Made from the flower of a hibiscus plant, hibiscus tea is a tart-tasting herbal tea that may provide you with some benefits during weight loss. Like other herbal teas, hibiscus tea is very low in calories. But drinking hibiscus tea doesn’t guarantee that you'll lose weight.
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If you replace soda and other high-calorie sugary beverages with hibiscus tea, you’ll boost your chance of shedding pounds. An 8-ounce portion of unsweetened hibiscus tea is calorie-free. In comparison, 8 ounces of regular cola contains 104 calories, and an 8-ounce glass of lemonade provides 99 calories. Lowering your caloric intake by just 500 calories daily helps you shed about 1 pound weekly.
The reason drinking calorie-free, unsweetened hibiscus tea works for weight loss is because it helps fill you up -- without extra calories -- and makes it easier to effectively reduce your overall caloric intake. A review published in 2010 in the “Journal for Nurse Practitioners” reports that herbal teas support weight loss by increasing fluid intake, while decreasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas and juices.
Other Health Advantages
Consuming hibiscus tea daily during weight loss may help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A review published in 2013 in the journal “Fitoterapia” reports that although more research is needed to determine specific recommendations, consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. The review showed that the tea may help lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol.
Because of the tart flavor of hibiscus tea, some people sweeten it with sugar or choose hibiscus teas that already contain added sugar. Avoid this when you’re trying to lose weight. Sweetened hibiscus tea contains 88 calories per 8-ounce cup and provides more than 14 grams of added sugar. If you don’t like the flavor of unsweetened hibiscus tea, drink green, ginger or chamomile teas -- or sweeten hibiscus tea with a lemon wedge or stevia instead of sugar.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 14649, Hibiscus Tea
- My Fitness Pal: Calories in Starbucks Hibiscus Blend Tea
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 14148, Carbonated Beverage, Cola
- Journal for Nurse Practitioners: Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight
- Fitoterapia: Hibiscus Sabdariffa L. in the Treatment of Hypertension and Hyperlipidemia: A Comprehensive Review of Animal and Human Studies
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 14293, Lemonade, Frozen Concentrate, White, Prepared with Water