I began drinking green tea many years ago for it’s weight loss properties. Between my late teens and early 20’s, I had poor body image as it’s common for MANY women to have not just in this age range. I’d heard through the grapevine that green tea sped your metabolism and as a result, burned more fat. So my obsession began. I would brew several cups a day and down the hatch it went. All out-of-body image insecurity.
Eventually like most things during that time, I gave it up. Got bored and tired of it. When I began my wellness journey I started drinking green tea again but this time, it was with a much different intention: my health. In this post we’re gonna talk about how green tea can help you shed excess weight AND, very importantly, improve your health.
Green tea has the incredible power to shift your fat fighting metabolism into high gear! All thanks to potent antioxidants called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). This antioxidant increases fat oxidation by 33 percent. 33% more fat burn just from drinking tea? Hellllsssss yeah! EGCG inhibits fat cell development, increases fat excretion, and revs ups your metabolism.
Green tea helps the body burn calories and fats, and this is the reason why it’s used as an extract in popular weight loss products. Drinking the actual tea is a great way to boost your weight loss without compromising your health like you do with diet pills.
*Note: You may have heard of the damaging effects of green tea on the liver, here’s what I need to clarify: the toxicity you’re reading about has to do with Green Tea EXTRACT. The supplement, not the actual, whole tea. I don’t promote weight loss supplements, only whole foods. Furthermore, people who were taking this pill form EXTRACT reported liver problems due to their high dosage that was equal to 24 cups of green tea a day.
Which brand of tea to use
The brand of tea does matter, because as with everything, you want to go for quality. A quality green tea will be made with the whole leaf and not just mixed pieces of this and that. A quality tea won’t have added sugar, corn syrup, soy, (yes some brands do contain added soy and corn syrup, yuck) it won’t have preservatives or artificial flavors. My favorite brands are: Belight Tea, Numi, Yogi and Traditional Medicinal. I buy them all in bulk from Amazon.
How to brew it
For the longest time I had no idea that there was a right way to make a cup of tea. Turns out, microwaving your water until it’s flesh scalding hot, and dumping it on your tea and leaving it there for like half an hour is NOT the right way to brew it. Huh. Overheating your water, steeping too long or too short are all big no no’s in the tea haven word because it affects the quality of the tea you end up drinking. Improper brewing makes the tea bitter, and less effective.
Heat your water to just under boiling. If you bring it to a rolling boil accidentally, just let the water sit for a couple of minutes so it can cool down to the ideal temperature. Once your water is ready, pour over your tea bags and allow to steep for 2-4 minutes. That’s all there is to it!
Green tea for your health
Lately, more and more health institutes are getting down with green tea as a larger and growing body of evidence — both preclinical and human trials suggests that green tea can help prevent cancer. Now, you know me, I’m all about prevention. Preventing disease and if you do get sick, NOT mask the symptoms with pills and liquids, but really get to the root cause of it all. Treat the cause not the symptoms, but that’s for another post.
We’ve established that green tea is filthy rich in antioxidants. Well, these antioxidants may fight off the free radicals that damages cells. There’s even several studies that have produced evidence that the EGCG can inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. More, the Lycopene in this tea can reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
Aside from protecting against cell damage, green tea is great for:
Diabetes: It helps to regulates glucose levels by slowing down the rise of blood sugar after eating
Cholesterol: Green tea improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol by reducing the bad cholesterol in the blood.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease: These are the two most common neurodegenerative disorders. The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer and Parkinson’s.
Viruses: The catechins in green tea can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections. Add a squeeze of lemon to your tea for added Vitamin C and increased antioxidant absorption.
Skin care: EGCG is 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying free radicals that damage skin. And thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea may prevent skin damage and wrinkling.
How much green tea to drink?
I recommend starting with 2 cups and working your way up to 4. Me personally? Well, I drink about 6 cups a day and that works for me. I’m up as soon as the sky is awake to work out, so I always brew two cups to have before a workout to increase my endurance and allow for the caffeine to wake me the fuck up. Then I brew 2 cups for after I exercise to help with post workout fatigue. That’s 4 cups right there, all before 9am. My last 2 cups are always in the mid afternoon when that so common slump starts to hit.
One thing to remember is that green tea has caffeine, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine make sure you don’t over do it. Stick to 2-4 cups.
Now that you’ve learned just how amazing green tea is, go brew yourself a cup or two, and come back and tell me what some of your favorite green tea brands are. Also, do you prefer drinking it hot, or over iced tea? Go on now, I’ll wait.