Staying fit and looking beautiful is one of the top priorities today. However, a sedentary lifestyle combined with increased alcohol and junk food intake is making them gain unwanted pounds. Obesity not only looks unappealing, but can also lead to various health problems like heart diseases, hypertension, sleep apnea, stroke etc.
Losing excess pounds could be as easy as sitting back and drinking tea all day. Numerous scientific studies have concluded green tea drinkers lose weight faster than those who do not.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is one of the most widely consumed teas in the world. It is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. It has become the go-to beverage for many health conscious people. The tea has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. The unique set of chemicals present in green tea provides a host of health benefits. The health benefits of green tea arise from the fact that it undergoes minimal oxidation while it is made, making it extremely rich in antioxidants. It has 10 times more antioxidants than the amount found in fruits and vegetables.
Benefits of Green Tea:
The antioxidants in green tea make it much more beneficial than regular teas. Green tea contains around 22% of tea polyphenols. The polyphenols and flavonoids boost the immune system, making us healthy and strong. It helps to ward off infection by blocking cell receptors like histamine and immunologic, compound causing allergic reactions.
2. Beautiful skin:
The epigallocatechin present in green tea is 200 times more powerful than Vitamin E. The antioxidants present in green tea kill the free radicals found in the body, giving you a healthy and glowing skin. It acts as a natural anti-ageing ingredient, preventing wrinkles and blemishes. Green tea prevents cell oxidation and damage that makes one look older. Hence, drink green tea daily to get a smooth and younger looking skin.
3. Hair Health:
Green tea is also excellent for the hair health. It stimulates the growth of the hair and reduces hair fall. It makes the hair shiny, smooth and beautiful.
4. Alleviates Pain:
The epigallocatechin present in green tea helps to relieve pain and swelling of arthritis and osteoporosis fractures. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties prevent the loss the bone density. Doctors also recommend green tea as a remedy for treating arthritis.
5. Healthy Heart:
Studies have revealed that consuming 3 cups of green tea daily reduces the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by almost 16%. Excess consumption of salt prevents proper circulation of blood, which can cause hypertension and heart diseases. Caffeine in green tea reduces the amount of salt in the body and helps to eliminate the spare salt. It prevents the conversion of low-density lipoprotein into oxidized LDL, the most dangerous form of cholesterol. It also prevents high blood pressure by repressing angiotensin, a major cause of high blood pressure. Thus, regular consumption of green tea keeps the arteries healthy and unblocked, preventing heart attacks.
6. Prevents Cancer:
Epigallocatechin in green tea suppresses the growth of cancerous cells in the body, preventing lung, prostate, bladder and stomach cancer. Catechins present in green tea deactivate the carcinogen, reducing the formation of cancerous tumors. Drinking green tea before and after cancer surgery will prevent the risk of its re-occurrence.
Types of Green Tea:
Green tea, though packed with amazing health benefits is a not a winner when it comes to taste. Some varieties of green tea are quite strong and can have an unpleasant taste. Green tea is available in a variety of flavors and types. You need to decide between loose green tea and tea bags. While tea bags are more convenient to use, loose tea gives you a more authentic taste for a more pleasant experience. Some common green tea types include:
1. Flavored Green Tea:
Green and white teas are offered in a bevy of flavors. Purchase green tea that contains caffeine as caffeine-based tea provides maximum calorie burn. Green tea is available in flavors like mint, elaichi ginger and tulsi and lemon.
As the name indicates, this green tea resembles tiny gunpowder pellets. It is also known as “Pearl tea”. These little pearls unfurl when the water is added to them. Gunpowder green tea stays fresh for the longest time.
2. Hyson Green Tea:
Hyson green tea has a very strong and pungent taste. It has thick, greenish yellow leaves that are twisted into thin and long shapes.
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.
4. Agar Wood:
Agar wood has a typical green tea taste. Use whole leaves and not the tea made from the wood.
5. Pi Lo Chun:
Pi Lo Chun is a rare variety of green tea. It has little rolled back leaves that look like snails, giving the tea its name. Since this tea is grown in the orchards, it has flavors of plums, peaches and apricots embedded in the leaves.
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves. It turns bright green in color when water is added to it.
Sencha is a common variety of Japanese green tea. It tastes better than most of the green tea available in the market. The taste is savory and earthy. It has leaves that look like pine needles and has a smooth texture.
Hojicha is a green tea with large, unrolled leaves. It has a nutty taste unlike other green teas.
