Pinkies up! A new research review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds tea drinkers sport slimmer waistlines.
After looking at several studies and meta-analyses on the effects green, white, and oolong tea have on body weight, Dutch researchers found that tea’s natural ingredients—catechins and caffeine—help increase a person’s energy expenditure, or the calories they burn just by being. The compounds also increase fat oxidation (fat breakdown) in the body.
Not to mention tea is really good for your gut, says Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director of the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Science is continually showing how certain foods can boost good and bad gut flora, or bacteria, and drinking tea accomplishes the former.
Still not sold? Consider this: Drinking one to two cups of tea daily has been shown to improve mood, attention, and reduce the risk for several diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. And no, it doesn’t matter which kind of tea you pour. “Diversity makes a difference,” says. Dr. Blumberg. “It’s a little bit of an adventure to go out and find a tea you like.”
It’s important to note these results are modest when not combined with healthy diet and exercise, says Dr. Blumberg, especially in regards to weight loss. Think of drinking tea as more of a way to augment your diet and overall health, he says.