Black tea is packed with nutrients that are slightly different from those in green and white teas but — like green tea — black tea is linked to weight loss. You’ll get the same benefits from caffeine in both types of tea. And unique black tea flavonoids show promise that help you drop extra pounds. But you’ll get the biggest impact by using black tea to replace high-calorie beverages.
Black Tea Flavonoids Support Weight Loss
A group of plant-based antioxidants called flavonoids, or polyphenols, are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with tea. All types of tea are made from the same plant leaves, which contain a group of flavonoids called catechins. In green tea, the primary flavonoids are catechins. When the leaves are further processed to produce black tea, the catechins form new flavonoids called theaflavins and thearubigins. Black tea may retain a small amount of catechins, but its health benefits come from the new flavonoids.
Black Tea Reduces Calorie Consumption
Beyond the potential benefits of polyphenols and caffeine, black tea will help you lose weight if you use it as a replacement for high-calorie beverages. One cup of black tea only has 2 calories. Even if you add a teaspoon of honey, it still only has 23 calories. If you drink any type of sweetened beverage, switching it with black tea eliminates a significant number of calories. One cup of sweetened cola has 103 calories, but remember that a can of soda contains 12 ounces, which adds another 52 calories. And if you get a large soda at the local fast-food restaurant, you’ll consume 413 calories.
Chinese Black Tea Promotes Fat Loss
Black tea got its name because the tea leaves turn black during the oxidation process that develops new flavonoids. When it’s brewed, black tea develops a reddish color, which is why it’s called red tea in China. Chinese black tea, or pu-erh tea, is different from black tea in the United States. Just like green tea and black tea, pu-erh tea is made from the same tea leaves, but the leaves are fermented by microorganisms and aged over an extended period of time. As a result, pu-erh tea has a unique flavor and contains flavonoids called theabrownins and gallic acid.
Researchers found that study participants who drank pu-erh tea extract lost more weight and abdominal fat than the group that didn’t drink tea, reported Nutrition Research in June 2011. But this study only had 36 subjects, so their results may not apply to other people. In lab mice, oolong, black and pu-erh teas — especially black tea — promoted weight loss and significantly decreased visceral fat, according to Food and Function in 2014.
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