Monday, December 20, 2010

Drinking Tea Can Help Curb Weight Gain

Drinking tea is a practice that has been around for centuries and still remains strong today. So many cultures place a high value on relaxing and enjoying tea; just think of how many gatherings and get-togethers, but also independent reflective practices are centered around the soothing and invigorating beverage. You're given relaxing tea at the spa or the yoga studio, offered a fresh cup of tea when visiting friends or family, and there's even tea at the office to perk you up and keep you focused on the task at hand. These are all great reasons to sip on a cuppa, but even more so if you consider the fact that drinking tea may actually help you whittle your waistline!

It's common knowledge that caffeine (and theophylline found in tea) gives us energy and wakes us up (it does this by stimulating the central nervous system), but it gives our metabolisms a bit of a boost. This is one reason why it's recommended that we drink at least one cup of green or white tea each day. In combination with caffeine, both green and white tea have plenty of health-boosting antioxidants and other fat-burning compounds. But if you love black tea, don't worry -- it's good for you, too.

According to a new study, both green and black tea may be able fight the nasty effects of a high-fat diet, including weight gain and rises in both cholesterol and blood glucose, as well as insulin resistance – a precursor to type 2 diabetes where the body does not efficiently use the insulin it produces.

The particular study, which was done at Kobe University, Japan and was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry gives us all the more reason to ensure we get in our daily dose of tea, except for the fact that the study was done on mice. We do know that the mechanism works, but future work needs to be done with human participants so that we know exactly how effective tea drinking is on the prevention of weight gain in humans. For now, we can stick with what we know and just aim for 1-2 cups of green or black tea (with no milk or sugar!) to benefit from all of the other wonderful properties of tea. Bottoms up!