A recent study at Penn State found that people who react badly to stressful situations have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies—and inflammation is directly tied to obesity, as well as diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When anxiety rides high, you're also at the mercy of stress hormones such as cortisol—known as "the belly fat hormone" for its ability to pull lipids from the bloodstream and store them in our fat cells. And a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when stress prevents people from sleeping well, they are more likely to make bad food choices, snack late at night, and choose high-carb snacks.
These are just three of the reasons people tend to suffer weight gain and health crises when they're under pressure. In fact, it was shortly after the death of my father that my mom, a former nurse in Korea, suffered a dramatic increase in her diabetes symptoms—a health emergency that sent me in search of traditional Eastern remedies. What I learned in my research, and collected in my new book, The 7-Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse, in which test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just one week, was that different teas help our bodies manage stress in different ways—and that can make all the difference in our weight and our health.
Stress is inevitable. But simply changing the way you react to daily stress could be the answer to fast and sustainable weight loss. Start with these 6 delicious teas, and check out The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse now to start losing weight through the magical powers of tea!
1. The Sleep Enhancer: Valerian Tea
DRINK THIS: Yogi Tea Herbal Tea Supplement, Bedtime
BECAUSE IT: Brings on deeper sleep
Valerian is an herb that's long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. In a another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. And in other studies, valerian root has been shown to increase the effectiveness of sleeping pills. While researchers have yet to identify the exact active ingredient, they suspect that receptors in the brain may be stimulated to hit "sleep mode" when coming in contact with valerian.
2. The Stress-Hormone Squasher: Rooibos Tea
DRINK THIS: Celestial Seasonings, Teavana
BECAUSE IT: Reduces cortisol levels
What makes rooibos tea particularly good for soothing your mind is the unique flavanoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. On The 7-Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse, you'll learn how drinking a cup of rooibos at 9pm could help you melt fat faster—and finally get a night of calming, deep sleep.
3. The Anxiety Stopper: Passionflower Tea
DRINK THIS: Yogi Tea Herbal Tea Supplement, Bedtime
BECAUSE IT: Induces sleepiness and aids anxiety
Passionflower has the flavone chrysin, which has wonderful anti-anxiety benefits and, in part, can work similarly to the pharmaceutical Xanax (Alprazolam). A mild sedative, this particular species of passionflower provides a vegetal-tasting tea that calms nervousness and anxiety and helps you get to sleep at night. It is generally considered safe to use, but should be avoided by pregnant women. Drink a cup if you're a nervous flyer, or to calm yourself after a hard day's work—and if you're a particularly anxious person, sip these 4 Teas Better Than Therapy!
4. The Blues Buster: Chamomile and Lavender Tea
DRINK THIS: Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender
BECAUSE IT: Reduces fatigue and depression
Here's the funny thing about chamomile: While it's the most popular tea for bedtime, there's actually no evidence that it improves the length or quality of sleep. But there's a lot of evidence that it does something even more mysterious: It reduces the stress that comes with insomnia. One German study found that chamomile tea significantly improved the physical symptoms related to a lack of sleep, and even helped reduced levels of depression in the chronically sleep-deprived. Another study found that it improved daytime wakefulness in people who suffered from a lack of sleep. To maximize its effects, look for a chamomile/lavender blend. In a study of postpartum women, those who drank lavender tea for 2 weeks showed improvement in postpartum depression and reduced fatigue. They also reported being able to better bond with their infant!
5. The Nerve Soother: Hops Tea
DRINK THIS: Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer
BECAUSE IT: Reduces anxiety
The hop, a component in beer, is a sedative plant whose pharmacological activity is due primarily to the bitter resins in the leaves. Hops increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which soothes the central nervous system. Spanish researchers reported in a 2012 journal that the sedative activity of hops aids nocturnal sleep. Knocking out stress will also decrease your levels of cortisol, that stress hormone I mentioned earlier, which tells your body to store fat.
6. The Mind Quieter: Kava Kava
DRINK THIS: Yogi Tea Herbal Tea, Kava Stress Relief
BECAUSE IT: Quells worrying thoughts
It's one thing to simply sedate. But kava kava actually reduces anxiety levels by helping you get a healthier perspective on life. In one study, 120 mg of kava-kava was administered daily over 6 weeks to patients who had stress-induced insomnia. The results suggested a statistically significant improvement in sleep latency, duration, and waking mood. A 2010 study out of Melbourne found its efficacy so impressive that the Kava Anxiety-Lowering Medication (KALM) project was established to lobby for its re-introduction. And while you're on the 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, chill out with these delicious and refreshing 5 Best Iced Tea Smoothies for Weight Loss!
Melt up to 10 pounds in one week—while drinking tea and eating clean—with The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, available now!
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