Regarded for thousands of years in the East as a key to good health, tea has gained popularity here in the west. While it’s pretty well established that the compounds in tea – their flavonoids – are good for the heart and may reduce cancer, studies have found that some teas like green tea, may help with heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol and aid digestion.
Green, black , white, oolong and pu-erh tea are considered by purists as the real thing. They are all derived from a shrub native to China and India, and contain antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.
All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high.
Let’s have a look at some of our most popular brews and why we should be drinking them:
Made with steamed tea leaves, green tea has a high concentration of EGCG. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
In a recent study , compounds known as polyphenols that are found in both black and green tea were shown to have neuro-protective properties.
May protect LDL (good) cholesterol, helping prevent cardiovascular disease. In addition, some research has shown black tea has anti-viral and anti-cancer properties.
Are less processed and are the purest of all teas. They possess the highest antioxidant properties of any tea. Everything from radiant skin, strong bones, heart disease, cholesterol-lowering, and a host of numerous healthy benefits, the white tea family is one of nature’s greatest gifts.
The loose form has the most caffeine content , sometimes referred to as “Black Dragon “ tea, the oolong leaves are potent and can aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels, formation of strong bones, preservation of heart health and strengthening the immune system.
Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.
A powerful blend of tea, herbs and spices, chai has been cherished for centuries in India to preserve health and increase peace of mind. In addition to improving digestion, chai enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. It has also been suggested that chai has antibacterial and anti-cancer effects.
Mate teas are made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant, and it is the one tea that tastes just like coffee. It is favourably compared to green tea in its benefits, yet it has five times the antioxidant qualities that green tea does. Mate tea can help you think more clearly, alleviate bad breath and help with an upset stomach. Overdoing it though can result in too much of that “coffee high feeling” which can work against you in over-stimulation and make you feel a bit jittery. A good cup of mate however can help with allergies, increased metabolism, and digestive disorders.
If you are a sweet tea drinker, remember to use an all natural sugar replacement, like Perfect Sweet™ xylitol or SlimSweet™ Monk Fruit Sweetener. Both have the same taste as sugar, but with no nasty aftertaste.