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The constant struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to keep up with the demands of a hectic lifestyle is causing people to look for a more innovative and easier-to-follow mode to remain healthy and keep the extra weight at bay.
One of the top contenders that is quite popular among health-conscious people and has been proven to help lose some pounds without demanding extra time or effort from their already-demanding lifestyle is green tea.
Nutritional Value of Green Tea
Brewed green tea is basically water-based. It doesn’t contain any carbohydrate or fat, and additional benefits of unsweetened tea are that its calorie free.
Nutritional value of brewed green tea per 100 grams:
How to Make Green Tea Lemonade for Weight Loss and Increased Metabolism
The benefits of the ingredients of this green tea lemonade make it a great beverage to be included in your daily weight loss diet.
Things you’ll need:
- Water – 2 cups
- Green tea – 1 tea bag
- Honey – 2 to 3 teaspoons
- Lemon zest and juice – from 1 lemon
- Cinnamon stick – ½ inch
- Pour 2 cups of water into a pan and heat it.
- Wash a lemon thoroughly and gently scrape its zest with a zester, grater, or sharp paring knife and put it in the boiling water.
- Add ½ inch of cinnamon stick.
- Cover the pan with a lid and allow the water to boil.
- Turn off the heat and put a green tea bag into the hot water. Cover again and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Set this tea aside to cool down.
- Strain the tea.
- Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the tea.
- Mix in 2 teaspoons of organic honey.
- Refrigerate the green tea lemonade for 20 to 30 minutes or simply add a few ice cubes and drink immediately.
This tangy and refreshing green tea lemonade will not only help in burning fat but also in removing toxins from the body.
- To enhance the benefits of this green tea lemonade, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to it. (1)
- Prepare a large batch of this green tea lemonade and refrigerate it. Drink 1 or 2 glasses of this tea every day.
- For better results, always use organic lemon and organic honey for this beverage.
- You can also use cinnamon powder for this refreshing drink if you do not have the cinnamon stick.
- Do not discard the green tea bags after using them. Instead, store them in the refrigerator. You can then place cold tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness. You may also remove the green tea leaves from the tea bag and use them as a facial scrub/mask to treat mild acne and to fight the signs of skin aging. The green tea leaves from the tea bag can also be placed in your garden as an organic compost. (2)
Healing Potential of Each Ingredient
Here’s a look at how these ingredients aid weight loss.
1. Green tea
The antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) present in green tea is known to have the potential of increasing the metabolic rate and, thereby, burning fat. (3)
The antiobesity effects of green tea were published by the American College of Nutrition in 2007. The study suggests that EGCG can alone increase fat oxidation. (4)
Green tea extract (GTE) has been known to increase fat oxidation at rest and during exercise in some studies. (5)
A study published in Nutrients in 2015 also suggests that consuming GTE increases fat oxidation significantly under resting and postexercise conditions. (6)
However, it would be advisable to consume the real tea instead of the extract. While extracts can increase fat oxidation, they are also known to cause toxic effects, especially when consumed in high doses. Also, extracts are not regulated by the government.
According to a 2010 study published in Toxicologic Pathology, green tea extract was found to have caused toxic effects on animal subjects. (7)
Real tea is always the better choice. Not only is it cheaper, but it also tastes better.
According to a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism in 2006, an adequate supply of vitamin C may assist in burning 25% more body fat during exercise than in a person who has inadequate vitamin C intake. (8)
Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, which may help with burning fat in your body. The antioxidant properties of ascorbic acid present in lemon positively influence the antioxidant potential of tea. (9)
The Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2008 published a study that found that the polyphenols in lemons act as antioxidants and help stimulate the liver to burn fat in rats. More studies need to be done in humans. (10)
Another important ingredient that promotes weight loss is honey. It has a slow effect on blood sugar compared with regular table sugar. (13) This property helps in controlling appetite and, thereby, maintaining weight. So, if you find green tea a little bitter for your taste, then you can add honey to sweeten it.
Honey coupled with a lower calorie intake would assist in promoting weight loss.
