different types of weight loss teas

Tea in all its form is easy for the body to process and contains almost no calories. Unless you add sugar and/or milk, it provides a great way to reduce your calorie intake. Tea is thus a very good beverage substitute to other more fattening drinks. Tea is also the most consumed beverage in the world almost on a par with water.

Of all types of tea, the “Chinese tea” is the most popular brand. It generally regarded as the true healthy weight loss tea with a wide variety. The Chinese have drunk them for about 5000 years. It has a highly honored tradition and used to promote good health and longevity.

Tea has its origin in China. Currently, 30 different countries cultivate different varieties. The major producers are Japan, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Indonesia, and India.

Popularity and Type of Teas

In the last few decades, the Chinese tea drinking culture has grown in popularity. The trend has grown particularly in Western cultures. This popularity is however more related to its acclaimed weight loss benefits.

Yet, it is important to understand that not all teas can be technically regarded as tea. This is especially when considered from a weight loss perspective. A beverage is a tea if it comes from the leaves of the tea plant called “Camellia sinensis.”

There are basically four major types of teas. They are:

  • White tea
  • Green tea
  • Oolong tea
  • Black tea

All teas nonetheless come from one plant, the Camellia sinensis. Thus, there is no separate white tea plant, green tea plant, an Oolong tea plant, or a black tea plant. They are all derived from the same Camellia sinensis plant.

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So, all four types of tea have the same health benefits. They all aid with cholesterol reduction as well as weight loss. All four types provide the same proven health benefits associated with tea drinking.

Teas Are Different

The term “green tea” has somehow become synonymous with all teas derived from the Camellia sinensis plant. This is despite their varied classifications. It is thus common for most people to refer to most weight loss teas as being green tea.

Yet their different classifications have a lot to say about their nature. This is because each of the four different types of tea has its unique qualities.

So what is it that actually distinguishes each of these teas from one another? Their differences are a function of their different processing procedures. The length of time the tea leaves are allowed to ferment or oxidize is the difference.

This is so despite the fact that the basic processing concepts remain the same globally. The way of handling and processing the buds and leaves of the tea plant are important. The process involved after harvesting varies somewhat from country to country.

Still, it is very important to remember that “tea” comes only from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is this plant that contains the vital properties that can help you shed those excess body fats.

White Tea

This is arguably the most delicate and least processed tea in the world. White tea comes from leaves picked before they fully open. This is when the buds still have fine white hairs covering them. This is what gives the tea its white look.

Although it is like green tea, white tea does not have the same grassy taste. It rather has a mild flavor and natural sweetness.

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The tea leaves of white tea undergo no fermentation or oxidation whatsoever. After harvesting, the tea leaves and buds are cleaned, dried, and packaged. The processing of white tea therefore involves no fermentation.

In fact, white tea is revered as “Tea of the Royals”. Fujian provinces in South-Eastern China are somewhat the strict areas for the production of white teas.

Qualities of White Tea

The cooling and refreshing nature of white tea makes it to be highly prized. It also provides anti-bacterial, anti-viral, heart-strengthening, and many other antioxidant benefits.

Studies have found that white tea has the highest antioxidant content of all teas. It contains as much as three times the amount of antioxidants in green tea.

White tea however has the least amount of caffeine of all the teas. It has about 15mg per serving when compared to 25mg contained in the same serving of green tea. White tea also has about twelve times as many antioxidants as fresh orange juice.

White tea was only recently introduced to Western countries. As a result, only a few studies have been carried out on the effect of white tea on weight loss. Yet, it is growing in popularity due to newfound health benefits. Many believe that these benefits easily translate into weight loss.

Green Tea

Green tea has a distinctive light color. This is as a result of the incomplete fermentation of its tea leaves. This makes green tea only partly fermented.

Once picked, the tea leaves are cleaned and then allowed to undergo a degree of fermentation. Thereafter the leaves can be baked, roasted, sun dried, or steamed. These help to stop the fermentation process.

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After that, the leaves can be cut, ground, or rolled into a variety of shapes when dried. This shape depends on the region of the plantation and their unique pattern.

