The population throughout countries in Asia continues to have lower statistics in high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The standard diet consumed has been a source of fascination, study, and debate in the scientific community.
Over the last few years, the perks of drinking tea have become better known in the Western hemisphere. A staple of the Eastern diet for thousands of years, ancient cultures used various teas to promote health and prevent disease.
You know all about green tea. Readily available at every grocery store, found in products from personal care to supplements, green tea is becoming a staple for those of us who never considered tea.
There are other varieties slowly making their way into our vocabulary. They aren’t “big” yet but if you’re looking for a healthy, natural addition to your diet to trim your waistline or control your current weight – you’re going to want to check out pu-erh tea benefits.
The name is funny – pronounced “poo air” – but the initial results of this tea are pretty amazing. A slow excitement is building about it and there are many reasons why.
What is Pu-Erh Tea?
Originating from China’s Yunnan district, pu-erh is cultivated from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) that supplies oolong, green, and black tea.
However, pu-erh tea is fermented similarly to oolong tea and then goes through an additional process called post-fermentation. After the tea is fermented, the leaves are sun-dried, and aged in a high humidity environment.
The benefits of fermentation have been proven with fermented soy, wine, and cheese. As with wine and cheese, pu-erh tea gets better the longer it is aged. This particular tea is considered a delicacy in China and is typically found in the form of a cake or brick. Pieces are separated from the whole and brewed.
Pu-erh tea has a mild flavor that doesn’t require sugar or cream. It contains caffeine (though in lower quantities than other popular teas) and is host to an abundance of antioxidants such as polysaccharides, polyphenols, and statins that have researchers enthralled.
Pu-Erh Tea Benefits
In China, this unassuming tea has been used increase mental alertness. It has been shown to stimulate blood flow as well as the central nervous system. Scientists are interested in its ability to increase energy levels and boost metabolism.
A study published from China’s Department of Life Science and Biotechnology – Kunming University found that rats given doses of pu-erh tea lost weight, lowered cholesterol, and exhibited more balanced blood sugar levels.
A known advantage is its ability to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good cholesterol) due to a particular antioxidant it contains called lovastatin – a compound that is often prescribed for patients with high lipid (blood fat) levels.
In ancient medical practice, this tea was used to aid in digestion – specifically the spleen and stomach. It is still used today after heavy or high-fat meals as well as consumption of too much alcohol to lessen the discomfort of hangovers.
As with green tea, additional studies will need to be done to confirm the benefits of pu-erh tea but it is already considered a healthy beverage to add as part of a balanced nutrition plan.
How to Prepare Pu-Erh Tea
- Pour just enough rapidly boiling water over the tea leaves (using a tea ball creates less mess) to cover them.
- After ten seconds, the leaves will rehydrate and open.
- Discard the first water, add more boiling water, and allow it to steep for more than two minutes but less than five.
Exact time depends on how strong you prefer your tea. If you buy high quality tea leaves, you can reuse the leaves a few times.
If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, consider replacing one cup of java each day with a cup of pu-erh tea. Longer steeping gives this tea a richer, earthy flavor similar to coffee.
Try a “Tea Regimen” for 60 Days!
Looking for safe and healthy ways to lose weight and turn yourself into a fat-burning machine? Dr. Oz talked about the benefits of tea and endorsed the following teas as some of the best for weight loss as well as additional hydration.
- Morning Tea: Drink two cups of pu-erh tea to shrink fat cells, boost metabolism, and improve mental clarity.
- Lunch Tea: Drink two cups of white tea to inhibit fat storage and burn the fat you already have. Help lower stress levels as well.
- Afternoon Tea: Drink one cup of fruity chickweed tea to reduce bloating and flush out fat and toxins.
- Evening Tea: Drink one cup of bilberry tea (similar to blueberries with a slightly more tart taste) to fight food cravings and level glucose levels before bed.
If you’re looking for a natural way to ease the jitters of air travel, then try tulsi tea.
Head to your local market and pick up a few teas to try. Your waistline, heart, and brain will thank you!