Tea is considered as one of the healthiest beverage options. Although black tea is the most popular and accounts for over 84 percent of total tea consumed, recently green tea is gaining popularity for its huge host of health benefits. The most widely discussed health benefit of green tea is in promoting weight loss.
About Green Tea
Green tea is also processed from the Camellia sinensis plant but it is different from other forms of tea because it doesn’t undergo the same processing as that used to make oolong and black tea. The main difference is that it doesn’t undergo withering and oxidation process.
Within green tea, there are different variations obtained from the difference in growing conditions, processing methods and time of harvesting.
But all forms of green tea are processed in a way that retains the maximum quantity of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds which are is the reason behind the huge health benefits associated with green tea including weight loss.
How does green tea help in weight loss?
Green tea is rich in flavonoids and caffeine and they help in improving the metabolism rate of the body. This also helps in oxidation of fat and improves insulin activity. The green tea is a good source of nutrients and antioxidants that promote weight loss. These bioactive substances make green tea special. The most important category of antioxidants present in green tea is catechins. EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) is the compound that helps in speeding the metabolism rate and burning of fat. They prevent the accumulation of fat and also increase the temperature of the body to help in the fat burning process.
Caffeine also has a great impact in facilitating weight loss. Green tea does not have a very high caffeine content which is good because caffeine has few negative health effects in taken in large quantities. A cup of green tea contains much less caffeine (24–40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100–200 mg), but still enough to have a mild desirable effect on health and promotes weight loss.
This is how exactly green tea helps in losing weight-
1. Green tea increases the total fat burnt during exercise
Even though the green tea extract is known for its fat burning properties, the important insight revealed through various studies is that people who work out after consumption of green tea burn 17 percent more fat than those who don’t consume green tea.
It is for these reasons that the intake of green tea is recommended early in the morning so that when you do any physical workout or exercise, the impact from the same can be increased to your benefit. It promotes fat oxidation in humans at rest, prevents obesity and improve insulin sensitivity.
The long term effects of this are also quite good as the overall metabolism rate is improved. So, even when you are rest, you will end up burning more fat through regular intake of green tea.
2. Green tea directly impacts the fat cells
The fat present in the fat cells needs to broken down and sent to the bloodstream in order for the fat burning process to happen. Green tea facilitates this owing to the presence of EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). What EGCG does is that it prevents the action of an enzyme that breaks down an important hormone known as norepinephrine.
The reason why norepinephrine is important is that it is this hormone which sends signal to the brain through the nervous system indicating that fat cells should start the breakdown process. Through increasing the presence of norepinephrine hormone, brain signals more and more fat cells to break down. Caffeine also has a role to play here. Together EGCG and caffeine produce a synergistic effect to this process. These broken down fat cells now make the energy available for use by the muscles.
3. Green tea increases the metabolic rate
Even though the human body is constantly burning calories, the rate at which it is burnt varies from person to person. Even while we are sleeping and resting, some amount of calories are being burnt and studies have suggested that green tea can help in increasing the amount of calories we burn in general. The percentage increase in the calories burnt can be anywhere between 3 percent to 8 percent depending from person to person. It is probable that through regular consumption, there might occur a long term effect on the metabolism rate.
4. Green Tea reduces your intake of calories
Another important way in which green tea helps in promoting weight loss is that it helps in reducing overall appetite and helping us consume fewer calories on a day to day basis.
There are studies which have suggested that the fat absorbed from various food items may also be reduced through regular consumption of tea it has not been confirmed yet.
5. Helps in losing visceral fat
The fat loss due to green tea is not uniform as there are different kinds of fats in our body. The two types of fats are — subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. The subcutaneous is the fat under the skin while visceral fat which builds around the organs.
Visceral fat is harmful as it causes inflammation and insulin resistance. This form of fat also leads to problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Green tea is known to impact this visceral fat and helps us in losing it.
How to consume green tea for weight loss?
Once established that green tea can indeed help you lose weight, the important question that arises is how exactly should you consume green tea and in what quantities to reap the maximum benefit from it.
The important thing to note here is that you do not need to consume large quantities of green tea to lose weight. You can do so by having about 2.5 cups of green tea everyday.
Another important thing to understand is that there are right and wrong ways to brew a green tea. The common mistake that people make is that they add green tea to a boiling cup of water. Boiling water can damage the important ingredients of green tea like catechins. Hence, you must let boiling water rest for 10 minutes before you add green tea leaves to it. Then, you can add water over tea and let it brew for a minute or more before serving.
Also, since you are consuming green tea for weight loss, ensure that you don’t pile on extra calories by adding sugar or any other artificial sweeteners. Doing that might actually do more harm than good for you. Think about it. A cup of plain green tea has only 2 calories, which makes it a healthy addition to your weight loss diet. But adding a single tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of cream bumps up the calories in your very low-calorie tea to 86 calories.
What can you add to green tea?
Green tea and lemon
Lemon is well known for promoting weight loss and with green tea, their exclusive benefits can be expected to compound together and give even better results. Citrus juice in the lemon brings out green tea’s antioxidants. This makes it more available for your body to readily absorb it. Catechins prefer the acidic environment of the stomach hence consuming green tea with lemon has its advantages. These catechins become degraded in the alkaline conditions of the small and large intestine, where nutrient absorption takes place. Hence, lemon juice increases the total amount of catechins that your body is able to extract from green tea by up to six times.
There are certain compounds in tea that inhibit iron absorption from foods in your diet. Drinking your green tea with lemon can help in countering that effect. Lemon individually has a host of benefits. It has a host of important nutrients like phenolic antioxidants vitamin C and carotenes — antioxidants in the vitamin A family.
Green Tea and Ginger
Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes since historic times and has very powerful health benefits. With green tea, along with all the health benefits, it also provides spicy flavour to it. This combination can help in fighting nausea and curing digestive problems of the stomach. Ginger and lemon can both be added to green tea together as well.
Green tea and cinnamon
Cinnamon is another important ingredient that can be added to green tea. Cinnamon along with lemon and ginger can be put in green tea to create a unique infusion with a host of health benefits which range from fighting obesity to fighting cancer. Stevia is a natural sweetener that can be used instead of sugar while preparing green tea.
What is the best time to drink green tea?
You might want to keep the following things in mind while deciding the perfect time to drink green tea. Have more green tea in summers than in winter as it has a slight cooling effect. The ideal time to have it is two hours before or after a meal. Do not have it just before bedtime but at least two hours prior to it for best effect. Also, restrict yourself to a maximum two to three cups of tea every day.
Another important thing to remember is that you must be patient when trying a new addition to your diet. Green tea will take time to show effects and you must make it a part of your routine in order to achieve desired benefits.
Where can I get green tea?
Mythical green tea comes from Sri Lanka’s famous Nanu Oya region. History of the region dates back to the time of the popular Indian epic Ramayana. As the legend goes the Sri Lankan king, Ravana, kidnapped the princess, Sita, and hid her in caves in the surrounding area. Later, in 1896, the first tea seeds were planted in the Nanu Oya District. Since then, the superiority of teas grown on this single estate has set them far above the rest.
Green Valley blend is handpicked with care from the Nuwara Eliya Belt in the Pundalu Oya Valley, where high mountain winds produce high-quality Dimbulla Tea. Dimbulla Tea is famous for its superior quality and is frequently sought after by tea enthusiasts from around the world.
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