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Tea, one of the most widespread beverages, is prepared from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. The promising health benefits of tea have been linked to its various phenolic components, which have different biological properties. Tea also contains several flavonoids, alkaloids, phenols, theanine, etc., which are associated with antioxidant properties and several health benefits. It can also reduce the prevalence of neurological disorders as well as prevent various types of cancer, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, urinary stones, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Because tea helps improve health and prevent many diseases, its consumption has been considered a “health-promoting habit” and modern medical researchers have developed a scientific basis for this concept over time. The current review provides new updated information and insights into tea phytochemicals and their overall health benefits based on molecular processes, experimental studies, and clinical trials.
What are the health benefits of tea?
People around the world have been drinking tea for thousands of centuries and for good reason. Numerous studies have shown that various teas can boost your immune system, fight inflammation, and even stave off cancer and heart disease.
While some beverages provide more health benefits than others, there is plenty of evidence that drinking tea regularly can have a lasting impact on your health.
Put on the kettle as we share some of the greatest benefits hidden in the world’s most popular teas.
Benefits of white tea
Known for its mild taste, white tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to China and India. It is also the least processed variety of tea.
Research shows that it may be the most effective tea in the fight against various forms of cancer due to its high antioxidant content. White tea can also be good for your teeth as it is a high source of fluoride, catechins, and tannins which can strengthen teeth, fight plaque and make them more resistant to acid and sugar.
This variety also offers the least amount of caffeine, making it a smart choice for tea drinkers who want to avoid or reduce caffeine consumption.
Benefits of herbal tea
Herbal teas, sometimes called tisanes, are very similar to white teas but contain a mixture of herbs, spices, fruits, or other plants in addition to tea leaves. Herbal teas do not contain caffeine, which is why they are known for their calming properties.
There are many types of herbal teas, all with their unique benefits. The most popular herbal teas include:
- Chamomile tea – helps reduce menstrual pain and muscle cramps improve sleep and relaxation, and reduces stress
- Rooibos – improves blood pressure and circulation, increases the good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol, keeps hair strong and skin healthy, and provides relief from allergies
- Peppermint – contains menthol, which can soothe an upset stomach and is used as a remedy for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and motion sickness. This tea also offers relief from headaches and migraines.
- Ginger – helps fight morning sickness, can be used to treat chronic digestive disorders, and helps relieve joint pain caused by osteoarthritis
- Hibiscus – lowers blood pressure and fat levels improves overall liver health, can curb cravings for unhealthy sweets, and can prevent kidney stones
Benefits of green tea
Green tea originates from China, where the leaves are heat-treated by burning or roasting, and from Japan, where the leaves are more commonly steamed.
Green tea is exceptionally high in flavonoids, which can help improve your heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Studies show that this type of tea can also help lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
Other research has found that green tea has a possible impact on liver, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. This variety of tea has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory, which helps keep your skin clear and glowing.
Matcha – a form of green tea – has been gaining popularity in recent years. Matcha is a very fine, high-quality green tea powder made from the whole leaves of shade-grown tea bushes. Because it is the only form of tea in which the leaves are consumed, matcha contains even more antioxidants than regular green tea. Some believe that one cup of matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea.
Benefits of black tea
Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to make green tea. However, the leaves are dried and fermented, giving black tea a darker color and richer flavor.
Unlike many other varieties, black tea is caffeinated, so it’s important to monitor your intake. When you pour yourself a cup of black tea, you’ll benefit from flavonoids that fight inflammation and support healthy immune function.
However, you don’t just have to drink black tea to benefit from its health benefits. It can be steamed, cooled, and then pressed onto minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises to relieve pain and reduce swelling. A black tea bath can also reduce inflammation caused by skin rashes and conditions such as poison ivy.
Benefits of oolong tea
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea variety that is made from the same plant that is used to make green and black teas. The difference is in how the tea is processed: Green tea must not be oxidized too much, but black tea must be oxidized until it turns black. Oolong tea is somewhere between the two, so it is partially oxidized. This partial oxidation is responsible for the color and characteristic flavor of oolong tea.
Oolong tea is characterized by the presence of l-theanine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and increases alertness and attention. Researchers have found that l-theanine can help prevent cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Oolong tea is also high in polyphenols, which have been linked to reducing inflammation, preventing cancer growth, and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Teas to avoid
While most teas are good for your health, you may want to avoid these varieties:
Detox teas are made for fad diets that suggest you’ll lose weight fast. These teas often come with laxatives that can be harmful to your health.
Luxury tea lattes and drinks from your favorite chain store. While some of these drinks, like green tea lattes, may seem healthy, they are loaded with sugar.
Trendy bubble teas are also loaded with sugar, calories, and carbs and have little to no nutritional value.
Herbal teas can potentially trigger allergies. Many herbal teas contain various fruits, herbs, spices, and flowers that some people are allergic to. If you have allergies.