amount to 100 calories a day.
Using caffeine alone can cause thermogenesis in the body, but is much more effective when combined with epigallocatechin.
Burns More Calories
Drinking tea with meals may have another fat-fighting effect. Tea extract may interfere with the body’s absorption of carbohydrate when consumed in the same meal, according to a study published in the September 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The benefits of green tea for weight loss stem from the amount of calories it burns at a go. It also reduces weight by ridding the body of excess fluids.
Having a zero-calorie cup of tea instead of a beverage with calories (like a soda) will certainly reduce the number of calories you take in.
“Even older studies have suggested that 250 milligrams of caffeine consumed with a meal can increase the calories spent metabolizing the meal by 10%,” says Jamie Pope, MS, RD, LDN, a nutrition lecturer at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.
Green tea is a natural appetite suppressant, as it contains caffeine. This helps curb your appetite, and prevent overeating. Caffeine stimulates the excretion of stomach juices, which helps to aid in digestion and reduce fat. Green tea does not get completely absorbed by the body, which aids in natural and safe weight loss. Hence, green tea is a very effective slimming tea.
Sufficient Doses of Polyphenols
These plant compounds are antioxidants, which mean they protect cells from damage. They also may also increase your metabolism. The polyphenols and flavonoids boost the immune system, making our bodies healthy and strong. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking about 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily to get a sufficient dose of its health-promoting active ingredients.
Green tea contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine as per 8 ounces. The above limit intake for healthy adults to avoid the harmful effects of caffeine is about 300 to 400 milligrams daily. The caffeine found in green tea is partially responsible for its weight loss effects. Caffeine does have side effects, as too much of it can cause toxicity.
Avoiding Caffeine Toxicity
A Journal for Nurse Practitioners article has warned of the potential for people to abuse certain supplements that contain caffeine and other related stimulants. Limits may be different if you have a health condition, so it’s important to speak with your doctor prior to dieting. Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should have no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day.
Do not consume more than 12 to 16 (8-ounce cups) of green tea a day. One teabag counts as a one cup serving of tea.
Try Decaf Green Tea
If you’re sensitive to caffeine or simply cannot have it, you may be considering switching to decaf green tea. Harvard Health Publications reports that decaf varieties contain less of the health-promoting polyphenols responsible for green tea’s benefits.
Improves Exercise Endurance
We all know exercising is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, because it burns calories and increases energy levels in the body. The catechins present in green tea stimulate the muscle and liver cells to store fatty acids. As a result, the body uses carbohydrates at a slower rate, which allows us to exercise for a longer period, through burning more calories.
Tips for Drinking Green Tea
#Start your day with a cup of freshly brewed green tea, instead of your regular milk tea and coffee.
#Drink green tea after an hour of every meal. Green tea contains plenty of tannic acid, which combined with iron in the body produces an insoluble substance that slows down the absorption of iron. Drinking tea immediately after meal for a long time can cause a high risk in developing anemia. Always wait for an hour or more before consuming green tea.
#Have a cup of warm green tea to satisfy your late night cravings. The glucose-lowering effect in green tea controls cravings and hunger. You can also add a dash of honey and lime juice to make it more enjoyable.
#Balance your tea habit with a healthy diet. While drinking tea is an excellent habit, you will gain better and faster results if you combine it with a healthy diet. Green tea goes very well with whole grain, vegetables and low fat dairy products.
Have you had your cup of Green Tea today?