It is interesting enough to read about a beverage whose intake can help you to lose weight, prevent cancer, improve digestion and much more. The best part of consuming Pu-erh tea is that it is capable of boosting your energy levels as well as prevents some medical conditions occurring due to poor diet.
What is Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea leaves originate from the Yunnan province, China. For its production, the tea leaves are dried and rolled followed by the microbial fermentation and oxidation process. The prolonged storage and unique fermentation of Pu-erh tea improve its taste and enrich the flavor. So, before buying this tea, do keep in mind about checking its origin, processing method and storage information as it may make a difference to the color, flavor and the taste of Pu-erh tea.
What are the Health Benefits of Pu-erh Tea?
Pu-erh tea is a rich source of antioxidants that kill the free radicals in the body. The formation of free radicals leads to a chain reaction with DNA, which is one of the important cells of the human body. This oxidative damage alone is responsible for the occurrence of a number of diseases. By drinking this tea 2 to 3 times a day, you can get the handful supply of antioxidants for enhancing your body’s defense mechanism.
More specifically, the polyphenolic compounds and flavonols constitute a significant part of Pu-erh tea. The essential polyphenols present in it are gallic acid and catechins, which are also the sources of antioxidants. On the other hand, components, like flavonols are phytochemical compounds which are essential towards showing preventive effects against cancer (1).
If you have a habit of drinking beverages that are rich in caffeine content, like coffee or black tea in more than the required amount, you should look forward to changing your habits. You can replace your daily drinks with Pu-erh tea to lower the caffeine intake as well as allowing a better experience for your taste buds (2). Let’s find out which benefits does Pu-erh tea offers –
1. Pu-erh Tea for Weight Loss
If you look at the statistics, you will find out that a large fragment of the population is obsessing about the extra weight they have gained over time. As per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a report from 2013-2014 reveals some data about the adults of the United States. It shows that 32.7% of adults in an age group of 20 or above were found overweight and 39.7% of them came in the obese category.
Being overweight or obese is mostly due to bad eating habits, like consumption of food rich in fat and the over-consumption of junk food, which is not at all healthy for your body (3). Before things slip out of hands, there is a need to make some small changes in the diet. We all know that obesity makes way to a large number of diseases and now we can get a clearer picture of it, owing to the discoveries being done in medical science. Some common problems faced by the people due to obesity are type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, stroke, etc. The reason for concern is that these issues are occurring in the young population too (4).
You have to be aware that every disease comes with its complications and adverse effects on the human body. For example, diabetes increases the risk of several conditions, like heart attack, blindness, skin infections, disability to hear appropriately, nerve damage and Alzheimer’s disease. Speaking medically, the low level of good cholesterol or High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and high level of bad cholesterol or Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) can be kept in the normal range by maintaining the weight of the body (6).
How Does Pu-erh Tea Help with Weight Loss?
The eating habits and working lifestyle has changed a lot in a past few years. People often remain inactive due to which they gain excess weight. In such a condition, it is always better to consume healthy food items that can provide ample nutrition to your body and also reduces the risk of you being overweight. Few research studies suggest that Pu-erh tea can serve that purpose pretty well.
Metabolic Syndrome in Men
A research was conducted on the males suffering from a metabolic syndrome where a comparison was drawn between the ones consuming Pu-erh tea and the others having any other tea alternative. The end results showed that males who drank Pu-erh tea daily for three months showed a significant decrease in weight. They shed around 1.3 kg as compared to others who were able to lose only 0.23 kg (7).
One more research done on the rats suggests that the consumption of Pu-erh tea is linked to lowering the triglyceride and LDL levels in the body. According to the study, the conclusion showed definite signs of weight loss in the rats. Therefore, it can be said that the conditions of hyperlipidemia can be improved and reduction of visceral fat is possible with drinking Pu-erh tea (8).
The increased triglyceride level rises the risk of heart diseases, so it is always beneficial to keep the level as usual. And, it can be done by consuming Pu-erh tea (9). Another research has shown that Pu-erh tea contains some amount of lovastatin (10). What Lovastatin does is that it is beneficial in raising HDL cholesterol and lowering the triglyceride level (11).
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The value of LDL cholesterol in the body shouldn’t be meager because the complications include a high risk of issues like depression, anxiety, cancer, etc. However, the low LDL and high HDL keeps you away from the condition in which arteries get blocked due to extra storage of cholesterol in the blood vessels. According to the national cholesterol education program, if you want to lower your LDL, you should seriously look forward to losing weight (13).
The coronary artery disease is that condition in which the arteries go narrow. As a result, adequate supply of blood rich in oxygen can’t happen. The risk factors include obesity, diabetes, high-stress, etc. The high level of triglyceride which causes the risk of heart disease is in between 150-199 mg/dl. The total cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl is desirable. The safe numbers for LDL and HDL are less than 100 mg/dl and 60 mg/dl or more (15).
