How Can Palo Azul Tea Help To Promote Weight Loss?

palo azul weight loss

"Palo azul showed a significant decrease of body weight"

The main reason why palo azul tea may help to promote weight loss is because it has powerful antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties. Over a dozen studies have concluded that palo azul tea showed antioxidant activity. Some studies also showed palo azul's ability to promote healthy levels of blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.

Due to these properties, a 2014 study found that palo azul's extract "showed a significant decrease of body weight in diabetic rats and produced significant loss in body weight as compared to normal animals during the study." Moreover, they found that palo azul "reduced the blood glucose, body weight, glycogen, HDL, levels of triglyceride and cholesterol."  

1. Increase Insulin Sensitivity & Muscle Mass

women building muscle

A 2016 study which support the previous study ended with this interesting statement: "In conclusion, palo azul may increase muscle mass in the body and improve insulin resistance conditions.” 

This is key... because insulin sensitivity is a significant factor when it comes to metabolism, muscle building, and fat storageLow insulin sensitivity causes your pancreas to secrete too much insulin, which is the main fat-storage hormone in your body, and will therefore store the calories you eat as fat. In contrast, high insulin sensitivity will improve your metabolism because your body’s muscles are better able to utilize carbohydrates as energy, therefore the energy is burned. 

usain bolt

This is why people who do strength training generally have more muscle and less fat, because more muscle = higher insulin sensitivity = better metabolism = you burn more energy rather than store it as fat. 

This is also why sprinters like Usain Bolt look more fit than marathon runners. Running on the treadmill for hours will burn calories, but it doesn’t improve your metabolism nearly as much as lifting heavy weights. 

2. Rich in flavonoids

palo azul tea fruits flavonoids

In addition to palo azul's anti-diabetic properties, the authors of the 2014 study explain that palo azul's "antioxidant activity may be attributed to the presence of phenolic and flavonoid compounds. 

What are phenolic and flavonoid compounds?

palo azul flavonoids

Palo Azul Benefits: Flavonoids

WebMD describes phenolic compounds, or polyphenols, as "micronutrients that naturally occur in plants." Flavonoids are a family of polyphenolic compounds, and these are found in vegetables, fruits, barks, flowers, and teas. 

2021 study even found several phytochemicals in palo azul such as flavones, isoflavones, flavanones, phenolic compounds, chalcones and dihydrochalcones” which have been linked to its health benefits, highlighting “diureticantidiabetic, antiglycation, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial potential.”

polyphenols flavonoids family tree

3. Improve Metabolism

women sprinting

There's even been randomized, controlled intervention studies on humans which tested polyphenols' effects on weight loss...and these are considered to be the Gold Standard for clinical studies! A 2011 clinical review concluded the following:

"Results from a number of randomized, controlled intervention trials have shown that consumption of green tea (270 mg to 1200 mg/day) may reduce body weight and fat. The predominating hypothesis is that green tea catechins influences sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity, increasing energy expenditure and promoting the oxidation of fat."

2016 study similarly explains that dietary polyphenols "offer great potential as an efficient weight loss strategy by modulating lipid metabolism and/or increasing BMR and thermogenesis."

4. Burn abdominal fat

woman losing weight with palo azul

2017 study which analyzed 2754 twins and found that the group that consumed the most flavonoids:

  • "Had less percentage of fat"
  • "Burned more fat in the abdomen"

Specifically, the researchers found that the twins with the highest consumption of flavonoid-rich foods (onions, tea, apples, pears, and cocoa) “had a 3-9% lower FMR (fat mass ratio) than that of their co-twins.”

The researchers found that the “women who ate a lot of flavonoid-rich foods had a lower percentage of body fat than women who ate less. The amount of abdominal fat also differed significantly between the two groups.”

Lastly, they conclude that "these data suggest that higher habitual intake of flavonoids is associated with lower fat mass independent of shared genetic and common environmental factors.”

fit woman working out

Another study observed 124,000 people and found that "flavonoids increase energy expenditure, decrease fat absorption and function as anti-inflammatories. The researchers in this same study found that "increased consumption of most flavonoid subclasses was associated with reduced weight gain.”

They also mentioned that participants who consumed more flavonoids maintained their weight better or even lost some weight. The authors concluded the following: "Our results suggest that choosing fruits and vegetables that are high in flavonoids, such as apples, pears, berries and peppers, can help with weight control."  

5. Increase lipolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation

women exercising

2016 study explains the specific biological mechanisms of flavonoids' beneficial effects on weight loss:

“Specifically, polyphenols such as citrus flavonoids, green tea epigallocatechin gallate, resveratrol, capsaicin and curcumin, have been reported to increase lipolysis and induce fatty acid β-oxidation through modulation of hormone sensitive lipase, acetyl-coA carboxylase, carnitine acyl transferase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1. In this review article, we discuss selected phytochemicals in relation to their integrated functionalities and specific mechanisms for weight loss.”

palo azul flavonoids

 What is lipolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation

Lipolysis is the metabolic process through which triacylglycerols break down via hydrolysis into their constituent molecules: glycerol and free fatty acids. Fat storage in the body is through adipose triacylglycerols and is utilized for heat, energy, and insulation."

