Drinking tea is not only a relaxing and pleasurable experience, but it is also one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world next to water. The global per capita consumption of tea is around 120 ml/ day. Its huge popularity may be credited to the fact that it is rather cheap, stimulating and filled with sensorial properties that people just cannot resist. Oh, and by the way…have I mentioned their immense health benefits and their potential for treating/preventing our pandemic called obesity that now affects one-third of the global population? No? Then, let’s dive into it, shall we?

White Tea

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Image Credit: healthywaukesha dot com

White tea has probably one of the most accepted flavors in Europe when it comes to teas in general. This tea is steamed and dried right after picking to prevent it from oxidation, which in turn gives its light and delicate taste that Europeans love so much.

How does it promote weight loss?

  • stimulation of hepatic lipid metabolism: lipid metabolism refers to the process by which fatty acids are broken down for energy and/or stored as energy for later use. The term “hepatic” means that this process takes place within the liver.
  • inhibition of lipases: Lipase inhibitors decrease the amount of fat your body absorbs and actually forces the fat consumed to be excreted instead of absorbed.
  • thermogenesis stimulation: The term refers to our body’s natural process of heat production that can significantly contribute to weight loss if naturally regulated.
  • appetite control
  • working along with coffee

Chemicals found in WT that help block fat:

The main components of white tea include proteins, minerals, polyphenols , polysaccharides  and trace elements of organic and amino acids, lignins and methylxanthines (caffeine, theobromine and theophylline).

References:

  1. T. R. Dias,et al. White Tea (Camellia Sinensis (L.)): Antioxidant Properties And Beneficial Health Effects.International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics (IJFS) ISSN 2326-3350.2(2), 19-26. First published online: February 26, 2013

Green Tea

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Green Tea is probably the most renowned tea on the market. It might be safe to assert that it is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet that you could ever drink. It is filled with much needed antioxidants and nutrients that all work in cooperation to improve brain function, facilitate fat loss and lower the risk of cancer and other debilitating diseases.

How does it promote weight loss?

  • Increased thermogenesis and fat oxidation: due to its green tea-caffeine mixture (epigallocatechin gallate + caffeine)
  • Inhibition of phosphodiesterase: the inhibition of this enzyme leads to increased fat oxidation and thermogenesis
  • Reduced weight regain: a green tea-caffeine mixture has the wonderful side effect of reducing body weight regain after significant weight loss. Green tea achieves  that through the thermogenic effect mentioned above.

Chemicals found in WT that help block fat:

Scientific studies have shown that green tea contains a large amounts of tea catechins. Catechol-O-methyltransferase is known as an intracellular enzyme and is omnipresent throughout all mammalian tissues, including skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. COMT is an active enzyme that stimulates the breakdown of fats and other lipids by hydrolysis to release fatty acids.

References:

  1. Margriet S,et al. Body Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Relation to Habitual Caffeine Intake and Green Tea Supplementation. Obesity Research Volume 13, Issue 7, Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012.
  2. Kevin C,et al. Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults.The Journal of Nutrition. Nutrition and Disease. First published online: December 11, 2008.

Black Tea

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Image credit: A Girl With Tea at flickr

Black tea is another kind of tea that is currently experiencing a new revival due to its recently revealed health benefits. Black tea is stronger in flavor than its less oxidized counterparts, and it accounts for more than 90% of all tea sold in the Western world. Another important aspect of the tea that is worth mentioning is that while green tea tends to lose its flavor within half a year, black tea is able to retain its flavor for several years.

How does it promote weight loss?

Research conducted into its effects on weight loss has found that black tea increases the rate at which the body is able to bring cortisol levels back to normal and actually calm them down. Whenever we are in a stressful situation of any kind (be it work-related or personal) adrenaline causes our fat cells to release fatty acids into the blood stream.

When that happens, the cortisol hormone picks those released fatty acids up and stores them. Where do you think those stored fat reserves end up? Well, you guessed right: in your belly! Moreover, when the fat is stored instead of being burnt as energy, your body goes out looking for more calories, which can seriously hinder your weight loss goals for good.

Chemicals found in BT that help block fat:

According to the latest studies conducted into the health benefits of black tea, due to its presence of polysaccharides (carbs that work to slow down your blood sugar absorption and promote weight loss by regulating your appetite), black tea serves as an excellent alternative to those who are victims of any types of diabetes. It is also presumed that the habitual consumption of black tea may prevent you from developing diabetes in the first place.

