Apart from being a comfort drink, tea is known to offer cure for various health disorders, right from constipation to cancer. It is also good your skin and hair.
In Chinese and Buddhist texts, Camellia sinensis has been mentioned as a potential remedy for better health and longevity. Although all types of teas are beneficial, a few contain higher levels of polyphenols and antioxidants than others. Ideally, one should try to consume all the varieties of teas to reap the numerous benefits. Check out the popular tea varieties before knowing their benefits.
Different Tea Varieties:
a. Green Tea:
Green tea is made from steamed tea leaves. The leaves are dried and heated soon after they are picked, thus preventing the leaves from fermentation. It contains around 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Green tea is more delicate in terms of flavor when compared to black tea. Green tea comprises of catechins, caffeine, Theanine as well as various vitamins and minerals.
b. Black Tea:
Black tea accounts for about 75% of the global tea consumption. It is made from the leaves of camellia sinensis plant, which are rolled, fermented, then dried and crushed. It contains the highest amount of caffeine and has a slightly bitter taste. It contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine per cup. However, caffeine sensitive people should avoid consuming black tea. It is great for people who need a quick energy boost.
c. Herbal Tea:
Technically, herbal tea is not a tea as it is not a Camellia sinensis derivative. They are derived from the leaves, roots, seeds, bark, and flowers of other plants and are rich with medicinal values. They contain no caffeine at all, making it suitable for young children. Avoid herbal teas for weight loss as they might contain dangerous laxatives. Herbal teas contain high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. Lavender tea promotes relaxation and calms the mind and body. Chamomile tea also has strong calming powers and is used as a natural pain reliever. Peppermint tea is used in many traditions to aid digestion and clear sinuses. Herbal tea can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
d. White Tea:
White tea is the least oxidized of all types of tea. It is the mildest in terms of flavor taste as the leaves are picked very young. White tea has the most potent anti-cancer properties. It is very low in caffeine, making it a good choice for people who are caffeine-sensitive. White tea contains a mere 15 milligrams of caffeine per cup. It contains high levels of antioxidants because the leaves are less processed. White tea is an excellent addition to your diet.
e. Flavored Tea:
A tea prepared by adding herbs, spices, flowers, and scents – that is what flavored teas are. They are available in many varieties, including flavors such as blueberries, cinnamon, orange peel, and lavender. These teas are paired with black, green, or white tea leaves. Flavored tea has the same levels of antioxidants and health benefits as the unflavored ones. The flavored teas with super fruits such as blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants.
f. Oolong Tea:
Oolong tea is similar to black tea and is fermented in a short time. This gives oolong tea its great taste. Caffeine levels vary accordingly. While green oolong has less caffeine content, the darker oolongs have higher caffeine content. It contains about 30 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Oolong teas have higher amounts of antioxidants than green tea.
g. Pu-Erh Tea:
Pu-erh tea is made from fermented and aged leaves. Pu-erh tea has generally low levels of caffeine and contains high levels of flavonoids. The leaves of Pu-erh are pressed into cakes.
Benefits of Tea:
1. Fights Stress and Anti-anxiety:
Passion flower tea is naturally rich with the flavone Chrysin that is known to provide anti-anxiety benefits. It is ideal for those who are prone to intensive stress, insomnia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Drink a cup of passion flower tea every day before going to bed to calm the mind. Black tea reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body and lowers the systolic blood pressure, giving a stress free life.
2. Weight Loss:
Researchers have found that tea contains polyphenols, which, along with caffeine, increases energy expenditure and fat oxidation, resulting in weight loss. Oolong tea, sans sugar, is one of the best drinks for weight loss. Yerba mate tea is also very beneficial for weight loss. The tea contains a fat fighting compound called mateine, which boosts the metabolism, aiding weight loss. Additionally, yerba mate tea does not produce the caffeine related crashes that some people experience with coffee and other caffeine induced drinks. Green tea is also well-known for its weight loss benefits by boosting metabolic rate.
3. Fights Belly Fat:
Several studies have shown how drinking oolong tea leads to weight loss and a smaller waist size. Oolong tea contains catechins and caffeine, which ignites the visceral fat burning furnace and increases the metabolism for up to 2 hours. It also contains polyphenols, which help to block the fat building enzymes, giving a slim tummy. Jasmine tea is yet another choice among those who want a slimmer waistline.
4. Anti-Ageing Benefits:
White tea is less processed than other forms of tea. It contains potent antioxidants like polyphenols and ECGC, which fights the signs of ageing like blemishes and fine lines. It strengthens elastin and collagen, inhibiting wrinkles.
5. Safeguards Liver:
Oxidative stress and inflammation can cause acute liver injury and disease. The catechins present in green tea suppresses as well as thwarts the severity of liver injuries.
6. Combats And Prevents Cancers:
The high levels of EGCG content in white and green tea makes it an effective cancer fighter. The polyphenols-rich teas aid in hindering the progression of certain cancers, including that of stomach, colon, breast, liver, prostate, rectal, and skin. Regular consumption of green tea offsets the effects of smoking, lowering the risk associated with the onset of lung cancer. Black tea also contains EGCG, but at much lower concentrations. Women who drink green tea have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than non-green tea drinkers.
