Tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. Traditional teas come in four basic varieties: white, green, oolong, and black. These four varieties of tea are all composed of the leaves of a bushy shrub, Camellia sinensis. What makes them different is the time of harvest and processing they undergo before being steeped in water to produce the beverage. Most other types of teas besides these four are not true teas. They are herbal teas and take the name because they are brewed in the same fashion but with plants and herbs other than Camellia sinensis leaves.
Studies on the health benefits of tea are numerous and have come to different conclusions for each sort of tea. The basic truth is that all tea (true tea) contains polyphenols which are responsible for the health benefits and no type of tea is healthier than another. Below is a breakdown of the types of tea and the health benefits that are claimed by scientific studies.
White Tea – comes from the young shoots or buds of the plant. They are slightly steamed and dried. White and green tea is the least processed. White tea has the least caffeine. High levels of antioxidants help kill bacteria and viruses.
Green Tea – comes from the fresh, mature leaves of the plant. They are slightly steamed and dried. Green tea has low caffeine content. Green tea reduces the risk of cancer, slows cancer already present, and may help with weight loss.
Black Tea – comes from the mature leaves. They are left out in the open air until oxidation removes all the chlorophyll and they turn black. Black tea has the highest concentration of caffeine. Studies show black tea reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. It also reduces risk of infection and fights cavities.
Oolong Tea – comes from the mature leaves. They are bruised and left out like black tea, but only partially oxidized. Oolong tea has the same health benefits of black tea.
The basic ingredients in all the types of tea are the same and the levels are not much different. The health benefits are about the same, so drink the one you think tastes best.
Posted 3515 day ago