Red Tea to Lose Weight

by Milo Dakota

About Milo Dakota

Since 2005, Milo Dakota has ghostwritten articles and book manuscripts for doctors, lawyers, psychologists, nutritionists, diet experts, fitness instructors, acupuncturists, chiropractors and others in the medical and health profession. Her work for others has appeared in the "Journal of the American Medical Society" and earned accolades in "The New York Times." She holds a Master of Art in journalism from the University of Michigan.

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Red’s the new green when it comes to teas, according to Canada’s Toronto Sun newspaper. Red tea contains some of the same fat-fighting, disease-prevention antioxidants that helped green tea soar in worldwide popularity. And, it contains no caffeine, so there’s no risk of suffering sleeplessness or nervous jitters in drinking red tea. But red tea hasn’t been studied for its role in weight loss.

Red 'Tea' Isn't Real Tea

Red tea isn’t actually a tea. All natural teas -- green, black, white and oolong -- come from a single plant called Camellia sinensis. Red tea is an herbal drink made from the rooibos plant. Rooibos grows in the Cedarberg Mountains of South Africa. It has been used as a folk remedy for treating colic, malignancies and inflammation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, red tea is a rich source of antioxidants that have been tested on animals but not humans for potential health benefits.

Flavonoids and Weight Loss

Red tea contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in green tea. If red tea is found to possess flavonoids in quantities similar to those found in green tea, it may prove effective in weight loss. Catechins, a type of flavonoid, has been linked to weight loss. In a U.S. clinical trial, for instance, people who consumed 660 milligrams of catechins daily lost twice as much weight as those who consumed 22 milligrams of catechins. The trial, led by a private researcher named Kevin Maki and published in February 2009 in the Journal of Nutrition, compared the weight loss effects of drinking green and black tea. If red tea proves to contain as many catechins as green tea, it could become a contender in the weight loss industry.

Phytochemicals

Red tea also contains antioxidants called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals help to give broccoli a reputation as a “nearly perfect vegetable,” according to The New York Times. Phytochemicals are found in plants, but some plants are richer sources than others. Plants high in phytochemical content tend to be dieter-friendly. Blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, for instance, are rich in phytochemicals and may help to boost metabolism, according to Leslie Beck, a nutritionist who writes regularly for The Globe and Mail.

Considerations

If you try red tea and find that it helps you lose weight, you may want to stock up. Because rooibos grows only in South Africa, it could become scarce if marketers create a demand for the tea. Herbs such as ephedra and ginseng were over-harvested when weight loss supplement manufacturers found profit potential in the Chinese herbs. Demand for ephedra has dropped since the Food and Drug Administration banned its use.

Precautions

Rooibos has been used for centuries in South Africa, but its usefulness and safety remain largely untested. The fact that red tea contains no caffeine may make it appealing to pregnant women, but caution is advised. Red tea sold by large tea manufacturing companies have likely undergone more safety tests than red tea sold online by independent enterprises, but anyone who wishes to drink red tea for weight loss should consult a medical professional.

References (6)

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.