Hailed as a “fat-burning” weight loss product, Pu-erh tea has become very popular in recent years. Apparently, Victoria Beckham is a fan of this tea which is known to decrease blood cholesterol levels and improve fat metabolism…hence its popularity.
Pu-erh tea, or simply Pu-erh, is named after the region where it was first harvested: a small town in the Chinese province of Yunnan. It is a fermented tea, with a very dark red color. Unlike other teas that should ideally be consumed shortly after production, Pu-erh can be drunk immediately or aged for many years – some prized Pu-erh teas can be over 50 years old! Much like wine, during aging, it ferments, thus acquiring a strong earthy flavor. In China, like many other teas, Pu-erh is regarded as a medicinal drink, because it facilitates digestion.
Does it really play a role in weight loss? Pu-erh tea is known for its “fat-burning” qualities because it helps fight against bad cholesterol and decrease saturated fat levels. However while Pu-erh tea does have a beneficial effect on cholesterol and saturated fatty-acid levels in the blood, this benefit exists in other teas as well. Most teas contain a certain quantity of theine (caffeine) and catechin, and these compounds play an interesting role in the metabolism of fats and act in synergy and have positive effects on cholesterol.
Tea catechins have also shown to have anti-obesity effects, which is why it is recommended to drink tea in combination with a healthy lifestyle or weight loss program.
It sounds hardly believable, but it seems that tea catechins together with caffeine increase thermogenesis (process of heat production requiring energy, and thus calories, to keep the body at 37°C) by 40%! Imagine the number of calories you would burn in this case!
So should you drink tea? The answer is yes. Should you drink Pu-erh tea? I see no disadvantage, but if you don’t like its fermented taste (some go as far as saying it tastes like dirt), don’t force yourself, as green tea does as much good as Pu-erh.
Valerie is an entrepreneur, wellbeing expert, celebrity coach, author, contributing editor, mom and survivor. She created LeBootcamp, a fitness and weight-loss website. She is also the worldwide image of the Nintendo Wii My Body Coach, which launches in the US in spring 2010. She lives with her husband of 20 years and her teenager in the Silicon Valley.
Tags: Weight loss