Could Rooibos tea help you drink yourself THIN?

Oct 31, 2017
by Khalil Breidi

Could Rooibos tea help you drink yourself THIN? Secret ingredient in the herbal brew reduces fat accumulation (but scientists say you’ll need SIX cups a day)

  • Rooibos tea is grown exclusively on the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa
  • Produced on a crop of land the size of Yorkshire which provides world's supply
  • It contains a compound called aspalathin which is unique to the plant
  • Research using rodents proved aspalathin reduces fat accumulation in cells
  • A limited study on humans also suggests that drinking Rooibos - or 'red bush' - tea can significantly lower glucose levels in six weeks

By Natalie Corner For Mailonline

PUBLISHED: 11:20 EDT, 2 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:32 EDT, 3 June 2017

It's the time of year that traditionally sees people ramping up their efforts to lose weight

And if you're one of them, you might be wise to make drinking a cup of rooibos tea a regular habit. 

Channel 4's Food Unwrapped has revealed how the South African staple contains a unique compound that's been proven to reduce the level of fat accumulated in cells.

The rooibos - or 'red bush' - plant used to make the tea contains aspalathin, which has also been shown to lower glucose levels over time - albeit if you're drinking six cups a day. 

Rooibos tea has grown in popularity as it contains healthy antioxidants, it's now thought it could help with diets

Rooibos tea has grown in popularity as it contains healthy antioxidants, it's now thought it could help with diets

Tests carried out on rodents by the South African Medical Research Council using a concentration of aspalathin showed a significant reduction in the amount of fat stored over time. 

A limited study has also shown people who drank six cups of rooibos tea every day for six weeks had significantly lower glucose levels by the end of the trial. 

High blood glucose levels can lead to significant health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease and strokes.  

Aspalathin, which is an antioxidant, and its reputation as a 'magic ingredient' among weight watchers, inspired a trip to South Africa for Food Unwrapped's Summer Diet Special, which saw presenter Kiran Jethwa travel to the Cederberg Mountains to see where the tea is grown. 

The hardy plant thrives in the tough, arid conditions of the Cederberg Mountains, growing in sandy soil and surviving extreme variations in temperature.   

Presenter Kiran Jethwa travels to the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa where it is exclusively grown

Presenter Kiran Jethwa travels to the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa where it is exclusively grown

Rooibos is the focus of Channel 4's Food Unwrapped Summer Diet Special when presenter Kiran Jethwa travels to the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa where it is exclusively grown.

The hardy plant thrives in the difficult arid conditions of the mountains, growing in the sandy soil and surviving the extreme temperature variations.

It's produced on a crop of land the size of Yorkshire, which produces the global supply of rooibos

Rooibos, which isn't actually a tea, but rather part of the legume family, is hand-picked, and the green needle-like leaves are then machine-cut before being laid out to dry in the South African sun.

After the leaves are beaten and pressed, the oxidisation process that occurs turns the rooibos to the red colour it is known for.

South Africans swear by the brew, which they are said to drink 'like water'.

A scientist interviewed by Food Unwrapped described the results of the research as 'encouraging', and the rodents had displayed signs of 'getting skinnier'. 

Rooibos is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants that is hand-picked and processed to be used to make herbal tea

Rooibos is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants that is hand-picked and processed to be used to make herbal tea

Commonly called South African red tea, the product has been popular in South Africa for generations and is now consumed all over the world

Commonly called South African red tea, the product has been popular in South Africa for generations and is now consumed all over the world

Other benefits of a cup of red bush tea

South African's staple rooibos tea is rich in polyphenols, organic chemicals boasting antioxidant properties. Polyphenols - including aspalathin - help to rid the body of free radicals, and as such can help to ward off cancer and heart disease. 
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-4558684/Can-drink-Roobois.htm

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