For the past several years, the popularity of slimming teas (most commonly, that of the Chinese green tea) as an effective weight-loss tool has grown exponentially. Everyone from dieticians to movie stars and athletes seems to be swearing by its many benefits. Ranked as the most consumed beverage (after water of course) going green seems to be the “in-thing” these days, especially given its detox properties. Here’s a look at what makes green tea so amazing:
What is it?
All types of tea, except herbal tea, are brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush. The level to which the leaves are oxidized determines the type of tea. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea. It, therefore, contains the most antioxidants called polyphenols. The polyphenol abundant in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG for short). EGCG exerts almost all the benefits that green tea has to offer:
- It offers protection from bacteria/viruses and helps in eliminating heavy metals like mercury, cadmium and lead that can enter the food chain through pollutants.
- It has been researched to show beneficial effects in preventing cancer, heart disease, cognitive function and alertness, and improving insulin sensitivity.
How Does It Work?
Our body produces free radicals as a by-product of metabolism, smoking, alcohol and stress. These can damage healthy tissue by triggering immune cells thus driving the process of aging and inflammation. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
One of the most talked about benefits of green tea is its ability to “detox”. First, let’s understand detox. It is nothing but short for “Detoxification”, one of the processes your body does daily (Read 24/7 just like respiration, digestion and excretion). The liver and kidney are involved in the process.
Toxins are basically anything foreign to the body. Examples include: pesticides, drugs, alcohol, pollutants, pathogens, cigarette smoke, alcohol are all allergens. These are captured and converted into in water-soluble forms and are transported to the liver and the kidney, to be excreted through urine or stool. Polyphenols from green tea aid this process. They also protect the liver from oxidative damage improving its efficiency. Thus detox is not a ritual to be chosen by you. It is something that needs to be addressed daily by choosing the right nutrients and reducing your exposure to toxins!
What Is The Best Way To Brew Green Tea?
Polyphenols become more bioavailable (available for use by the body) when you take it with vitamin C. Heating to very high temperatures can also destroy them. So don’t boil it. Infuse it in a cup of warm water. Add a slice of lime.
Stressful work environments make us want to reach out for innumerable cups of tea/coffee every day. This increases the carbohydrate content in the diet making it counter productive. A cup of green tea can easily replace your sugary tea or coffee at the desk. Remember to keep yourself hydrated and not exceed the limit to more than 4 cups in total.
Want some more gyan on green tea? Mobiefit in collaboration with Tetley Green Tea is coming up with a “Detox Your Body” Youtube series, where fitness enthusiasts and experts will share there Detox Mantras. To get you started, watch Deepika Padukone sip on Tetley Green Tea for the perfect detox! Enjoy!