At this point, most people have heard about the power of green tea and its health benefits, including weight loss. However, the question is–how far does its weight loss power extend? Can someone derive the same benefits from green tea extract, flavored ice cream, or iced tea as they would from hot, brewed green tea? The important thing to remember is that the weight loss benefits attributed to green tea are found in the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a health-boosting antioxidant. This powerful antioxidant is a chief ingredient in green tea. How exactly is weight loss boosted by green tea? Here are some of the best factoids regarding the weight loss benefits of green tea.
1. Flavored Green Teas Are as Beneficial as Original–The addition of flavors should not negate the health benefits of green tea. Therefore, a person can enjoy all the chai, citrus, or pomegranate green tea they want without worry. However, if the flavoring has added sugar, it might be packed with calories and less advantageous than unflavored teas. Therefore, it is wise to avoid green teas with any added sweeteners or sugar.
2. Some Things Are Better Served Hot Than Cold–For optimal weight loss benefits, it is best to serve and drink the green tea while it is hot. This is because iced teas can become diluted with water. For the best cup of hot green tea, make sure to prevent the water from coming to a full boil. Instead, wait until right before it boils (i.e. tiny bubbles begin to form) and pour the water over the tea bag. Then, allow the tea bag to steep or soak for about 2-4 minutes.
3. The Fresher, the Better–While the tea will not spoil, it is best to consume it within six months of purchase. Otherwise, the beverage will lose some of its antioxidant powers.
4. Extract Does the Job–If green tea extract is added to water, it will deliver the same benefits of green tea while away from home, on-the-go, or as a change of pace. Concentrations could vary, but generally, 1 ml of green tea extract can deliver the benefits of drinking approximately eight to 10 cups worth of the antioxidant-rich beverage.
5. Labels Do Matter–In many circumstances, labels or brands make little or no difference. However, when it comes to green tea, this is not the case. There can be a significant difference in the number of additional ingredients as well as the quality of tea leaves used. Specifically, as already mentioned, it is important to watch out for added sugar and sweeteners. Another aspect to be mindful of is that while green tea has many health benefits, it is not a significant source of vitamins. Therefore, to garner the optimal health benefits, look for brands that use all natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives.
6. Green Tea Has Powerful Components–When someone enjoys a cup of green tea, they are ingesting a beverage that contains a significant amount of beneficial components. Moreover, these components have powerful biological effects. One of the primary components is caffeine, which is a well-known stimulant that has been shown to boost fat burning and improve exercise performance in the human body. A cup of green tea contains less than half the caffeine in a cup of coffee but still has enough to stimulate and improve activity. It is also packed with antioxidants called catechins. The most important of these is the aforementioned EGCG, which also boosts metabolism.
The power of green tea and its health benefits, including weight loss, is significant and definitely worth exploring. However, a person needs to be aware of how far its weight loss power extends and in what forms someone can derive the benefits from green tea. The most important thing to remember is that the weight loss benefits attributed to green tea are found in the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and weight loss goals can be boosted by the ingestion of this powerful antioxidant. As a final note, keep in mind that these benefits can be derived both from drinking green tea as a beverage, as well as taking green tea extract as a supplement.
Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
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