Over the years, drinking tea has been on the rise especially for people trying to lose excess pounds. Mentioning tea, we don’t necessarily mean coffee, but teas like black tea, green tea, mint tea, ginger cardamom tea, and chamomile tea have been known to promote health, prevent diseases, and aid weight loss.
There is a variety that is steadily becoming prominent, and this is China’s best-kept secret, Pu-erh tea.
In this article, we learn what the Chinese Pu-erh tea is, Pu-erh tea benefits, how to make Pu-erh tea, and the side effects of
What is Pu-erh tea?
Pu’er or Pu-erh is a type of fermented tea native to Yunnan Province, China. It is made from the leaves of the wild old tree that grows in the Yunnan province. Pu-erh is believed to be one of the best teas for weight loss.
Pu-erh tea is different from other types of fermented tea like kombucha. First, after harvesting, the tea leaves are dried and prepared just like green tea. Secondly, the leaves undergo fermentation and then prolonged storage under high humidity conditions for aging. Aging makes Pu-erh tea taste better.
From the fermentation process, the leaves are packed in form of compressed bricks or cakes that are used to brew Pu-erh tea.
The brewed Pu-erh tea can be pale yellow, golden, red, or dark brown depending on the variety, and some varieties look like coffee with a smooth and earthy taste.
What is the nutritional value of Pu-erh tea?
According to the USDA, 100g of Pu-erh tea contains;
- Caffeine 11 mg
- Calories 1
- Sodium 4 mg
- Potassium 18 mg
- Total carbohydrate 0.2 g
- Protein 0.1 g
what are Pu-erh tea benefits?
The health benefits of Pu-erh tea include;
1. Increases Energy
A standard cup of Pu-erh tea contains 60-70 milligrams of caffeine which can boost your energy levels and focus to go through a tough day.
2. Promotes a Healthy Heart
Research shows that Pu-erh tea extracts may help reduce cholesterol levels in two ways. This decreases the risk of heart disease. All you need is one cup of Pu-erh tea a day can help you lower your risk of heart disease.
3. Cleanses Toxins and Free Radicals
Many times we eat food that contains fatty oils, toxins, and chemicals that are harmful to the body. The micro-organisms and simple sugars from the fermentation process of Pu-erh tea help to cleanse the body and blood from toxins and free radicals.
4. Prevents Cancer
Pu-erh tea contains polyphenols that help to eliminate free radicals that are responsible for the development of irregular cancer-causing cells.
5. Protects Bone Health
Our bones lose density and grow weaker as we age. There are also other factors such as poor body activity, smoking, and lack of minerals and vitamins. Animal studies show that polyphenols in Pu-erh tea can improve bone density, bone strength as well as minimizing pain and discomfort.
6. Aids in Weight Loss
When Pu-erh is combined with exercises and a healthy diet, it can help to fight the stubborn fat. Also, the tea leaves contain lovastatin which is said to aid digestion, fat breakdown, and relieving symptoms such as constipation.
Related; Spices and herbs for weight loss
7. Reduces Stress
The phytochemicals GABA and theanine that exist in Pu-erh tea are said to lower stress levels. These increase the production of melatonin that aids in better sleep and a calmer demeanor throughout the day.
8. Good for liver health
Animal study shows that; Pu-erh tea can block fat accumulation which may help prevent or reverse a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease that occurs when fat accumulates in your liver.
Another animal study showed that Pu-erh tea extract may protect the liver from damage due to chemotherapy drug cisplatin
How to brew Pu-erh tea
Making Pu-erh tea is not as hard as some people out there may think. All you need is a compressed cake or block of fermented leaves and hot water. Below is a simple recipe for making Pu-erh tea.
- One cake of loose tea leaves
- Optional: cream, milk, or sweeter
- Kettle for boiling water
- A teapot with a strainer
- Teacups or mugs
- Cover the Pu-erh tea cake or loose leaves in the teapot full of boiling water.
- Discard the water and repeat once more. This is meant to rinse the leaves to ensure high-quality tea.
- Steep the leaves in a teapot full of boiling water for 2 minutes. The time you steep can vary depending on your taste preferences. It can be short or long.
- The tea is poured into teacups ready for consumption.
How much Pu-erh tea a day?
Research as to how much Pu-erh tea one should take is inconclusive. But since Pu-erh tea contains caffeine, 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.
Pu-erh tea has about 30–100 mg of caffeine per cup. This means that a healthy adult can have 3-4 cups of Pu-erh tea daily.
Side effects of Pu-erh tea
The side effects of Pu-erh tea may come from the concentration of caffeine in the tea. While some people can tolerate high amounts of caffeine, others get serious side effects due to excessive caffeine. Some of the side effects include;
- Irregular heartbeat
- excessive urination
Pu-erh tea has a number of health benefits which include; aiding weight loss, fighting cancer, reducing blood cholesterol, promoting bone health, reducing stress, promoting liver health, cleansing the body, and boosting energy levels.
All this is due to the presence of caffeine, Polyphenols, phytochemicals: GABA and theanine, lovastatin, micro-organisms, and simple sugars present in Pu-erh tea.
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