Green Tea for Weight Loss:
1. Reduces fat:
The sugar and fat, which we consume, are synthesized into triglyceride. This process of synthesis takes place in the liver and small intestine from where the triglyceride is transported to the other parts of the body. Triglyceride is very essential for the proper functioning of the body, but excess triglyceride gets transformed into fat, leading to obesity. The high levels of polyphenols in green tea activate protein kinase and triglyceride lipase that helps to dissolve excess triglyceride. Green tea also contains aromatic compounds, which dissolve fat and help the body to wipe out greasiness. In a study, people who consumed green tea for 3 months reduced the waist circumference by 4%.
2. Appetite suppressant:
Green tea is a natural appetite suppressant. It contains caffeine, which suppresses appetite, preventing overeating. Caffeine stimulates the secretion of stomach juices, aiding digestion and reducing fat. Unlike other weight loss supplements, green tea does not get completely absorbed by the body. This facilitates natural and safe weight loss. Thus, green tea is a very effective slimming tea.
3. Boosts metabolism:
The high amounts of antioxidants in green tea benefit the body in several ways. Epigallocatechin, a potent antioxidant in green tea stimulates the body’s metabolism, speeding the weight loss process. Along with the caffeine, epigallocatechin stimulates the central nervous system and releases fat into the blood stream, so that it can be used as fuel. This process is known as thermogenesis. Green tea accelerates metabolism by 4%, which amounts to 100 calories a day. Caffeine alone can cause thermogenesis in the body, but is much more effective when combined with epigallocatechin.
4. Improves exercise endurance:
Exercising is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. It burns calories and enhances 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 enables us to exercise for a longer period, thereby burning more calories.
5. Glucose absorption:
Green tea can also help to lose weight by inhibiting the movement of glucose in the fat cells. This prevents any sharp increase in the insulin level, promoting fat burning.
6. Burns more calories:
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.
Green tea is a natural stress buster. Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea provides a tranquilizing and relaxing effect on the nerves. This enables a sound sleep, which thwarts the possibility of late night eating. It also provides the body with more energy.
Habit of Drinking Tea:
Create a good tea drinking habit. In order to reap maximum benefits, you need to drink green tea every day, and as often as possible.
- Keep bags of green tea and a mug in your office desk. Medical experts believe than certain teas should be consumed at different times of the day to reap maximum results.
- Cream, sugar and milk should not be added to the tea. You can never lose weight if you add these ingredients to your green tea. The addition of milk neutralizes the fat burning ability of the tea.
- Start your day with a cup of freshly brewed green tea instead of your regular milk tea and coffee.
- Green tea is usually taken in the form of ice tea during summers. Sugary drink and soda have the opposite effect on the weight loss. The sodium present in diet soda can lead to water retention, so opt for a sugar free iced tea. Ice tea boosts the stamina and gives you the same effect without the addition of sugar. You can add cinnamon, ginger, cloves or mint to enhance the taste.
- Have a cup of warm green tea to satisfy your evening cravings. The glucose-lowering effect in green tea controls cravings and hunger. Add a dash of honey and lime juice to make it more palatable.
- Drinking a glass of cold green tea before dinner occupies a small space in the stomach, making you less hungry and preventing overeating. Cold tea needs to be heated up by the body in order to be metabolized, which expends extra calories, leading to weight loss.
- Have a cup of green tea before going to the bed. It not just induces weight loss, but also helps to relax the body and brain, promoting peaceful sleep. In addition, a good night’s sleep contributes to weight loss. Do not drink herbal tea close to bedtime, lest you will end up making incessant trips to the bathroom.
- Balance you tea habits with your healthy diet. While drinking tea is an excellent idea, you will get better and faster results if you combine it with a healthy diet. Tea goes well with whole grain, vegetables and low fat dairy products.
- Drink green tea after an hour of a meal. Green tea contains plenty of tannic acid, which combined with iron in the body produces an insoluble substance that hinders the absorption of iron. Drinking tea immediately after meal for a long time can cause anemia. Wait for an hour or more to consume green tea.
How to Drink Green Tea for Weight Loss?
Drink around three to four cups of green tea every day to lose weight. People often opt for green tea pills instead of tea, but pill contains added sugar and other appetite suppressing ingredients like hoodia and caffeine in large doses. Suppressing your appetite for a long time will take off the extra weight, but will come back once you stop consuming the pills. Green tea on the other hand, tastes great and can be consumed on a long-term basis. Consume a lot of water along with green tea to keep yourself hydrated. Green tea is best consumed within 30 to 60 minutes of preparation. The sooner, the better.
- Water Temperature:
The water temperature is very important to bring out the best quality of the green tea. Green tea is a less robust than black tea and requires less brewing time and lower water temperature to extract its full flavor. In addition, hot water will make the tea too bitter and the aroma will be lost. If the water is cold, then the full flavor of the leaves will not be extracted.
