The beneficial qualities that tea brings to both mind and body have long been recognized by the vast majority of people around the world. However it’s always the green leaf variety that takes the plaudits with other varieties playing second fiddle at best, and often times ignored. We are constantly bombarded through the media and treated to information overload to the extraordinary attributes of the green tea variety. It is certainly then no surprise that it is to green tea that one’s thoughts first turn while looking for a healthy drink to refresh. Whilst it is certainly true that green tea does come packed with an incredible health-giving pedigree, the black tea variety, or ‘crimson’ as it is known in Chinese and languages influenced by Chinese, should most certainly not be ignored.
What's the Difference?
Black tea has as much to offer as the green leaf variety to those that choose to give it a try. A fact of which many people are not aware is that both black and green tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The larger leaves from the Assamese plant are used for the black variety, with the smaller leaves from the Chinese plants being used for green and also white tea too. Whilst much has been said of the health giving qualities of green tea, those benefits can be said to be present in black tea also as they are essentially derived from the same source. This is despite its more intense processing and consequently lower levels of antioxidant. There also tends to be more caffeine in black tea and hence black tea can be considered more stimulating.
It is often of a better flavor too as green tea tends to lose its flavor after a year or so, whilst black leaf tea can retain the flavor for many years more. It is due to this attribute of black tea that it has long been used a commodity for trading, and black tea bricks were even used as a form of currency in the 19th century in countries such as Mongolia, Tibet and Siberia. TF-2 is a compound present in black tea. It is an antioxidant and as such is very helpful to the human body in the fight against cancer, diseases of the heart and other inflammatory ailments.
Black Tea Research
Studies carried out in Europe spanning a decade have shown that drinking in excess of 2 cups of black leaf tea a day can cut in half the incidence of heart problems in males. The best method by far with which to imbibe tea is in its loose form, and in the authors opinion the bagged variety should be kept firmly on the shelf. It’s not just a great flavor from which you will benefit with black tea but also the extraordinary health-giving benefits that it will bring to your body. And there are of course many brands from which to choose with varied tastes and flavors. All without exception compete admirably with their green leaf counterparts in health properties and arguably make a more enjoyable and flavorsome drink.
It is well known that herbal teas promote overall health and well being. However there are lots of herbal teas out there and you might have a hard time choosing the right one to gain the most health benefits. You might be trying to make up your mind between Wuyi Cliff, Oolong or Wu-long, Pu-erh or Sencha teas. Well, wake up and smell the tea, because although you are not wrong, the answer is in the mix. To be specific, it is in the mix of herbal teas Wuyi Cliff, Pu-erh, Sencha and Oolong. By itself each of teas pack fantastic health benefits, then just imagine what the benefits would be when you combine all these teas. A few of the most important health benefits of this tea mix are in promoting healthy dieting, supplying your body with more natural energy, boosting your immune system and helping to calm the mind.
1. Healthy Dieting Solutions that Work:
Having a cup of the herbal tea mix made from mixing together the whole leaves of the different types of teas, rather than just having just a cup of tea with tea dust helps in ensuring quick and effective weight loss. Insulin is produced in your body, when you consume carbohydrates or sugary foods, which aids in storing fats in the body. The herbal tea mix works by reducing the amount of insulin produced and directly affects the amount of fat stored. Having a cup of herbal tea mix after each meal will work wonders by helping you stay off the calories effectively.
In addition to reducing the amount of fats stored in the body the tea also helps in speeding up the metabolism of the body. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns up calories, so consuming this tea regularly will help your body able to keep off the weight easily. Also, the tea mix reduces food cravings and suppresses your appetite. Even with all these benefits, the tea mix does not have any side effects unlike diet pills and supplements available on the market.
2. Stronger Immune System
Immune system defense is the ability of your body to fight against external infections. Out of numerous important benefits of the herbal tea mix is that it boosts the natural ability your body has, of fighting off bacteria. Moreover, the tea mix increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
3. More Pep in Your Step!
Feel energized and revitalized by just having a cup of the herbal tea mix! An important benefit of this herbal tea is that it helps to decrease harmful amounts of cholesterol, thus improving cardiac function. Lower cardiac function helps to noticeably energize, and increase your mobility, and desire to get out and move around more.
4. Soothes and Relaxes
Feel more relaxed and sleep better! Having a cup of this herbal tea mix will relax you, both mentally and physically. Given all the above benefits of having herbal tea, are you now convinced and ready to try this herbal tea mix?
Many people around the world, including chefs and even scientists believe that white tea has numerous benefits towards everyone’s health. But do you really know what exactly white tea is and how you could benefit from white tea leaves? The immature tea leaves are alternatively called white tea. These loose leaves are picked from the tea plant just before the plant has fully bloomed. The name ‘white tea’ came from the fine silvery fuzz covering the tea leaf and making it white in color. The four distinct varieties of white tea include the White Peony, Silver Needle, Long Life Eyebrow and Tribute Eyebrow. The difference between them is the proportion in which the tea leaves are blended with the tea buds.
Harvesting White Tea
Usually buds turn into tea in two days after they are picked. When two tea leaves are mixed with one tea bud, it forms the White Peony and if the mixture is made completely of buds, it is termed as the Silver Needle tea. The low quality tea variety called Long Life Eyebrow is made by mixing up the left over leaves after the White Peony and Silver Needle harvest. Tribute Eyebrow is processed using a special tea bush and is also a lesser quality tea. All four white teas can be purchased in loose leaf forms. On the other hand, teas available in bags have comparatively less quality and flavor than white tea. Tea bags are generally tea leaf dusts that remains at the bottom of tea bins after harvesting, reducing the desired quality and flavor.
