Pu-erh tea tends to display a cardio-protective effect due to its cholesterol-lowering effects, as studies have demonstrated. Read this NutriNeat article to know more about its health benefits.
Although the caffeine content of pu-erh tea is pretty low as compared to a cup of coffee, it is good enough to have a positive impact on attention and mental alertness.
Native to China’s Yunnan province, pu-erh tea, in recent years, has grabbed the attention of a lot of eyeballs for its medicinal properties. Recent studies have shown how drinking this tea can positively affect one’s health. Made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, pue-erh tea is usually consumed after meals in China.
Unlike other types of tea that are either semi-fermented or fully-fermented, pu-erh tea is a post-fermented tea, which means, after fermentation, the leaves are sun-dried and allowed to age for months to even several years. The aged leaves are then used for making the tea. Of course, one can also have semi-fermented (made from freshly picked leaves) or fully-fermented (ripe) pu-erh tea. Whichever type of pu-erh tea you choose, you will surely enjoy its taste and flavor. Following are its purported benefits.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Regularly drinking pu-erh tea may be good for the heart, as found out through animal and human studies. The animal study reported in the 2009 edition of Experimental Gerontology, observed that rats put on this tea showed a noticeable decrease in bad cholesterol levels, and moreover, there was an increase in good cholesterol levels. This cholesterol-lowering property of pu-erh tea is also backed by a human study conducted at Kunming Medical College, Yunnan, China. In this study, around 55 patients who drank pu-erh tea, thrice daily, also showed a 64% decrease in bad cholesterol levels, which is praiseworthy, since prescription medications causes cholesterol levels to drop by around 67%. However, these results were not consistent, as in another study it led to a 17% drop in cholesterol levels, and moreover, triglycerides lowered by 22%.
The use of pu-erh tea is also supported by quite a few positive customer testimonials. In one testimonial reported in the Financial Times, the user (Alice Waters) said that pu-erh tea lowered her cholesterol levels by a whopping 100 points.
Despite the inconsistency in data, studies do suggest that this tea displays a heart protecting effect by lowering bad cholesterol levels. As the tea reduces cholesterol levels, its daily intake can contribute in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Displays Excellent Antioxidant Activity
Pu-erh tea also does not lag behind in antioxidant benefits. In fact, its antioxidant potential is nearly the same to that of oolong tea, an extremely rich source of antioxidants. This was observed in a study reported in the 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In this study, antioxidant capacity of 200 microg/ml water extracts of pu-erh tea were compared to that of oolong tea.
The analysis revealed that Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) values of oolong and pu-erh tea were 87.4 and 86.3, respectively. This indicates that, pu-erh is an equally effective antioxidant, which can also significantly contribute in inhibiting free-radical damage. The tea is found to be rich in antioxidants like theaflavin, flavonoids, and catechins.
A heavy meal can often leave one feeling sluggish and bloated. In such a situation, having a cup of pu-erh tea can surely comfort the stomach. It acts as a digestive aid, and helps in the breakdown of fat. So, if you had a feast, particularly on fatty foods, don’t forget to have this tea after your meal. Its purported fat-breaking capability can assist the stomach in digesting the heavy meal.
Lowers Blood Sugar
If the studies conducted at Jilin University and Changchun Science and Technology University are to be believed, drinking pu-erh tea regularly may help in lowering blood sugar. In the first study, obese rats were divided into 2 groups, wherein, one group received pu-erh tea, while the other group was put on Rosiglitazone (diabetic medicine). After a period of 14 days, it was observed that the rats who were given the tea showed a 42% drop in blood sugar levels, while those put on the prescription medicine had a 36.5% decrease in blood sugar.
In the second study, 120 people affected with diabetes were advised to have pu-erh tea daily, and discontinue their prescription medicines. After a stipulated period, the patients were again checked for blood sugar levels. It was observed that a whopping 70% showed a 35% average reduction in blood sugar levels. The study indicates that the daily intake of this tea may particularly benefit diabetic patients
Weight Loss Aid
Losing weight has always been a struggle for many, but with pu-erh tea, it may become a breeze. Complement your healthy diet and exercise routine with a few cups, to promote weight loss. Its purported fat shrinking ability works in accelerating the metabolic rate, in turn helping burn more calories. So, if you are serious about dropping those extra pounds, make sure to include this fat-metabolizing tea in your diet.
Looking for an easy remedy to ease your nasty hangover? A steaming cup of pu-erh tea can work wonders to relieve the aftereffects of excess alcohol intake. Drinking it may zap those throbbing hangover headaches and make you feel better.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.