Interesting Fact: Ireland and Britain, where black tea consumption is the highest, type 2 diabetes has the lowest prevalence.

Given its rich source of antioxidants, it also contributes to our overall health, wellness, cardiovascular health and strong immune system that are all vital factors when it comes to our weight loss aspirations.

References:

  1. Andrew Steptoe,et al. The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial.Psychopharmacology.January 2007, Volume 190, Issue 1, pp 81-89. Published online:  30 Sep 2006

Barberry Tea

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Barberine is a naturally occuring chemical that is extracted from the barberry shrub and has been known to prevent weight gain even when on a high-fat diet. Barberine has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine as drug to treat intestinal infections, specifically bacterial diarrhea.

How does it promote weight loss?

Recent studies have revealed berberine to be clinically effective in alleviating type 2 diabetes due to its inhibition of fasting plasma glucose, postprandial blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, total cholesterol, and low-density lipo protein cholesterol levels.

Chemicals found in BB that help block fat:

A major pharmacological component of the Chinese herb Coptis chinensis was originally used to treat diarrhea but it now has been found that it is just as equally effective in alleviating diabetes. The same study on which my insights into berberine are based went on to claim that berberine administered at 100 mg/ kilo of bodyweight effectively prevented the development of obesity and insulin resistance in high-fat diets while it also significantly reduced habitual food intake in both animal and human trials.

References:

  1. Xu Zhang, et al.Structural Changes of Gut Microbiota during BerberineMediated Prevention of Obesity and Insulin Resistance in High-Fat Diet-Fed Rats.PLoS ONE 7(8): e42529. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042529.Published online: August 3, 2012.

Rooibos Tea

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Image Credit: eatthis dot com

Scientific evidences pertaining to Rooibos tea are emerging almost every day now. The reason for such publicity lies in its health benefits, especially the ones associated with consuming it in liquid form. Given its high levels of antioxidants and other powerful substances that help fight off free radicals in our bloodstream, it is no wonder that it has such a renown when it comes to keeping our body healthy and strong.

How does it promote weight loss?

A study conducted by Uličná, et al. found that Rooibos provides substantial protection against oxidative stress in diabetic rats. Having completed numerous animal trials, they started using human patients to see how Rooibos can actually serve as a viable therapy of blood vessel complications and eye membrane system peroxidation.

Chemicals found in RT that help block fat:

  • Polyphenols and flavonoids: These substances found in Roobios are considered to be extremely effective in combating obesity in general
  • Soluble Solids from fermented Rooibos: Studies found that these soluble solids inhibited the formation of fatty tissue (called adipogenesis) while also had a huge effect on fat cell(adipocyte) metabolism.
  • Aspalathin: It can be found in Rooibos tea and proved to carry beneficial effects on glucose homoestasis in type 2 diabetes patients by stimulating both glucose uptake in the muscle tissues and insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells.

References

  1. Prof Michael C Herbst.Fact Sheet on Rooibos Tea. Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). Published online: May 2015.

Pu-erh Tea

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Image credit: Cynthia fazekas at flickr

Pu-erh tea is another runner-up for the prize of the most healthy teas of all time. It has long been used and consumed by people in southwestern China for its alleged benefits to health. These include protection against  oxidation, cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and many others.

How does it promote weight loss?

Scientists performing these clinical trials on animals came to the conclusion that Pu-erh tea potentially and significantly lowered triglyceride concentrations (this is a dangerous kind of fat within our blood) in and around the belly of these animals even after committing them to high-fat diets.

Chemicals found in PT that help block fat:

Chemicals in Pu-erh tea are abound. Several research groups reported that, since this tea is a post-fermented one, during the fermentation process, levels of certain acids were significantly lower while the overall gallic content of the tea was elevated. What this indicates is that gallic acid is considered one of the main active components of Pu-erh tea that may help explain its potential health benefits in terms of preventing obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and many other disorders.

References:

  1. YiHong Ding, et al. Pu-Erh Tea Down-Regulates Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein and Stearyol-CoA Desaturase to Reduce Fat Storage in Caenorhaditis elegans.Published online: February 6, 2015

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