Tea has become a very popular beverage and January has been named “National Hot Tea Month”. According to World Tea News, tea is the second most consumed beverage on Earth and there are many health benefits to drinking tea … and many varieties of tea to pick from. One interesting fact is that all tea comes from the same plant called the Camellia Sinensis even though there are dozens of varieties of tea being consumed all over the world.
World Tea News also reports some of the benefits of drinking tea:
- Calorie free, sugar free, fat free
- Studies have shown tea may impact mental clarity
- Tea may protect you from developing different cancers
- Tea may support the immune system
- Tea can support cardiovascular health
In honor of National Hot Tea Month we are sharing below the most common types of tea and their associated health benefits as outlined on the Tea Spot website. Visit the Tea Spot website for additional information.
- White Tea – comes from the least oxidized leaves of all the tea types. It has short processing time which helps it keep the medicinal elements of the tea intact.
- Tea Spot reports up to 20% of the white tea leaf is made up of catechins. Catechins are antioxidants and antimicrobials and have provide to lower cholesterol and inhibit the increase of blood pressure.
- Can help your skin stay acne free
- Creates a calmer more alert state of mind
- Green Tea – comes from leaves that are oxidized more than white tea but less than oolong and black teas.
- Made up of 15-20% of the green tea leave is made up of catechins which have proven to lower cholesterol and inhibit the increase of blood pressure.
- Green tea has also shown to suppress the bacteria that causes plaque on one’s teeth and helps prevent cavities.
- Green tea is also felt to inhibit cancer growth. Per Tea Spot, the National Cancer Institute states, “[catechins] scavenge oxidants before cell injuries occur, reduce the incidence and size of chemically induced tumors, and inhibit the growth of tumor cells.
- Oolong Tea: is a semi-green tea – falls between green tea and black tea where the oxidation process is stopped just as the leaves start to turn brown.
- The health benefits combine that of green tea and black tea.
- Improves symptoms associated with weak kidney and spleen energy.
- Has weight loss properties by activating the enzyme responsible for dissolving triglyceride (fatty deposits) and enhancing the function of fat metabolism.
- Black Tea: known to improve fatigue, stimulate mental alertness and increase energy levels.
- Reduces stress hormone levels and acts as a nerve sedative, frequently relieving headaches.
- Antioxidants to fight aging and environmental effects.
- Effective against dementia in aging as well as AIDS related dementia.
- Also found to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
- Black tea is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can be topically applied to cuts, bruises and burns, and is famous for its sunburn relief and has been shown to have a positive effect on preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
- Puerh Tea: oxidized and fermented providing a unique chemical disposition.
- Detoxifies the body and aids in digestion.
- Strong digestive, antibacterial and warming properties.
- Cleanses bloodstream of fat and toxins from meat and other fatty foods
- Recent research shows drinking 5-8 cups per day can reduce cholesteroal and artery plaque.
- Can lower the alcohol level in the bloodstream. It’s traditionally considered the best cure for a hangover in China, where it is also consumed as a “detox tea”.
- Slimming and safe dieters tea.
- Yerba Mate Tea – comes from a holly plant which is different than the traditional tea plant.
- Energizes, rejuvenates, enhances endurance, supports mental clarify and promotes well being.
- Helps break down fat
- Contains many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Good natural stimulant that may be healthier than coffee.
- Contains Mateine not Caffeine.
- Rooibos or Bush Tea (Herbal): 100% naturally caffeine free herb.
- Potent antioxidant properties
- Contains many essential minerals and vitamins
- Helps maintain healthy skin, teeth bones and assists with metabolic processes.
- Rooibos contain 37 natural antioxidants thought to help prevent cancer.
- Reduce and increase resistance to stress.
- Helps relieve stomach and digestive discomfort
- Antihistamine properties
- Helps increase iron absorption
- May help reduce the risk and effects of skin cancer.
- Mint Tea (Herbal): 100% naturally caffeine free and herbal remedies for digestion.
- Aids in digestion, nausea, reduces flatulence
- Alleviates headaches associated with menstrual cramps
- Can help with asthma or other breathing troubles
- Chamomile Tea (Herbal):
- 100% naturally caffeine free
- Used as a sleep aid and helps with relaxation
- Serves as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial
- Alleviates various ailments like insomnia, sleep disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, muscle twitches, wounds, burns, scrapes, psoriasis , eczema, chicken pox, diaper rash, stomach problems, menstrual cramps, stomach flu, ulcers
- Calorie free, fat free, gluten free
- Loose Tea:
- Loose leaf tea has more antioxidants than tea bags
- Loose teas use the whole leaf and tea bags use cut or ground leaves or leaf dust
- Bleach residue can remain on tea bags
- Loose tea can be reinfused with more hot water several times (up to 5-6 times) and some puerh or oolongs can be reinfused up to 10–12 times.
WebMD reports that nutritionists agree that any tea is good tea but they recommend drinking brewed tea vs. bottled tea to avoid extra calories and added sugars.
Is there anything that makes tea bad for your health?
According to WebMD, the FDA has issued warnings about “dieter’s teas” that contain senna, aloe, buckthorn and other plant derived laxatives. They also warn to be cautious of herb containing supplements that claim to kill pain and fight cancer since these claims are not backed by science and some of the herbs have led to bowel problems and liver and kidney damage and sometimes even death.
The supplements the FDA has cautioned consumers about include:
- Willow bark
Hopefully this article has provided some useful and helpful information about the types of teas you may want to introduce to your beverage selections. These various types of tea seem to have a wide array of health benefits and may provide a natural alternative to taking medication to treat or improve certain health ailments.
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