A study published in Nutrition Research in 2011 found that honey, when compared with sucrose, may help reduce weight gain and adiposity, probably due to lower food intake, and may promote lower serum triglycerides but higher non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations in rats. (16)
Cinnamon plays a key role in influencing weight loss. However, cinnamon alone is not that effective in promoting weight loss; if you want to achieve optimum weight loss, you need to pair it with a lower calorie intake than you normally would consume.
Cinnamon supports weight loss by improving body composition. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study in 2006 that noted that cinnamon supplementation increases lean mass and decreases body fat, but it’s better to get it in its natural form. (17)
This was further supported by a study performed in 2010, which showed that cinnamon improves fasting glucose and increases lean body mass while also helping improve blood pressure and antioxidant status in certain people. (18)
Precautions to Consider
- Green tea is not suitable for children below the age of 18 months. Children at large should only consume green tea in food amounts as excessive consumption by mouth can result in liver damage, as has been reported in some adult cases.
- Green tea is off-limits for anemic people as it contains antioxidants that inhibit iron absorption in the human body which can further reduce their hemoglobin levels.
- People with liver disease should get their doctor’s approval before starting green tea consumption. Although drinking this tea in normal quantities as a beverage might not be problematic, but high doses of green extracts have been associated with liver injury. Green tea contains a chemical that can make your liver disease even worse.
- The caffeine component of green tea might contribute to increased blood pressure levels in people who already suffer from this problem. As for people who are not prone to high blood pressure, regular intake of green tea as a beverage is by and large considered safe.
- Consuming large amounts of green tea can have a diuretic effect which is triggered by its caffeine content. Moreover, certain compounds in green tea inhibit the absorption of calcium in the body. As a result, your body is likely to flush out an increased amount of calcium along with the urine. Thus, it may be useful to couple your green tea intake with calcium supplementation in order to compensate for this caffeine-induced loss of mineral.
- The caffeine in green tea can trigger a bout of diarrhea as well as aggravate pre-existing IBS symptoms, especially when consumed in excessive amounts.
- Since green tea can alter blood sugar levels, it is essential for diabetic patients to monitor their blood glucose closely when consuming green tea.
- People with bleeding disorders are advised against green tea intake as the caffeine in it can make them more susceptible to bleeding.
- People with anxiety should refrain from drinking green tea as it can further aggravate their condition.
- The caffeine in green tea has also been associated with increased prevalence of cardiac arrhythmia.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women are allowed no more than 200 milligrams of green tea which makes for two cups a day. Exceeding this stipulated limit can result in an increased risk for miscarriage as well as birth defects. Breastfeeding women who consume large amounts of green tea can pass on the caffeine to their infant through breastmilk and endanger his/her health.
- The caffeine in green tea has a compounding effect on stimulant drugs such as ephedrine, cocaine, nicotine or amphetamines, in terms of triggering the nervous system. Taking the two stimulants in tandem can give rise to serious health implications such as dangerously high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
- Once green tea is consumed, the caffeine in it is broken down in the body and subsequently excreted out of the system. However, there are certain drugs that can come in the way and delay this process, thereby amplifying the side effects of caffeine such as headaches, digestive distress, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, among others. These drugs include estrogen pills, fluvoxamine, cimetidine, birth control pills, antibiotics, disulfiram, verapamil, mexiletine, terbinafine, among others.
- Green tea can also adversely interfere with how the body processes certain medications and how quickly it eliminates them from the system and thereby can enhance and prolong their side effects. These include riluzole, lithium, and clozapine.
- The stimulant properties of caffeine can nullify the sleep-promoting effects of Pentobarbital.
- People on blood thinning medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, heparin, warfarin and others, should limit their intake of green tea which has a similar anticoagulant effect that further inhibits the blood from clotting. Thus, taking the two together can increase your chances of bruising and bleeding.
- The liver damaging effect of green tea extracts is only amplified when taken alongside certain medications that are also associated with causing liver damage.
Green tea lemonade is not only absolutely delicious and refreshing, but it is also quite simple to make. Plus, everything that is required to make this healthy beverage is already present in your kitchen.
The best part of this beverage is that green tea supports fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Moreover, the recipe shared above also uses other ingredients cinnamon, lemon, and honey which have their own additional health benefits.