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Can Tea Help You Lose Weight?

March 02, 2015

About half of Americans drink a cup of tea every day.

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world behind water. While some people drink tea to get their caffeine fix, tea can do much more than give you energy. It actually has one very surprising health benefit: weight loss.

Tea has several antioxidants and nutrients that can quell cravings, help the body break down fat and improve overall health. Research has shown that it also may play a role in reducing cancer and heart disease risks and improving the health of your teeth.

If you’re wondering what kind of tea to drink to get the most health benefits, here are the five I’d recommend:

Green Tea

Green tea has become so popular today that you can find it in everything from cocktails to savory entrees. But to stay healthy, you should avoid the sugary, high-calorie versions of green tea and stick to the brewed kind.

In its purest form, green tea increases your metabolism. Though it has caffeine in it, when combined with exercise it can give you more energy. It also contains catechins, a plant chemical that lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and helps the body break down fat and use that fat for energy, which leads to weight loss.

According to WebMD, a 2013 review of several studies also showed that green tea could help prevent heart-related issues such as congestive heart failure. It’s also good for the brain. One study showed that people who drank green tea had increased activity in areas of the brain responsible for memory. With all these benefits, it could be beneficial to swap one sugary beverage or cup of coffee for green tea every day.

Oolong Tea

Like green tea, Oolong tea also contains catechins that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and kickstart weight loss.

Oolong, a traditional Chinese tea with the combined qualities of black and green tea, is rich in antioxidants and caffeine, the latter of which stimulates your metabolism. It has been shown to reduce the incidence of chronic health conditions such as heart disease and inflammation. It also helps to strengthen bones, improve skin and dental health.

White Tea

White tea is one of the least processed teas. Like green tea and oolong tea, it is very high in antioxidants. However, it also has polyphenols, or micronutrients, which help to prevent the formation of new fat cells, especially in the stomach.

Mint Tea

Studies have shown that the smell of mint teas, especially peppermint tea, can decrease your appetite. A 2007 study showed that people who smelled the scent of peppermint every two hours felt less hungry throughout the day, ate 1,800 fewer calories than normal and ultimately lost five pounds in one month.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos tea, an herbal tea that originated in Africa, has no caffeine. This means you can drink it without worrying about your caffeine intake.

Rooibos tea can decrease stress hormones, which helps to cut down on food cravings. It also has several phytonutrients, which can prevent disease and ensure your body functions normally. Like most teas, it also contains antioxidants and can protect the body by fighting against free radicals that attack healthy cells. Rooibos tea also improves circulation, relieves certain stomach issues and skin conditions, and has a high content of minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron (it aids in the absorption of iron).

Drink to Your Health

Teas can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Drink three to four cups periodically throughout the day, and stick with brewed rather than high-sugar bottled teas to get the most health benefits.