News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Green Tea and Weight Loss

In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism), plus also had a significant effect on fat oxidation. While some of the effects were originally theorized to be due to the caffeine content of green tea, the researchers discovered that the tea actually has properties that go beyond those that would be explained by the caffeine.

Drinking 2-4 cups of green tea per day can help you shed some of that hard-to-lose weight. The International Journal of Obesity states that green tea contains polyphenols which cause your body to produce unnecessary heat, thus "wasting" calories. When preparing green tea, be sure not to use boiling water, as this will cause the tea to be bitter. Also, the longer the tea steeps, the more bitter it will taste.

Green tea fields

Green tea can also help:
  • Revive aging skin cells.
  • Boost your brain power.
  • Battle creaky knees.
  • Keep your heart healthy.

A Brew for Your Brain

Green tea is not only good for your body, but it also may be good for your brain.
In a study, older people who drank at least 2 cups of antioxidant-rich green tea per day were about 50 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment compared to the people who drank 3 or fewer cups per week. Exercising regularly and keeping your brain busy with puzzles, books, and problem solving are other good ways to stay sharp.

Correct water temperature and steeping time are important when making a flavorful cup of tea. Black and herbal teas should be prepared with boiling water and steeped for 4 to 6 minutes. However, these conditions are too harsh for delicate green tea and may affect the flavor and potency. When preparing green tea, heat water to approximately 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer, just bring the water to a boil and then remove it from the heat source for about a minute. Pour the water over your green tea bag or leaves and steep for 2 to 3 minutes, the optimal infusion time for this kind of tea.

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