Green tea is one of nature's most compelling super foods, and its health benefits have been touted for decades.
Not only does it contain powerful antioxidants that work to eliminate damaging free radicals at the cellular level, but it is also proven to improve brain function, fight cancer and lower the risk of diabetes.
One of the greatest benefits is its ability to aid the body in burning fat and boost the metabolic rate. As a potent weight loss aid, it's readily available, inexpensive, easy to use and highly effective.
How Is Green Tea Used To Help Lose Weight?
Adding to the diet helps shed pounds in two ways:
- When added to a person's weight loss program as a beverage, its action in the body boosts the metabolism and burns fat, and pounds are shed. It also works in a more passive way by acting as a substitute for beverages in the diet that had been contributing to a cycle of weight gain.
- Weight loss is enhanced when dieters replace sodas and other high-calorie drinks with green tea by eliminating an unhealthy source of fat and carbohydrates.
Why Is It Good For Our Bodies?
Green tea is the quintessential natural antioxidant which helps to eliminate free radicals at the cellular level.
Free radicals cause cell damage by increasing the effects of aging and decreasing cell function. Uninhibited cell growth is the major precursor to the development of cancer, and green tea's powerful antioxidant effects greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer, especially colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.
The amino acid, L-theanine is present and has been shown to work together with the beverage's level of caffeine to improve brain function. L-theanine on its own has shown to exhibit anti-anxiety properties and increase energy levels.
The soothing effects have been known to help with stomach disorders. Many people use the beverage to treat stomach upset, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Some patients find it an effective treatment for Chron's disease.
Its proven to increase the metabolic rate which, in turn, helps the body to burn more calories. Research suggests that it contains high levels of the polyphenol EGCG that acts as an appetite suppressant, a fat burner and a metabolic booster.
Its also a natural source of caffeine which aids in fat burning. Caffeine speeds a process in the body called thermogenesis which is simply the mechanism in which the body produces heat and burns fat.
The Best Ways To Consume Green Tea
Drinking as a beverage either hot or cold is an easy way for many people to add its health benefits to their diet.
It should be noted that adding milk to the tea can reduce some of its antioxidant benefits. Some people find drinking tea throughout the day to be distasteful and would rather take in a supplement or pill.
Studies have shown that weight loss occurs when approximately 270mg of ECGC in green tea extract is consumed daily.
Natural Forms Of Green Tea Extract
When adding to the diet to aid in weight loss, it's important to note that the beneficial properties found in the tea can vary widely in the different products found in the marketplace.
Some bottled varieties contain little more than sugar water with almost none of the important extracts found in the most pure selections.
Other brands, especially those coming from China, have been found to contain harmful substances such as lead. The lead was shown to be most likely from industrial sources in China and in very low doses. It was found that the tea bags filter most of the lead when the tea is brewed.
Studies show that the best source of ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) can be found in loose leaf varieties that are commonly purchased in health food stores. Interestingly, though, less-expensive brands with commonly known household names have been found to have almost as much of the beneficially polyphenols at a drastically lower price tag. Bottled tea drinks were discovered to have very little if any beneficial polyphenols.
Green Tea Diet Pills And Supplements
Diet pills are another way to receive the powerful weight loss benefits of green tea.
Green tea slimming pills come in many different forms that range from 100% concentrated extract to pills that are combined with other weight loss agents such as hoodia and chromium.
When selecting the right supplements for weight loss, it's important to note the concentration of ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) in the pill. The product labeling for the polyphenols will most often refer to them as catechins. An effective green tea weight loss product will contain anywhere from 125 to 500 milligrams of catechins per capsule. For reference, there are approximately 100 milligrams of polyphenols in one cup of green tea.
The Dangers primarily from consuming too much caffeine when large amounts of tea are consumed or too many supplements are taken.
The side effects include rapid heart rate, headache, sleep disturbances, stomach upset, dizziness, ringing in the ears, confusion and convulsions. Extremely high doses of caffeine, 10 to 14 grams, can be fatal. Pregnant and breast-feeding women are cautioned to drink two or less cups of green tea per day. Consuming large amounts can also reduce the body's ability to uptake iron, an essential nutrient.
The ‘Skinny’ On Green Tea For Weight Loss
Green tea has been shown to not only have impressive health benefits, but has proven to be a powerful ally in any weight loss regimen.
When used wisely, it can improve the diet by replacing less beneficial beverages while increasing metabolism and burning fat.
Green tea can be taken at any age, from teenagers to adults and are generally consumed as a delicious beverage or taken as a daily supplement. It is a natural super food that is readily available and inexpensive.