A thin waist is a green mug away!

I took a little quick survey a couple days ago…I wanted to find out about peoples experience with green tea.  I found that almost everyone had tried it and knew it was good for you; most had had it hot only, like at an Asian Restaurant, and about half the people has some in their pantry. Well, I am defiantly exited about the new news on green tea. Here’s an easy way to turn a routine workout into a powerful waist-whittler: Drink green tea.

That’s right. Ditch the Gatorade and instead sip several mugs of the green stuff throughout the day. greenteamangoResearch shows that the wonder duo of green tea and exercise may target belly fat better, so it shrinks more easily than with exercise alone, that is why you will find tons of green tea extracts in products like Xenadrine and Hydroxycut.

In a study, overweight adults who engaged in an exercise program for 12 weeks lost more belly fat if they also drank green tea daily. The green tea seemed to boost overall weight loss and triglyceride control in the study group, too. The magic amount of tea needed for the effect? Enough to get about 625 milligrams of catechins plus a little caffeine every day (roughly 7 cups daily). That may seem like a lot, but throughout the day it is easy. If you have difficulty sleeping at night, stop drinking the tea around 5 or 6pm.

Researchers think that catechins in green tea might blast tummy fat by acting on enzymes that influence the body’s calorie- and fat-burning mechanisms. And catechins and caffeine together may boost the body’s metabolism.

So great, green tea will help with weight loss, but what if I do not like the taste?

Well, just like red wine, there are lots of types of green tea. There is Sen-cha, a nice simple Japanese grren tea that is one of my favorites (available at Trader Joes), there is Mat-cha a slightly sweet Japanese green that is typically drank iced, (like the one at Ichiban) there is a Gan-mai Cha which is roasted brown rice green tea which has a richer flavor and aroma, there is jasmine green, lemongrass green, the choices are endless. You also have the choice of getting it in bags or bulk and steeping it in a pot, drinking it hot or cold.
I have begun to brew a batch of tea at night and place it in an old juice jar, let it cool and bring it to work, if I finish the jar, there are my 7 cups that day.

So let me take a moment and let you know about my bad experiences with green tea. First, some of use discovered in Acupuncture School where everybody drinks green tea, that some people of European decent will get gas from cheap Chinese green tea, never had a problem with Japanese type though. Secondly, green tea for the most part, should be brewed with water that is not boiling. Let the water cool for 2 minutes first to about 85 degrees Celsius, then brew. Brew time is very short for green tea, about 2-3 minutes, after that it may become bitter and too strong. A high quality green tea bag can be used up to 3 times; still producing health benefits and flavor, so have a small plate to rest your tea bag on in between uses.

So although it is still a little cool out there, here is a recipe to enjoy this spring and summer and get your green tea fix!

Green Tea and Mango Splash

Feel the island breezes as you sip this cooling concoction.

Ingredients

1 cup strongly brewed green tea, (2 tea bags to 1 cup water)
2 cups mango nectar
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Mango slivers, for garnish
Directions1. Combine tea and mango nectar in a pitcher. Serve over ice, garnished with mint sprigs and mango slivers.

Nutrition Information

Per serving
Calories: 97
Carbohydrates: 25g
Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
Protein: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Potassium: 102mg
Sodium: 4mg
Nutrition Bonus: What you get: Antioxidants, vitamins A and C. (Chew the mint and you’ll get an extra bit of fiber and folate.)