Whether it’s a berry harvested from the depths of an exotic rainforest or an expensive powder found on the shelves of high-end health food stores, it seems like there’s a new, must-eat superfood every time we turn around. While we would never discourage you from experimenting with the latest get-glowing ingredients, don’t forget about good old green tea, a classic superfood that has been revered across cultures–and studied in lab after lab.
The benefits of green tea are extensive, but today we’re just looking at how green tea can play a role in weight loss and weight management.
With a history spanning millennia, green tea remains a beloved beverage for its various health benefits. Discovered in east Asia, green tea is a traditional drink in China, Japan, and Taiwan. Recently, it has gathered popularity among health-conscious individuals for its weight loss benefits. Packed with antioxidants and vital nutrients, green tea a multi-tasking health supplement.
Although research about green tea and its connection to weight loss is ongoing–and several of the more audacious claims surrounding green tea have yet to be proven–multiple studies suggest a correlation between weight loss and green tea.
How Green Tea Affects Weight Loss
Green tea is extracted from Camellia sinensis (the same plant as black tea), but unlike black tea, green tea is less processed and fermented. Because of this lower level of processing, green tea preserves more vitamins and antioxidants when compared to its over-processed counterparts.
There are many different varieties of green tea available, but only some of them are likely to aid in weight loss. When shopping for green tea, opt for the loose-leaf, organic variety, and follow these instructions for properly brewing green tea. You may also be interested in trying matcha green tea, which is green tea in powdered form. Generally speaking, it’s smart to avoid green tea drinks with added sugar and preservatives.
The antioxidants in green tea are known as catechins and are the substances behind green tea’s weight loss benefits. Catechins have the power to accelerate body-fat reduction. In fact, green tea can prompt dramatic results when accompanied by regular exercise and a well-balanced diet.
Green Tea Increases Metabolism
Green tea boosts metabolism. The fat accumulated around the body is nothing but stored calories. An enhanced metabolism can increase the consumption of calories stored in the body, which results in fat reduction, mostly targeting the fat collected around belly area. This fat is highly dangerous and is often the main culprit for numerous illnesses. The risk of developing diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, and other critical diseases increase with increased belly fat. By boosting the metabolism rate, the body is more likely to draw upon stored calories (fats), helping you lose weight. Furthermore, green tea helps increase lipolysis, the process of breaking down fats.
Green Tea Slows Down Appetite
Green tea also supports a decreased appetite. Often, people eat more food than their body needs and, as a result, put on unwanted extra weight. Fortunately, green tea may help reduce your appetite. Drinking green tea increases the production of CCK, a hormone that naturally reduces appetite and sends a signal to the brain that the stomach has received enough food.
Green Tea Helps You Spend More Energy (i.e. burn more calories!)
You tend to spend more energy/burn more calories with the help of green tea. (In fact, this beverage is believed to enhance levels of enthusiasm and courage! How is that for a multi-tasking drink?). In one study, a group of people consuming 3-4 cups green tea every day burned 3-4% more calories than those who didn’t regularly drink green tea.
A final fact to consider is that compared to coffee, green tea has less caffeine. Hence, it is more suitable for people who are sensitive to caffeine.
It is recommended to use green tea under the expert guidance of a dietician or nutritionist. It may have side effects and should be avoided during certain medical treatments. Any side effects should be brought under the observation of a physician immediately.
Are you a fan of green tea? Has this ancient beverage helped you lose weight?
Related: Carrot and Green Tea Beauty Smoothie
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Photos: Matchaeologist via Instagram, Kaboompics