2. Pu-erh Tea for Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile due to the low bone density. The risk of weakening of the bones increases in both men and women with age. According to the Osteoporosis And Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, over 53 million people in the United States are either suffering from this problem or are prone to developing it (16). There are several reasons due to which people tend to develop this condition at any age.
There are many jobs that do not involve much movement of the body. The lack of physical activity in addition to smoking and drinking as well as lack of vitamin C and D are some of the factors resulting in osteoporosis. The prevention and treatment of this condition include the intake of some nutrients that work towards making the bones healthier. Knowing that the symptoms remain hidden until a fracture in hip or spine takes place, it is ideal to be aware of what can you do to prevent this situation by adding the required food items to your diet (17).
Different studies have been done on the topic, and they suggest that the intake of vitamin C and D alone may not prevent the bones from getting weak. Therefore, you need to keep a check on other needs for the bones too. Pu-erh tea is one of the beverages that can be added to your diet in order to keep your bones healthy. Research suggests that the consumption of Pu-erh tea is linked to providing health benefits against osteoporosis (20).
3. Pu-erh Tea as an Anti-tumor Agent
The chemotherapy drugs are toxic, and they have many side effects on your body, such as hair loss, constipation, muscular pain and fatigue (21). The researchers got success in their study about using the bioactive components of Pu-erh tea as an alternative to the chemotherapy drugs because it is not easy to cope up with their side effects. In the same study, they found out that the natural components of Pu-erh tea targets specific tumor cells with low side effects (22). Another research revealed that the element found in Pu-erh tea prevents the growth of the cancer cells in the breast (23).
4. Pu-erh Tea for Prevention and Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders
In old age, the human body is at high risk of developing the brain disorders. For example, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and dementia cause the problems with the activities of the body linked to the brain. It is a life-threatening situation when these disorders start affecting the functions of heart as well as impair the way you talk, move and function. Most of these conditions don’t come up with a cure, but the process can be slowed down by the treatment options and provide relief in the pain by making the state of the patient better (24, 25).
According to the department of neurosciences of UC San Diego School of Medicine, many people in the United States are struggling with this condition with lack of an optimal treatment (26). You may have observed that whatever you consume daily affects your health immediately as well as in the long run. A small change in your daily routine regarding what you drink can entirely be beneficial for your health in the long term. According to a research, Pu-erh tea shows neuroprotective effects in prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders (27).
5. Pu-erh Tea for Digestion
It becomes hard for the stomach to digest the food when you have eaten more than you are capable of digesting. The other causes of indigestion may be stress, nervousness, consumption of too much of caffeine, weight loss, etc. The problem in digestion produces immense pain in the abdomen area (28).
It is better to eat according to what your body can digest conveniently. If the problem of stomach ache arises, the first idea in your mind may be to take medicine. But, why consume medicines which have specific side effects when you can treat the issue with a home remedy. One of the best solutions is the inclusion of drinking Pu-erh tea in your daily routine which shows positive effects for digestion, according to the well-known facts about it (29).
6. Pu-erh Tea Against Hepatitis B Virus
Hepatitis B is an infection which occurs in the liver which may lead to the liver cancer. It is a chronic disease which occurs due to Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Thanks to the development in medical science, now there are vaccines available for preventing this disease. It is really disappointing to look at the statistics of the people in the United States, as around 2000 people lose their lives due to Hepatitis B every year (30, 31).
Despite the availability of vaccines for the prevention and medicines for the treatment, the researchers were interested in finding out more treatment options which would be less toxic to the cells. As a result, they have found that the chemical components of Pu-erh tea can work as an effective drug in the treatment of Hepatitis B (32).
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7. Pu-erh Tea Against Mycoplasma Pneumoniae
People who are above 40 years old are at high risk of being affected by Pneumonia. In addition, the risk factor is living or working in places which are generally crowded. For example, school is one of those places in addition to the shelter for homeless people.
As per the studies have been done so far on the disease, the complications include problems related to kidney, skin disorders and cerebral edema. However, this condition is treatable (33, 34). Research reveals that some compounds of Pu-erh tea are responsible for working against Mycoplasma pneumonia (35).
8. Pu-erh Tea for Constipation
When you have less than three stools in a whole week, it is a sign that there is a blockage in your rectum. Since Pu-erh tea is a fluid, it is suggested that drinking plenty of liquids can help you prevent this condition (36,38).
Lovastatin levels were found in good quantity in ripe Pu-erh tea, in a study done in 2013. Another research reveals that Lovastatin provides much relief in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).
Overall, Pu-erh tea uplifts the immune system and keep the cholesterol to the normal limit, along with managing stress and anxiety. Whereas, the polyphenol performs the function to prevent the oxidation and provides anti-inflammatory properties. You have already gone through the benefits of Pu-erh tea in the article.
Your diet affects your body immensely and adding something like Pu-erh tea to it can prove to be very beneficial. Do let us know if you are aware of more benefits of Pu-erh tea. Cheers!
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