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Green tea has been associated with several health benefits, including weight loss, due to its rich nutritional and antioxidant makeup.
While it has recently gained popularity in the West, green tea has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat numerous conditions from headaches to wound-healing.
More recently, green tea has been linked to weight loss. This article will look at the evidence behind this claim, as well as the most effective methods of consuming green tea to help with weight loss.
Green tea and weight loss
The processes that allow the body to convert food and drink into usable energy are collectively known as the metabolism. Green tea may be beneficial for weight loss by helping the body's metabolism to be more efficient.
Green tea contains caffeine and a type of flavonoid called catechin, which is an antioxidant. Research suggests that both of these compounds can speed up metabolism. Catechin can help to break down excess fat, while both catechin and caffeine can increase the amount of energy the body uses.
A review published in 2010 found that green tea supplements, containing catechins or caffeine, had a small but positive impact on weight loss and weight management.
A more recent review investigated the clinical use of green tea to stimulate weight loss in people who were overweight or obese. While it found green tea to have a positive impact on weight loss, the result was not significant, and the authors concluded that it was unlikely to be of clinical importance.
There is a theoretical basis to the benefit of green tea for weight loss, and some empirical evidence has been found to support these claims outside of clinical settings.
However, research studies in this area tend to use doses that contain a higher proportion of catechin or caffeine than would be found in a typical cup of green tea.
It is important to note that any benefits of green tea for weight loss are likely to be very small. The impact of green tea is not as beneficial as other healthy weight loss methods, such as exercise, that have far greater metabolic benefits.
Regularly exercising and eating a healthful diet with plenty of vegetables are highly effective weight loss strategies. Green tea used alongside these methods may increase their positive results.
How to consume green tea
Drinking between 2 and 3 cups of hot green tea throughout the day should be sufficient for supplementing weight loss. The exact amount will vary from person to person, depending on how much caffeine they consume and their natural metabolism.
Green tea comes in a number of varieties but, for weight loss, there are unlikely to be significant differences between them. Plain, minimally processed green teas are likely to have retained the richest nutritional content.
Green tea is considered safe to consume. However, care should be taken in some cases, as large doses of caffeine can pose problems for those at risk of heart problems or with high blood pressure.
What is green tea?
Tea comes in different varieties, but all are derived from the same plant. Green, black, white, and oolong tea are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Green tea is manufactured by steaming the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It does not go through the same fermentation process used to make other types of tea, such as oolong or black tea, so it retains more of the antioxidants and nutrients found in the plant leaves.
Other health benefits
Green tea contains a range of different compounds, including:
- B vitamins
- other antioxidants
It has been associated with several health benefits, including:
- reducing cholesterol
- improving heart functioning
- reducing Alzheimer's disease risk
- managing type 2 diabetes
- having anti-cancer properties
The evidence for many of these claims remains inconclusive, however. For example, a 2009 reviewof the research linking the consumption of green tea to the prevention of cancer was unable to find any strong evidence supporting the claim.
A more recent 2013 review found some evidence to suggest the consumption of green tea can reduce cholesterol. However, this was based on a small number of short-term studies.
In conclusion, more high-quality, long-term studies are needed to confirm whether green tea is beneficial for any medical conditions.
Green tea is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that may have a range of health benefits. Further research will be required to determine the extent to which it may help with weight loss and the best method for its consumption.
Green tea is not harmful, and it has been used for centuries. As such, it may be a useful addition to a healthful diet and exercise regime for weight loss and overall health.