Red tea, rooibos tea


Red tea contains some of the same fat-fighting, disease-prevention antioxidants that helped green tea soar in worldwide popularity.  It also contains no caffeine so there is no risk of suffering sleeplessness or nervous jitters.  Red tea isn’t actually a tea.  All natural tees – green, black, white and oolong – come from a single plant called Camellia sinensis.  Red tea is an herbal drink made from the rooibos plant.  Rooibos grows in the Cedarberg Mountain of South Africa.  It has been used as a fold remedy for treating colic, malignancies and inflammation.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, red tea is a rich source of antioxidants.


Be careful with diet teas.  While diet tea tastes similar to many black or herbal teas, diet teas may contain a laxative element.  Consuming too many cups of diet tea could result in vomiting, nausea, persistent diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and even fainting and dehydration.  Also, be sure to read the ingredient list.  If it has added sugar or sweeteners,  you may want to reconsider.


Red tea has only 2 calories per 8 ounce serving.  Drink a cup of rooibos tea in place of an 8-ounce, 126 calorie cream soda and you have a 124 calorie deficit.  Drinking red tea instead of a soda once a week for a year can lead to almost 2 pounds of lost body weight.  Red tea’s naturally sweet taste makes it easy to keep your added sugar intake low.


Red tea contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in green tea.  If red tea is found to contain flavonoids in quantities similar to green tea, it may prove effective in weight loss.  Catechins, a type of flavonoid, has been linked to weight loss.  In one U.S. clinical trial, people who consumed 660 mgs of catchins daily lost twice as much weight as those who consumed 22 mgs of catechins.

An animal study done in 2009 found that rooibos tea helped regulate glucose metabolism, keeping fasting blood glucose levels low during the course of the five-week study.  This effect is a result of aspalathin.  The extract also improved glucose tolerance levels.  Poor glucose tolerance and high fasting glucose levels are signs of type 2 diabetes, as well as being common in obesity.  Rooibos may help to keep your blood glucose levels in check, preventing sharp spikes and falls that can trigger symptoms of hunger and possibly lead to lower calorie consumption.

Red tea also contains antioxidants called phytochemicals.  Phytochemicals help to give broccoli a reputation as a “nearly perfect vegetable”.  Plants high in photochemical content tend to be dieter-friendly.  Blackberries, strawberries and blueberries are rich in photochemicals and may help to boost metabolism.


In order to reap the benefits of tea, you will have to start drinking it every day, as often as possible, and plain.  Having “tea supplies” is the easiest way to get started.  If you spend 8 hours a day at the office, it’s a good idea to stock up there too.   Get others in on your action.  At the workplace, brew a pot for your coworkers too.  Get your family or roommates in on the routine of a late night cup.  When it’s a social activity, you’ll be more likely to engage in it.  Cream, milk and sugar should not be part of your tea routine.  Unfortunately, to lose weight with this habit, it has to be plain, at least most of the time.

Substitute tea for morning coffee.  Tea drinkers can save calories, especially when ordering at a coffee house.  Some coffee house drinks contain hundreds of calories.  Ask for iced unsweetened tea instead of soda for lunch and dinner.  Sugary or even diet sodas have been know to actually have the opposite effect on weight loss.   Have hot tea to satisfy an afternoon craving.  Although chips or cookies in the vending machine may be calling your name, make yourself a cup of tea instead.  Drink a whole glass of cool tea before dinner.  This works to fill up part of your stomach which means that you’ll be less hungry when it comes to food.

Have a cup of red tea before bed.  Having a warm cup of non-caffeinated at the end of the day helps to relax your body and brain.