For centuries, many cultures have been drinking tea for its health benefits. It is often spoken about as a wonder food for weight-loss and for its potent anti-oxidant powers. Over the last several decades, researchers have examined the extent of its long-purported health benefits, often noting positive results but offering no definitive answers.
While the mechanisms for green tea and appetite suppression or weight-loss still remain largely illusive, the results are always the same; Green tea is healthy and helps reduce fat!
A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that both Green Tea with caffeine and a high protein diet may independently improve weight management through thermogenesis (our bodies ability to burn calories through emitting body heat) and fat oxidation (our bodies ability to burn fat as energy), while sparing lean muscle and increasing satiety.
The benefits of Green Tea are thought to be largely due to a substance found within known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG is held to be one of the most potent naturally occurring antioxidants. Increasing evidence also suggests that EGCG can be beneficial in treating multiple cancers by hijacking the cells that keep cancer alive. One University of California study on the cancer-preventative qualities of green tea concluded that you could probably attain a healthy level of EGCG by drinking merely two cups per day.
So will this ancient appetite suppressant make you loose that excess weight you’ve been trying to shed? Well, the answer is…it can help. There is however no quick fix when diet and exercise are considered. It is important to focus on the big picture. This means a consistently healthy diet and work-out schedule. While Green Tea is not a miracle drug, it can certainly help with weight loss when taken in collaboration with a healthy diet. It should be thought of a another tool in your weight-loss arsenal.
It’s particularly important not to overbrew green tea to reap its total health benefits:
- Use one tea bag, or 2-4 grams of tea per cup.
- Fill a kettle with cold water and bring to a boil.
- After unplugging the kettle, allow it to stand for up to 3 minutes.
- Pour the heated water over the tea bag or tea, and allow it to steep for up to 3minutes. If using a tea bag, remove the bag.
- Allow the tea to cool for three more minutes.
Green tea can also be incorporated into food dishes, such as Shrimp with green tea leaves or other stir-fry or Thai inspired meals. Try making a marinade in a small bowl, mixing together soy sauce, brewed tea with tea leaves, chicken broth, sesame oil, sugar and black or white pepper.
If you’re more in the mood for a light refreshing beverage, try mixing up a green tea latte for a healthy summer treat that’s great with breakfast or for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. All you’ll need for this iced-blended Green Tea Latte recipe is:
• 1 cup cold, unsweetened soymilk
• 1 cup ice
• 1 Tbsp warm water
• 1 Tbsp Tupelo honey (or other mild honey)
• 1 tsp food-grade matcha (powdered green tea)