Cutting back on less nutritious dietary components is a great way to lose weight and boost overall health, just in time for summer. Soda is one of the most popular items to give up. However, you can replace it with something that gives you the caffeine boost you crave, plus the good stuff thatâ€™ll keep you going strong.
Green tea, which is the least-processed type of caffeinated tea, is made from the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black, red and oolong teas also come from this plant, but they are dried, crushed and fermented. Green teas are processed simply by quickly steaming the leaves, which better preserves the beneficial elements of the plant. The resulting brew is lighter in color and flavor than other types of tea.
Green tea is available in many forms. Japanese sencha green tea is a basic green tea with a pure flavor. Jasmine green tea has a sweet, delicate scent that pairs well with Thai food. The leaves of gunpowder tea are rolled into tiny balls that unfurl as they soak in hot water and produce a darker brew. Young hyson tea is picked before the rainy season to impart a bright, sunny taste to the leaves.
Green tea has quite a few health benefits. First off, studies have shown that the brew can help people lose weight and stay thin. Doctors arenâ€™t exactly sure why, but they suspect it has something to do with phytochemicals called catechins that are found in the leaves. Catechins may encourage weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and drop fat.
Green tea also contains polyphenols, which some researchers think can help prevent cancer. Some studies have shown that consuming four to six cups of the tea daily can cut your risk of gastric, skin and esophageal cancers. Polyphenols can also help to lower cholesterol levels and prevent clotting.
For those who are trying to take in less caffeine, green tea can be a lifesaver. A cup of brewed green tea has 40 milligrams of caffeine, while a cup of coffee contains 85 milligrams.
Given all the great benefits that green tea offers, itâ€™s worth giving it a whirl. Try sipping a cup instead of your usual coffee or soda and let the warm, mild drinkâ€™s soothing powers wash over you.