Green tea is the term used to categorise the range of tea made from unfermented leaves pale in colour and slightly bitter in flavour and typically produced mainly in China and Japan. Green teas are generally high in antioxidants vitamins and minerals vital to the body's functioning and a perfect addition to the weight watchers arsenal.
Introducing green tea into your lifestyle to replace beverages like English tea and coffee brings a broad range of health benefits, and one of the main advantages is that it can help with weight loss.
Through various studies, it has been proven that green tea can help the body burn calories and fats, and most likely the reason it's used as an ingredient in any diet pills worth considering. People often mistake drinking green tea as a quick fix when in truth green tea does not present fast results like some other weight loss products which we have mentioned before it can help you lose weight without compromising your health or contaminating your system. In fact as well as helping you lose weight green tea is an excellent way to rid your body of harmful chemicals.
Green Tea Reduces Fat
Triglyceride is the substance synthesised by the small intestine and the liver when fats and sugars enter the body. Triglyceride gets distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. Triglyceride is essential to the body because it boosts the overall energy levels increasing the efficiency of the digestive system.
As with most things, it's all about moderation and excessive amounts of triglycerides are converted into fats and are stored in the body leading to weight problems.
Green teas are effective in countering the build-up of excess triglyceride because they contain high amounts of polyphenols that work by activating enzymes in the body, and those enzymes dissolve the excess triglyceride. Consistent and regular drinking of green teas can help over time reduce the bodies fat content and keep it down.
In one study, men who took green tea extract and exercised burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t get the supplement. This study suggests that green tea can boost the fat burning effects of exercise (Source).
Green Tea Stimulates Metabolism
Green teas are riddled with many highly effective and potent antioxidants that benefit your body in many ways namely by promoting thermogenesis.
One of those antioxidants is called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG which we have mentioned before, and you may remember can stimulate your body's metabolism and speed up weight loss. Alongside the healthy levels of caffeine found in green tea, ECGC works to stimulate the nervous system and releases fat into the blood stream to use as fuel which is called thermogenesis.
Green Tea Improves Endurance during Exercise
If you have been led to believe that you can lose weight without exercising in the slightest, you have been misinformed. Ultimately weight-loss is a combination of lifestyle and dietary involving some physical activity not only to burn calories but also boost energy levels and contributes significantly to muscle building, which will boost your metabolism.
Green Teas also contain catechin polyphenols which will help the body regulate carbohydrate use by helping the muscles and liver use more of the fatty acids. This results in a better release of energy allowing you to exercise for longer and burn more calories.
"Green tea can only accelerate metabolism by 4%, and this amounts to only 100 calories a day, which does not contribute a lot to weight loss. If you need to lose 20 lb or 30 lb in a short time, green tea is not the best option for you. However, green tea can be used to maintain a healthy weight, and it can also bring lots of other benefits to your body." – (Source)
Popular Green Teas
Matcha is the quintessential experience of Japanese green tea. It is made from skilfully cultivated, shade-grown tea leaves that have been meticulously stone-ground into a fine powder. To prepare, take a teaspoon of bright green, powdered matcha tea and stir it vigorously with hot water using a bamboo whisk. Because it is made from the entire tea life, matcha bursts with a bold, rich herbaceous flavour in the mouth. It is traditionally served with delicately flavoured sweets to balance this intense taste. (See a video presentation on how to prepare matcha tea.)
Sencha refers to a broad category of loose leaf green tea meant to be infused. Senchas can range from simple, unassertive teas that may be enjoyed daily to more bold teas. In general, the top few tea leaves from the shoot are used since they are rich in flavour. The finished tea may consist of small, almost powdery particles, or long, delicate, slender stands. For the best balance of flavour and colour, many senchas are a mix of leaves of different sizes and shapes. The final brew will be yellow-green to a deeper green in colour. The taste may be a mellow with a hint of maize or wildflower to lively and herbaceous with a palate-cleansing astringency. Often times, the leaves are deeply steamed to create a bolder sencha known as fukamushi-cha.
Gyokuro means "jade dew," referring to the deep green colour of its leaves. An elaborated form of sencha, its leaves are meticulously shade-grown in the same manner as leaves for matcha. The shading creates a tea that is intensely rich in flavour and low in astringency. The intense labour behind gyokuro makes it one of Japan’s most expensive kinds of tea.
Kabusecha is similar to gyokuro in that it is also shade-grown, but for a shorter length of time. Its flavour lies between sencha and gyokuro, offering a mild sweetness and depth of character.
Bancha is made from more mature leaves than sencha, picked during a later harvest season. While not as complex as sencha, it is mellow and easy drinking. Moreover, it is low in caffeine yet high in antioxidants, making it an ideal daily tea.
Genmaicha is one of the most popular Japanese green teas. It consists of a mix of roasted rice and either sencha or bancha tea. The roasted rice imparts a warm, toasty flavour to the vigor of green tea, creating a smooth overall taste. Genmaicha’s popularity grew out of the lean war years when the scarce fresh tea available was mixed with rice.
Hojicha takes its name from is the combination of the Japanese terms hoji, "roasted," and cha, "tea." The story behind hojicha is that a Kyoto tea merchant had an excess stock of green tea that he was an unable to sell off. Instead of wasting his stock, he roasted the leaves to quick public acclaim. To create hojicha, finished tea leaves or stems are roasted for a few minutes, turning them a dark brown. The result is a smooth tea with no astringency - making it ideal with meals.
Kukicha is a tea made mainly of stems, or kuki. Its flavour is vibrant but mild in astringency. It is important to note that the kukicha referred to in macrobiotic circles is actually hojicha made from stems.
Konacha is made from fine, powdery tea leaves. It brews a vibrant green and yields a clean, brisk taste. Because it cleans the palate well, it is often the tea of choice to serve with sushi.