This gentle processing allows both green and white teas to preserve high amounts of beneficial antioxidants. Green tea has very low amount of caffeine as well as a distinctive, healthy, and good flavor.

Green tea has a high concentration of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is green tea’s most active ingredient. It helps to increase thermogenesis – a process of heat generation in the body. This increases levels of fat oxidation – the burning of fat for fuel.

Oolong Tea

Unlike green tea, Oolong tea is a semi-fermented whole-leaf tea. It has taste and color somewhere between green and black teas. Oolong tea has a complex flavor and aroma.

When compared to the other teas, the processing of Oolong tea is pretty long. After harvesting and cleaning, the leaves and buds undergo a “withering of leaves” process. The “withering of leaves” involves air being blown through the leaves while they are in bamboo containers.

Rolling the “withered leaves” releases the oils within them. This allows the oils to mix with air as the leaves start to ferment or oxidize. They later turn a blue-green color and placed in a wok. Placing in the wok stops further fermentation and adds flavor.

This processing procedure helps to remove harsh irritants from the raw tea leaves. It also helps to create the subtle fragrances and flavors of Oolong teas. These qualities distinguish Oolong tea from all the other types.

Oolong tea is rich in plant polyphenols like green tea. It is also contains all the antioxidants found in all the teas. These include Catechins, Thearubgin, and Theaflavin. There are arguments that Oolong tea might be more effective than green tea in calorie burning.

Black Tea

This is the most drunk tea in the Western world. Black tea has a 75% rate of global tea production and consumed by roughly 87% of American tea drinkers. Of the four tea types, black tea is the most fermented variety and contains the most amount of caffeine.

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The processing procedure of black tea has a somewhat similar beginning to that of Oolong tea. The exception is with the “withering of leaves” process. With black tea, the withered leaves are cut.

After that they undergo several hours of fermentation. This causes the leaves to turn from the blue-green color of Oolong tea to a dark red or black color. Then they are placed in a hot wok as this stops any further fermentation and also adds flavor.

Interestingly, the Chinese refer to black tea as “red tea” because of its red color. Western countries call it black tea because of the genera black color of the tea leaves.

The Important Components of Black Tea

Black tea contains very high concentration of the antioxidants Theaflavins and Thearubigins. These compounds are responsible for the color of black tea. Also, they are what give black tea its astringent flavor.

Black tea comprises of:

  • 45% thearubigins
  • 15% theaflavins
  • 30% catechins
  • 10% flavonol glycosides

Both green and Oolong teas comprise of about 90% catechins and 10% flavonol glycosides.

Theaflavins and Thearubigins have other benefits besides their general antioxidant benefits. Studies have shown that they also act as powerful anti-clastogenics. These help to prevent the breakdown of cells.

Black tea also helps to bolster the immune system as well as decrease the levels of stress hormones. It also increases heat within the body. The increased heat helps with circulatory problems and reduces risk of strokes.

The consumption of a single cup of green tea has a “small but significant” effect. This effect is in the increase of the total concentration of catechins in blood plasma. The effect is even less for black. This is because theaflavins and thearubigins have high molecular weights. This reduces the rate of their absorption into the bloodstream.

However, the addition of milk to your tea does not affect the absorption of catechins.

The Beauty of All Teas

Having said that, there is a lot of evidence showing that regular drinking of tea has significant weight loss benefits. This is irrespective of the type of tea. Be it white, green, Oolong, or black tea. As long as it comes from the Camellia sinensis plant – it has some significant weight loss benefits.

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Tea is today more appreciated for its acclaimed abilities to help with weight loss.

The high antioxidant content of tea can help increase the body’s metabolism by up to 4%. Tea also helps in suppressing appetite due to it blood sugar regulation ability.

Added to that, tea reduces insulin levels thereby increasing insulin sensitivity. Thus, drinking tea can help the body burn more fat while also reducing fat storage in the body.

With all the above qualities of tea, healthy weight loss involves more than one factor. It is thus advisable to add regular tea drinking to a healthy diet and an active physical lifestyle.