7. Improves Dental Health:
White tea contains high levels of calcium and fluoride – two vital nutrients essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Black tea is full of polyphenols that helps to cure pyorrhea, and prevent bad breath. The polyphenols in black tea also inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth, thus combating gum diseases and cavities. It inhibits the bacterial enzymes and prevents the formation of the plaque that binds to the teeth.
8. Good For Diabetics:
Along with improving insulin sensitivity, regular consumption of green tea keeps the blood sugar at moderate levels. The polysaccharides present in tea inhibit the absorption of glucose by human body, thus preventing diabetes.
9. Eases Headache:
Ginger tea blocks the chemical messengers that cause swelling in the brain, causing headaches. It reduces inflammation at the same pace of aspirin. Drink ginger tea at the onset of the headache for quick relief.
10. Natural Aphrodisiac:
Ginseng tea boosts libido and functioning of sexual hormones, thereby combating erectile dysfunction. It contains ginsenosides compounds, which affect the gonadal tissue, increasing sperm count in men.
11. Improves Mental Health:
Studies suggest that tea has the potential to prevent and cure various neurological diseases, particularly those with degenerative nature. Assorted ingredients innate to tea are known to improve learning skills and memory power. Drinking green tea regularly could prevent the onset as well as progression of age-related dementia. The amino acids L-theanin and caffeine in tea boost alpha wave activity in the brains, promoting a state of relaxed concentrations. It makes one more focused and attentive. It also lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease in both men and women.
Green tea has antihistamine properties that can be used to ease and prevent allergy attacks and hay fever. The antioxidants in green tea block the biochemical process involved in producing an allergic response. It is useful against a wide range of sneeze startling allergies, including pet dander, dust and pollen. It also relieves from allergy symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose and red eyes.
13. Smooth Bowel Movement:
Drink peppermint tea twice a day to relieve constipation. It promotes friendly bacteria in the intestines, promoting smooth bowel movements. It also fights food-borne bacteria in the gut.
14. Maintains Fluid Balance:
Tea also helps in maintaining the body’s fluid balance, ensuring that the energy is equally distributed throughout the organs. A healthy fluid balance ensures that we have more energy and stamina to deal with the daily activities.
15. Improves Skin Health:
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea attack and kill the acne bacteria, ebbing away swelling and redness. The EGCG and polyphenols in green tea protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation, preventing skin cancer. It also prevents cell oxidation and damage, making one look younger.
16. Natural Diuretic Properties:
Daily consumption of 8 ounces of tea is known to lower the risk of developing kidney stones by 8%. Tea acts as a diuretic, thus stimulates the flow of urine, preventing gallstone formation.
17. HIV Therapy:
EGCG, an active ingredient found in green tea, has antiviral, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties, that has the potential to help the inhibition of the HIV virus.
18. Natural Cure For Sleep Disorders:
Valerian tea is ideal for people suffering from sleep disorders. The root contains several compounds, which acts as a sedative reducing the time it takes for one to sleep. Drink valerian tea a couple of hours before bedtime to induce sleep.
19. Rich Source Of Antioxidants:
Several varieties of tea contain antioxidants in commendable amounts. These ingredients protect the body from the effects of pollution and other diseases. These antioxidants help the body’s immune system to fight infections and other diseases. The antioxidants help to destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals in the body cells are highly unstable and tend to react negatively with the DNA, causing malfunctions of the cells.
20. For A Safer Heart:
A study conducted in Japan found that drinking green tea could significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of green tea lowers the risk of hypertension by 46%. It keeps the arteries smooth and inhibits the formation of blood clots, preventing heart attack and stroke. A study conducted in Netherland concluded that people who drank two cups of black tea everyday had a lower risk of heart attack as compared to non-tea drinkers. Tea is a rich source of flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin, all of which can reduce the risk of fatal myocardial infarction.
21. Keeps A Tab On Blood Pressure Levels:
Black tea reduces blood pressure and neutralizes the negative effects of high fat meals on the arteries. Regular consumption of white tea lowers the low-density protein and encourages good cholesterol in the body. Drinking half cup of cup of oolong tea every day can lower the risk of high blood pressure by almost 50%.
22. For Better Bone Health:
The nutrients and polyphenols present in tea improve the quality of the bone, lowering the risk associated with osteoporosis. Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density in both men and women. Catechins in green tea are very beneficial for arthritis patients. It reduces inflammation and slows down cartilage breakdown, preventing rheumatoid arthritis.
23. Eye Health:
The high levels of antioxidants in green tea positively affect the tissues of the eye, including the eye retina. It reduces the oxidative stress from the eyes, preventing macular degeneration.
24. Boosts Metabolism:
The catechins present in green tea are very beneficial for boosting metabolism. It boosts the metabolic rate for almost 24 hours. One can lose eight pounds a year just by drinking green tea. Tea also boosts exercise endurance. The catechins present in green tea increases the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, improving muscle endurance.
25. Combating Flu:
Black tea is very beneficial for fighting against flu. In a recent study, people who gargled with a black tea extract twice a day show a greater resistance to virus as compared to people who did not.
Tea is a versatile beverage. You can relish it as iced or warm. There are more than 1500 types of teas found in the world. Pick the one that suits you and enjoy the benefits of tea.