You may have never heard of pu-erh tea before, but it’s sure to be all the rage soon enough. With multiple health benefits and a great flavor, this recently-discovered tea can do everything from reducing cholesterol to reducing your risk for cancer. Read on to learn about its many health benefits and why you should be drinking this tea.
Benefits of Pu-erh Tea
Researchers studying the effects of pu-erh tea found that it possesses antioxidant, cancer-fighting, cholesterol-lowering, and blood sugar-balancing properties. Perhaps the biggest surprise that researchers discovered was the tea’s ability to inhibit the enzyme complex called fatty acid synthase, which is not only linked to obesity but also to many types of cancer.
- By inhibiting synthase, pu-erh tea can help you lose weight and improve your body’s ability to get rid of fat cells.
- Pu-erh tea also contains gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that acts as a stabilizer and relaxant in the central nervous system.
- GABA is also believed to help support the immune system and cardiovascular health.
- Polyphenols and EGCG, in particular, are another star ingredient of this tea. EGCG is believed to help protect against cancer and may even support the heart and reduce diabetes.
How to Prepare Pu-erh Tea
It is important to prepare the tea correctly so as not to lose some of the important nutrients that naturally occur in the tea. First of all, more nutrients are found in tea leaves that have been properly aged. Depending on where you find the tea, it may or may not be fermented. Raw pu-erh tea is not (manually) fermented and is the best choice for supporting weight loss, cholesterol reduction, and healthy teeth and gums.
Ripe pu-erh tea is processed differently, and therefore different ingredients are lost/intensified through the process. The ripe tea also helps support weight loss, particularly in the stomach area. Vitamin C in the tea is doubled during the fermentation process, so it will give you more immune support than raw tea.
Fresh and fermented pu-erh tea will taste differently, so it really depends on your tastebuds for which one you will choose. The fermented tea has a smooth and mild flavor, with raw tea having a sharper flavor. You can find loose-leaf raw pu-erh tea in many health-food or oriental grocery stores; you can then decide if you want to prepare it raw or ferment it at home yourself. No matter which one you choose, the taste of pu-erh tea will take a little getting used to, but just keep in mind all of the health benefits you’ll be receiving with every sip.
Research is still being done on this relatively new tea, but it promises to reveal more good things. Unlike herbal teas yet similar to oolong and green tea, pu-erh tea is full of health benefits, some of which was briefly discussed above. If you’re looking for a new tea to incorporate into your life to improve your health, turn to pu-erh tea and your body will thank you.