Tea Spotlight: Pu-Erh Tea!

pu-erh-tea

Looking outside my window through a pot of Pu-Erh tea. Wish it was mountains and lush forests instead of this concrete jungle haha. Side note, why is everything refracted upside down??

PU-ERH TEA FACTS!

1. Hailing from China’s Yunnan province, their cost can range from inexpensive to thousands of $$$! This is because Pu-Erh tea can be aged like fine wine which improves its flavour.

2. After the leaves are picked, they are sundried, fermented, aged and packed into bricks or cakes.

3. Brewing is easy. Boil some water, add enough to the leaves to cover them, wait 10 seconds for the leaves to “open” and strain out that first batch of water. Next add more water and steep long enough for desired flavour and colour. (Some say 3-5 minutes is enough but I’m not too picky so I just let it sit in the pot) The leaves can be reused several times. I usually keep refilling the pot throughout the day.

4. Recent studies have revealed that the bacteria that ages the tea leaves produce small amounts of lovastatin [1] which are natural cholesterol suppressing agents. Long term use of Pu-Erh tea might lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL).[2]

5. Due to the fermentation process, Pu-Erh tea has many beneficial microorganisms which may increase the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut, aiding in digestion and overall health.

6. Some studies claim that Pu-Erh tea aids in weight and fat loss by blunting lipogenesis (creating of fats in the body), increasing fatty acid metabolism (burning of stored fats) and enhancing cellular levels of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), an enzyme that “unlocks” fat cells so that their contents can be emptied out thereby reducing visceral fat accumulation. [3][4]

7. Drinking Pu-Erh tea may also help with sleep due to the prescence of GABA and theanine which also help reduce stress.

8. Lastly, higher levels of antioxidants and phyto-chemicals are present in Pu-Erh tea as compared to other teas because of the fermentation process. This means Pu-Erh tea has better anti-inflammatory properties crucial for staying healthy and preventing cancer and free-radical damage.

I enjoy drinking Pu-Erh tea on most days when I’m at home. I find the small amounts of Caffeine help keep my mind sharp throughout the day. Additionally, I’ve discovered that drinking this on days I fast (about once a week now) helps keep me satiated for some reason. I don’t fill hungry at all and drink generous amounts of Pu-Erh tea throughout the day. Interestingly, despite drinking up to 3 pots (>2.5 litres!), I don’t go to the bathroom to pee as often as if I drank water instead. Does that mean my body is actively using the tea for some other processes? Any thoughts/opinions anyone?

What’s your favourite tea? 

References:

  1. Zhao ZJ, Pan YZ, Liu QJ, Li XH (2013). “Exposure assessment of lovastatin in Pu-erh tea”. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 164 (1): 26–31.
  2. Lu, Chi-Hua; Hwang, Lucy Sun (1 November 2008). “Polyphenol contents of Pu-Erh teas and their abilities to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis in Hep G2 cell line”. Food Chemistry. 111 (1): 67–71.
  3. Chiang, Chun-Te; Weng, Meng-Shih; Lin-Shiau, Shoei-Yn; Kuo, Kuan-Li; Tsai, Yao-Jen; Lin, Jen-Kun (2005). “Pu-erh tea supplementation suppresses fatty acid synthase expression in the rat liver through downregulating Akt and JNK signalings as demonstrated in human hepatoma HepG2 cells.”. Oncology research
  4. Lin, Jen-Kun; Shoei-Yn Lin-Shiau (September 28, 2005). “Mechanisms of hypolipidemic and anti-obesity effects of tea and tea polyphenols”. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Weinheim: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. 50 (2): 211–217.
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