Fatty acid β-oxidation is the process by which fatty acids are broken down to produce energy."

In other words...flavonoids can help to induce weight loss because they increase your body's ability to burn fat for energy.

Flavonoid-rich foods: Teas, apples, pears, onions, strawberries, blueberries, celery, peppers, broccoli and green juices

applepearsonionsstrawberries and blueberriescelerybroccolipalo azul teapalo azul green juice

Conclusion

So to summarize, palo azul tea may help to promote weight loss because it showed the ability to promote healthy levels of insulin sensitivity and metabolism. These mechanisms would help to increases lipolysis, which is the process by which our body burns fat for energy.

 

The Key to Losing Weight

woman losing weight with palo azul

As we've seen in all these studies, the most important factors for losing weight are insulin sensitivity and metabolism, because these will determine whether your body stores energy as fat...or whether it burns it for energy. While palo azul tea and other flavonoid rich foods may help to improve these factors, there's no such thing as a miracle weight loss pill...so you also have to help your body by exercising and eating healthy.

More muscle = More insulin sensitivity

women lifting weights

As we mentioned earlier, running is great for burning calories...but it's not great for building muscle. In fact, running too much can actually burn muscle tissue because if the body has no glycogen to use up as energy, it will catabolize muscle for energy. So instead of spending hours running every week, try incorporating some weight training exercises like squats, deadlifts, push ups, rows and pullups. 

Fiberless, Processed, Refined Food = Less insulin Sensitivity

hamburger and fries lead to oxidative stress

When we eat food that is processed, has no fiber, and is full of refined sugars...that spikes our insulin, which prompts our pancreas to over-secrete insulin and this makes us insulin resistant. That's the opposite of what we want. This means that our body will secrete too much insulin, which will store energy as fat

Foods to avoid: Simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, candy, soft drinks, juice. Processed foods like bacon, burgers, pizza, and anything that's fried.

Foods to enjoy: Whole foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, meat, fish and tea of course!

palo azul and antiinflammatory foods

Fiberless, processed, refined foods are calorically dense, they provide little nutrition (vitamins & minerals) and they're not very satiating. This is why we can easily eat a whole tub of ice cream that's 1000 calories in one sitting. Yet, it's impossible to eat 1000 calories worth of spinach in one sitting. So there's no need to starve yourself in order to lose weight. As long as you eat the right foods, you will feel satiated.

The Key = Consistency

delicious salad with pasta and cheese

The key is simple...You don't have to stop eating the foods you like, but you DO have to make some changes. This can be as simple as adding vegetables to a delicious pasta dish! Don't think about it like you’re starting a diet, you’re simply adopting a new healthier lifestyle and losing weight as a result.

The most important thing is that YOU can maintain consistency with this new lifestyle. If you need to do cheat meals on the weekends so that you can eat healthier for the rest of the week, it's okay as long as you do it moderately. If you are like me, and need to eat large portions, try intermittent fasting so that you can eat 1 or 2 large meals and the rest of the day you are fasting.

If you find it hard to go to the gym for an hour 5 times a week, then try going 3 times a week or exercise for just 30 minutes instead of an hour. The point is that the ONLY way you're going to lose weight and keep it off is if you have a consistent plan.

Extreme diets may work in the short term... but the goal is to lose weight in the long term. That's why you should follow a plan that you can maintain. Do what you have to do in order to be consistent in your new lifestyle. It's the only way you'll maintain your health in the long run.

 

magiktea palo azul logo

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Clinical Studies

* Palo azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce

 

(Apr-Jun, 2014) Evaluation of antidiabetic, antioxidant and antiglycating activities of the Eysenhardtia polystachya

(July 2016) Ethanol extract of Cyclolepis genistoides D. Don (palo azul) induces formation of myotubes, which involves differentiation of C2C12 myoblast cells

(2021) Biochemistry, Lipolysis Fatty Acid Beta Oxidation

(2020) WebMD: Healthy Foods High in Polyphenols

(2016 CNN) The secret to maintaining and losing weight: Berries, onions and wine 

(2016 Time) These Fruits and Vegetables Are Linked to Weight Loss 

(2016) Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years 

(2017) Higher dietary flavonoid intakes are associated with lower objectively measured body composition in women: evidence from discordant monozygotic twins.

(2019) Green tea polyphenols decrease weight gain, ameliorate alteration of gut microbiota, and mitigate intestinal inflammation in canines with high-fat-diet-induced obesity.

(2016) Phytochemicals in regulating fatty acid β-oxidation: Potential underlying mechanisms and their involvement in obesity and weight loss

(2017) Decaffeinated green and black tea polyphenols decrease weight gain and alter microbiome populations and function in diet-induced obese mice

(2016) Green tea, weight loss and physical activity

(2011) Antiobesity effects of green tea catechins: a mechanistic review.

(2014) Novel insights of dietary polyphenols and obesity.

(2016) Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction by Black Tea Polyphenols

(2018) A Review on the Weight-Loss Effects of Oxidized Tea Polyphenols

(2018) Weight Loss Associated With Consumption of Apples: A Review.

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