Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Posted from Isabel De Los Rios, Nutritionist


Which Tea
Makes You Skinny?

Over the past few months I have spent 
a significant amount of time researching
 the possible good and bad benefits of
 drinking different types of teas.

Why?

Because when I found out that
 I was pregnant, I knew that my 
2 cups of coffee a day habit really
 needed to be reduced so I turned
 to tea as an alternative.

No, I’m not saying there is anything 
wrong with drinking your cup of Joe.
 As a matter of fact, organic coffee
 is jam packed with tons of antioxidants
 and has been found to decrease the
 risk of diseases like type 2 Diabetes
 and cancer, but it’s also pretty jam
 packed with caffeine, which is why
 I decided to research and make the
 switch over to a variety of different teas.

The good news is that I found a long
 list of incredible benefits to drinking
 tea which made my transition very
 easy. Tea also does contain some
 caffeine (about a quarter to half as 
much as coffee) making the switch
 even easier.

Here are several different varieties of
 teas and the many healthy benefits
 I found to each (who knows, you may
 even consider switching your Java habit
 as well.)

Black Tea

Before we differentiate between
 several different teas, it is true
 that all teas (black, green, oolong
 and white) come from the same 
plant, camellia sinensis. What 
gives each tea it’s particular qualities
 is in the processing of this particular
 plant to create different varieties of tea.
 Black tea is probably the most 
commonly consumed and most popular
 of all the teas I researched. It also
 contains the highest amount of caffeine
 of most teas (approximately 40 mg), but
 not nearly as much as 1 – 8 oz cup of 
coffee (100 mg). The low amounts of caffeine
 in black tea promotes blood flow in the brain
 without over stimulating the heart, helping to
 sharpen mental focus and concentration
 (oh, we could also use a little of that).

One of black teas greatest benefits is its
 high number of antioxidants, including
 quercetin, a substance found to combat
 inflammation and support healthy immune
 function. This is probably the best health
 benefit of drinking black tea…its ability
 to keep the immune system healthy and strong.

I enjoy a cup of hot black tea most mornings
 with a bit of squeezed lemon and stevia.
 It helps me start off my day energized and
 alert without giving me any of the jittery feelings
 I would sometimes get with drinking too much
 coffee. Some people much prefer their black tea
 cold, which I sometimes make for my husband
and relatives when they are visiting. I make 2-3 tea
 bags with boiling water in a large glass bowl, 
sweeten with stevia and allow to cool in the
 refrigerator for 2-3 hours. It’s delicious and 
refreshing served over ice with a little added 
piece of lemon (careful with how many glasses
 you drink if you are someone who is sensitive
 to caffeine).

Green Tea

If you’ve ever done even the slightest
 research on weight loss, you’ve surely 
come across tons of information touting 
the miraculous ability of green tea to burn off body fat.

Is that really true?

Well, before we get to that, what
 makes green tea so special?

Green tea is extremely rich in
 catechin polyphenols, particularly
 EGCG, which is an extremely
 powerful antioxidant. Besides
 inhibiting the growth of cancer
 cells, it actually has the ability
 to kill cancer cells without harming
 healthy tissue. EGCG has also
 been found to be extremely
 powerful in the prevention of heart 
disease and assists in keeping
 cholesterol levels healthy.

But back to the weight loss theories…

Many doctors and scientific studies
 have confirmed the incredible power 
of green tea when it comes to weight
 loss. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, world
 renowned doctor and author of 3
 bestselling books stated, “…you'd
 lose up to 10 pounds in 4-6 weeks
 doing nothing but taking green tea. 
Green tea increases your daily fat 
burning rate by 43%”. The fat
 burning effects of green tea can
 be attributed to so much more than 
just its caffeine content (since caffeine
 has been shown to enhance the
 metabolism). The catechins in green
 tea have been found to force the
 body into thermogenesis, driving 
your body to burn fat as its energy
 source. Green tea has also been
 shown to cause carbohydrates to
 be released slowly, preventing rises
 in blood-insulin levels and keeping
 the body at an ideal blood sugar
 balance for fat burning.

Can I say for sure that this will
 happen to almost everyone?
 Definitely not! Every person is
 individual and many other factors
 in your diet and exercise program
 greatly affect what your weight loss
 results will be. But with all the other
 wonderful benefits we know about
 green tea, it is definitely worth
 including 1-2 cups into your daily 
routine (Green tea contains
 approximately 15-30 mg of caffeine
 per cup. Careful with your intake if 
you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine).

Like black tea, green tea can be
 enjoyed hot or cold and you can
 use stevia, xylitol or raw honey to sweeten a bit.

Last but definitely not least…

Oolong/Wu-long Tea

This was by far the most eye
 opening research of them all.
 I had heard of the many benefits
 of Oolong Tea (also widely referred
 to as Wu-long) for some time, but
 had never done this much research
 and reading about it (little did I 
know what I was missing).

Even though green tea has been most
 popularly known as the drink of choice
 for fat burning, wu-long tea has been
 shown to burn 220% more fat than 
green tea. The only difference between
 green tea and wu-long tea is in the
 processing of the tea leaves, making
 the beneficial properties of each just
 slightly different.

The Chinese have long believed that
 oolong/wu-long tea is greatly beneficial
 in reducing and maintaining weight and
 have conducted several studies proving 
such. It looks like, from the research, that 
wu-long tea can actually encourage your
 body to use more fat for energy, resulting
 in accelerated fat burning and, of course,
 weight loss. Many of the same fat burning 
properties, mentioned above for green tea,
have been found in wu-long tea but the 
effects seem to be more pronounced.

All of the other incredible benefits of tea
 can also be found with wu-long tea, but,
 where as increased immune function and 
antioxidant benefits are black and greet
 teas claim to fame, it looks like wu-long
 teas greatest benefit is fat loss.

You can enjoy wu-long tea hot or cold,
 sweetened or flavored with lemon. I 
actually really enjoy the rich, flowery
 taste of wu-long tea all on its own, not
 really needing any sweetener or anything
 added to enjoy its delicious taste.

I have found the best quality and tasting
 wu-long tea from a company called Okuma
 nutritionals. Since wu-long tea has become
 a bit of a “hype” tea and supplement these
 days, I wanted to look for a company that
 was truly passionate about the quality of
 their tea and intimately involved in the
 production of their teas.

Delicious and Powerful Wu-Long Tea

Isabel, which tea is the best for me?

With all the wonderful benefits of these 
3 teas, it may be hard to decide which
 is the best choice for you. I love to do
 what my good friend Mike Geary taught
 me is to mix all three varieties together!
 Many mornings I will put 1 tea bag each
 of black, green and wu-long tea in a 
small pot with boiling water. I let that steep
 for about 5 minutes and remove the tea
 bags. I sip 1 cup for breakfast and then
 another with lunch. The different tastes
 of each blend together really nicely and
 make for a tasty warm drink (again, it 
can also be enjoyed like iced tea, which
 I know is how Mike enjoys it best.)

Black, green or Wu-Long , whichever you
 choose, 1-2 teas each day is a wonderful 
addition to your healthy eating plans. As
 with anything, be very mindful to your
 body’s response to the caffeine amount
 and let your body be your guide.

In health and happiness,
Isabel De Los Rios
Isabel De Los Rios
Certified Nutritionist
Certified Exercise Specialist



A note from HeALthY GLaD!
I think this might be a very good idea.
But I also think the price is 
ridiculous!
I am trying various teas that I am 
finding online and at the 
supermarket.
I will resubmit this article
with new findings if
there are any.
Get Inspired

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