Green tea is widely regarded as the healthiest tea available due to its high antioxidant and lower caffeine content.
Tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Everyone has an opinion on how to make the ideal cup of tea.
The plant Camellia sinensis is the source of black, oolong, white, and green teas.
Green tea is considered the healthiest because of its high antioxidant (polyphenol) and lower caffeine content. The variations are due to harvest time and processing, notably the extent of oxidation, which happens when processed leaves are exposed to high quantities of oxygen.
- Black tea is totally oxidized
- Oolong tea is partially oxidized
- Green and white teas are not oxidized (white teas are from early harvests, whereas green teas are from later harvests)
Processing has little effect on L-theanine levels, which are similar in all teas. Caffeine amounts vary greatly although black tea usually contains the highest. Catechins are changed by oxidation, hence green and white teas have the greatest amounts.
4 variations of tea sourced from Camellia sinensis
- Black tea
- Black tea, due to its high caffeine level, is a perfect substitute for coffee and energy drinks.
- A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences stated that black tea is high in polyphenols: epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), theaflavins, thearubigins, L-theanine (an amino acid), and several other types of catechins. These protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and others.
- Oolong tea
- This tea is semi-oxidized by being exposed to direct sunshine, which causes the leaves to curl and wither.
- According to 2018 research published in the Food and Nutrition Research, oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea recognized for its antioxidation, antimicrobial, cholesterol-lowering, and cancer-preventing properties when consumed regularly.
- This tea has been connected to weight loss and obesity prevention.
- Green tea
- Green tea has a high polyphenolic content.
- Most studies suggest that drinking green tea may help:
- White tea
- White teas do not have as strong a taste and flavor due to the plucking of these leaves early in their growth cycle, as well as the low levels of processing.
- White teas have less caffeine than their other teas.
- White tea offers some antioxidant benefits that aid in skin health. The antioxidants in white tea can help decrease acne and wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory characteristics aid with problems, such as dandruff or eczema.
Why is tea considered healthy?
Laboratory research has revealed that the various chemicals in tea may have a variety of health consequences. However, the outcomes of human investigations are far from obvious.
Catechins, caffeine, and L-theanine are three major bioactive chemicals. Bioactive substances are nonessential nutrients that can impact one’s health. They have been related to health benefits and add to the flavor and texture of the tea.
- Catechins are a form of polyphenol, which is a class of compounds that have antioxidant characteristics
- Caffeine increases alertness
- The amino acid, L-theanine, is thought to be responsible for tea’s soothing qualities
The benefits of drinking tea do not end here; this beverage offers several other health benefits. Tea contains micronutrients, such as fluoride, magnesium, and zinc. Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells from oxidative stress.
The advantages of drinking tea vary depending on the type of brew used. Different teas can assist to improve different parts of health.
However, excessive tea intake can be dangerous, leading to caffeine overconsumption. Tannins, a type of polyphenol found in tea, can bind to iron and limit iron absorption if consumed with or shortly after a meal.
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5 other varieties of teas that offer health benefits
- Chamomile tea
- Chamomile tea is said to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, as well as the ability to minimize the risks of liver illness, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers.
- According to certain research, it can alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women. However, chamomile tea is most recognized for its relaxing impact on the body and mind, as well as its ability to assist in sleep.
- Matcha tea
- Matcha tea is made from the same leaves as green tea, but it is never sun-dried. Many people believe that this powdered green tea is more healthful than normal green tea.
- According to 2018 research published in Nutrients, matcha is extremely high in the amino acid, theanine, and other polyphenols, which can help with stress and chronic diseases.
- Jasmine tea
- Jasmine tea contains leaves and jasmine blossoms, which give it a distinct scent and flavor. The flower blooms have been linked to improved physical well-being and have the potential to relieve stress.
- Both tea leaves and jasmine blossoms are high in antioxidants; therefore, drinking such teas is advantageous. Antioxidants provide several advantages, including lowering the impact of age-related damage to the body.
- According to certain findings, jasmine tea could help maintain mental health in old age.
- Peppermint tea
- Peppermint tea has a traditional taste that is both attractive and refreshing.
- The most well-known health benefit of peppermint tea is that it supports the digestive system. It has a lot of antioxidants and antiviral capabilities.
- Rooibos tea
- Rooibos, sometimes called “redbush tea,” is made from the Aspalathus linearis plant. According to research, the antioxidant properties of rooibos are comparable to, if not identical, green tea. The antioxidants in rooibos tea may boost health by providing the liver with an increased antioxidant capacity to prevent damage caused by toxins.
- Furthermore, rooibos can lower blood pressure and relax tense muscles, implying that the active element, in this case, might be one of the flavonoids (pigments) that it contains.
Medically Reviewed on 4/13/2022
Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company. Tea and Health. https://www.schooloftea.org/module/tea-and-health.html
Cleveland Clinic. The Best Teas to Drink for Your Health. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/teas-for-health/
Penn Medicine. The Hidden Health Benefits of Tea. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/december/health-benefits-of-tea