The packaged green tea comes with specific brewing instruction, but in general, it requires 180 to 190 degrees F to ensure that the sweet flavor of the tea is not overpowered by the bitter flavor. Green tea picked in the spring will benefit the most from the low temperature of the water due to the high levels of amino acids present in it.
- Steeping Time:
Green tea does not require much time to prepare. Japanese green tea tastes best when steeped for 2 minutes, while Chinese green tea prefers 3 to 5 minutes of steeping time. This is because the small leaves of Japanese teas extract faster than the larger leaves of Chinese tea. Steeping time should also be balanced with water temperature.
The lower the temperature, the longer the steeping time will be. For gunpowder green tea, steeping time of less than a minute is appropriate. You can reuse gunpowder leaves several times by steeping slightly longer each time, but you will not get more than three brews from the leaves. Allow the leaves to rest for a few minutes after the second brew. Always time the brewing of the tea rather than relying on the color changes. Some green tea turns dark quickly while some stay lighter in color.
How to Brew Green Tea?
Freshly brewed green tea contains more nutrients as compared to the instant ones, which do not contain catechins. Keep a separate teapot for preparing green tea. This will prevent cross flavoring from black or other teas. If you do not have a separate teapot for your green tea, then make sure you wash the teapot well before preparing the tea.
Green tea should be brewed only in ceramic, stainless steel, china, clay, glass teapots. Do not use plastic or aluminum teapot for preparing green tea. The pot should be large enough for the leaves to fully expand and steep in water. The cup of drinking green tea should be smaller so that you can sip the tea quickly before it cools down. You need to use 1 teaspoon of tea for every 8 ounces of water.
Brewing Loose Green Tea:
To brew loose green tea, preheat the teapot by adding boiled water. Empty the heating water from the pot to the serving cups. Add 1 tablespoon of green tea leaves to the pot and then pour the water from the cups to the teapot. Let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. The longer the tea is left, the stronger will be the taste. Use a strainer to pour the tea into the cups and enjoy. This is how to make green tea for weight loss and other benefits!
- Tea Bag:
Pour boiled water into a mug. The water should be first boiled, i.e. the water should not be allowed to simmer. Leave the green tea bag in the cup of boiled water and allow the tea to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bag or leave it in the mug until you finish drinking the tea. You can also add honey to enhance the taste.
- The Tea Ball Method:
The tea ball method can also be used to brew green tea. Add the loose tea leave to a tea ball. The water should be allowed to sit for a few minutes at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop the tea ball into a mug of boiled water. Put a lid over the mug and leave the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea and enjoy the drink.
Storage of Green Tea:
Loose green tea is widely available and is a perishable product, so purchase only from a reputed seller. Green tea, when sealed has a shelf life of about 6 months. Once opened, you need to consume it within 2 to 3 months. Store loose green tea in an airtight, dark container to avoid the evaporation of aromatic oils. Air can also oxidize and deteriorate the tea easily. Metal or tin container is best for storing teas as it prevents moisture, anti-oxidation and odor. Green tea should be stored at room temperature, but you can also keep it in the refrigerator for long-term usage. Use plastic or aluminum foil bag for storing the green tea leaves. Push the air out of the bag as much as possible after putting the tea in it. Purchase small amounts of green tea only.
Be Careful With Diet Tea:
While diet and slimming tea taste similar to green and black tea, they contain high amount of laxative. Laxatives just clear the colon. They do not flush away the fat. You may lose a little bit of water, but the moment you stop consuming the diet tea, it will come back. Tea containing aloe, senna, agar wood, rhubarb root and castor oil should be consumed in moderation. Doctors have warned that drinking high amounts of slimming tea can cause nausea, vomiting, persistent abdominal cramps and dehydration.
Read the ingredients label carefully before purchasing. If the tea contains added sugar and sweeteners, then do not purchase it. An all-natural ingredients tea is better for your waist and weight.
- Do not drink green tea for taking medicines. The caffeine present in tea is not suitable for blood pressure, hypnotic and anti-depressant medicine. Besides, polyphenols in green tea can react with medicines, producing sedimentation, affecting the efficacy of it.
- Do not drink green tea if you are feeling hungry. Drinking green tea in hunger can dilute the acid in the empty stomach, restraining the stomach juice secretion.
- Do not consume too much of green tea as it can have a negative impact on sleep.
This method of green tea for weight loss is not instant and may take some time to show positive results. Drinking green tea alone cannot help you to reduce weight. Moderate workout along with healthy eating will help you shed weight more quickly.