Tea, a widely consumed hot drink, has many health benefits and has been associated with happiness and wisdom since ages in eastern cultures. There are many different types of teas and benefits of each one are different. Some teas aid in weight loss while others can keep coronary diseases at bay. Let’s look at some general health benefits that regular tea drinkers enjoy. Firstly, tea has antimicrobial properties and is also known to ward off cold, cough and digestive disorders. The caffeine hit from tea alerts you and purges drowsiness or lethargy within minutes. Some teas are rich in flavonoids, a healthful antioxidant. Teas that have the flavonoid called ECGC are a favorite among health conscious as ECGC can fight cancer causing free radicals.
A lot of brews today are referred to as tea but technically only potations made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub should be classified as tea. Five different types of teas are derived from this plant, namely; black, white, oolong, green, and pu-erh tea. This shrub is cultivated widely in India and China. Some teas are also made from herbal extracts and are free of caffeine. The amount of processing that tea leaves go through directly affects the health properties they carry. With heavy processing the polyphenol content of the leaves is reduced which also decreases its flavonoid or antioxidant count. Also, leaves that are fermented or oxidized contain a lesser concentration of polyphenols.
1. Green tea
Known widely for supplying the body with a high dose of antioxidants, green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves and therefore has a high count of Polyphenols. The tea leaves are steamed during manufacture which helps to retain high levels of EGCG. Touted for its medicinal value, green tea is also low on caffeine. It helps you shed extra pounds faster and helps immensely to get rid off the extra fat around your midriff. It also lowers body cholesterol level. In fact, it can also reduce risk of grave diseases like Alzeimers, Parkinsons, Cancer, Heart problems, and Diabetes. It also helps to keep stress at bay. Savor its light flavor and airy aroma with fresh fruits, salads and white meats like chicken.
2. Black tea
Having the highest concentration of caffeine, this tea is produced from fermented tea leaves which are roasted and completely oxidized. It is loaded with caffeine. If you stay stressed then reach out for a cup of black tea which can lower level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This hot drink also aids in the growth and development of the tissue layer in your bones. It also minimizes risk of cancer and strokes. Black tea also protects lungs from the damaging effects of fumes and cigarette smoke. A full bodied strong flavor and wispy aroma make it an enjoyable drink – just right for supplementing rich gravies, spicy curries, creamy cheesy treats, chocolaty desserts, and red meats.
3. Oolong tea
This tea made from half fermented leaves peps up your body metabolism, burns fat faster and therefore is a great weight loss aid. To rev up your metabolism have about two cups of this tea daily. Wuyi, a type of oolong tea, is even sold as a weight loss supplement. It also improves your skin health. It also lowers bad cholesterol in the body. Its medium whiff and flavor complement grilled fare and Thai food. It also brings out the flavor of seafood. In fact, it goes well with all victuals generally paired with white and red wines.
4. White tea
Not many of us have heard of white tea but it is one of the best brews for warding off cancer. Manufactured from unfermented and uncured tea leaves, it doesn’t have much caffeine. Sipping on this will give a boost to your immune system as it can thwart virus and bacteria in your body. This curative brew can fight infection as it slows down the growth of bacterial infections like pneumonia, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and tooth caries.
5. Herbal tea
Some herbal teas are made from leaves of the Camillia Sinensis plant while many others are made from sources other than tea leaves. Spices, roots, herbs, fruit extracts and many other ingredients can be used to brew them. Most varieties are caffeine free and therefore drinking too many cups of these won’t get you high strung or interfere with your nap. A great stress buster, herbal teas can also slow down premature aging. It is best known for its high concentration of antioxidants that counter damage caused by free radicals and keep diseases like cancer and heart problems at bay. Chamomile, Ginger, Hibiscus, and Rooibos are some well known herbal teas.
6. Pu Erh tea
It is prepared from fermented and aged leaves which are compressed into cake like forms. The leaves are actually fermented twice and molds are allowed to thrive on them. It is widely cultivated in China and is known for its medicinal properties. It lessens LDL cholesterol in the body and also prevents weight gain. It promotes the health of the stomach and spleen. In Chinese culture it is believed that Pu Erh tea can help counter ill effects of heavy alcohol intake.