White Tea Research
Scientific research has also shown that white tea provides additional protection against skin cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer and even prostate cancer. Studies on the effect of white tea extract on skin exposed to direct sunlight has shown improved protection and reduced cell damage. A partially repaired immune system was also observed in some test subjects that consumed white tea leaves. Scientists found a wealth of antioxidants present in white tea and they suggested it may have anti-aging effect. Some compelling evidence has also been found in the direction of disease prevention using white tea leaves. It is shown that the white tea leaf extract may have the ability to stop pneumonia and the bacteria that causes Staph infection. It is also used to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, plaque and even bad breath.
What Else Can White Tea Do for You?
It is also believed that white tea leaf has anti-fungal effects. Recent studies have shown that some fungal types became inactive when the fungal drugs are consumed along with white tea leaves. Results of this study also show that white tea leaves might be used to prevent the fungus growth in certain similar conditions. Cholesterol is a health requirement and there are two kinds of cholesterol: good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. It is the bad cholesterol that causes the hardening of the arteries that could lead to heart attack. A type of antioxidants called catechins has been found to reduce bad cholesterol; white tea also helps raise the good cholesterol in the human body. It has been suggested that white tea leaves could lower the blood sugar levels, and thus reduce the occurrence of diabetic symptoms. More scientific research and results can be expected in the near future as the research on white tea continues.
Westerners have recently rediscovered the green tea. It has its origin in China; the Chinese believe that green tea has the ability to prevent many hazardous diseases, and even treat symptoms of others. This belief has now passed on to the western world, through word of mouth, and of course, the most well-known promotional tool in the world: the Internet. The west is now slowly adapting to the taste of green tea instead of black tea; not everyone likes the idea of 'green' tea, but the color is paler, not green, and the flavor is crisper. Green tea is made from a leaf called Camellia Sinensis, most commonly. These leaves do not require a high amount of oxidation and which makes green tea a good source of the antioxidants known as “Catechins”.
Antioxidants & Catechins
Antioxidants are agents that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause cell damage and a number of other diseases, --free radicals, are abnormal foreign agents, in some cases, and they are linked to the development of various kinds of cancer. Catechin in green tea is what gives it the strong taste and smell. Catechin also has the capability to move up to infiltrate our body's natural digestive system. It once absorbed by our digestive system, it’s filtered through the blood, where it eventually, reaches our retina, and eyes. The catechins then protect the eyes and reduce the occurrence of eye diseases. Research has been done on whether or not green tea can prevent glaucoma; the findings are pretty amazing. Glaucoma is a disease that can cause loss of eyesight, visual impairment, and even permanent blindness.
How it Works
An experiment was conducted on mice to prove that green tea can fight eye ailments. The tiny animals were fed green tea orally on a regular basis, and then their eye tissues were analyzed. The analysis revealed that the retina absorbed the highest number of catechins. The antioxidant lowered the harmful oxidative pressure in the eye and the effect lasted for about twenty hours. Many people are also aware of green tea's effect on weight loss; everyone seems to be jumping on some kind of green tea fad diet. Well, these diets aren't just trendy, 'here today, gone tomorrow', weight loss schemes. When used in your regular diet program and health regime it is extremely beneficial. People who replaced coffee for green tea rarely come back to coffee.
Add Green Tea for a Healthier Future!
Because of its medicinal values in the last few years Green tea has become an important subject of scientific research and analysis. These studies have proven that green tea also has other medicinal effects and benefits that help in reducing or preventing some hazardous diseases like cancer. Even more studies have proven that green tea may be effective in the treatment of joint diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, or impaired immune disease and other serious illnesses associated with the liver. A cup of green tea is a good refresher and pumps in a high amount of energy in to the system, --and don't forget, it tastes great too!
Whether you’re an avid tea drinker with a cup board filled with exotic smells which fill the air each time you swing open the door, or you just enjoy the occasional cup of tea. It’s important that you understand the health benefits that certain teas can provide.
The big misconception is that tea often is viewed as just another beverage. However this is far from the truth, throughout the ages tea has been used as both a direct and preventative medicine.
Now we have study after study coming out all proclaiming a new health benefit of tea, but which tea’s are the healthiest? We will study the teas group by group so you understand the implications and benefits of all the different varieties.
White, Black, Green & Oolong - Camellia Sinensis
The first group of teas are clumped together because they are all found off of the same tree - Camellia Sinensis. The great thing about all these teas is that they are loaded with antioxidant polyphenols.
What do antioxidants do? Well, antioxidants basically help your body eliminate unwanted bacteria and chemicals which it cannot process on it’s own.
Some of the cited benefits of having enough antioxidants? Less heart attacks, lower cancer rates, longer living and the list goes on.
Keep in mind, that all these teas have an antioxidant count so high that they will match or beat most plants on the ORAC scale, a test which measures the antioxidant potential within plants and fruits.
Since they all come from the same tree, the only actual difference between these teas is when they are picked. To achieve the different colors, tastes and variants of tea. They are all harvested at different times throughout the year, but all with basically the same benefits.
Herbal Teas - Are They Any Good?
The first thing you’ve got to know about herbal teas is that most do NOT contain any health benefits. This is because they are usually an infusion of plants, berries and leaves put together to achieve a particular flavor or brew, but not provide health benefits.
Because most herbal teas substitute the Camellia plant with Tisane (a homogenous root to Africa) they do not contain antioxidants to the same extent. However other benefits such as relaxation have been cited. Further research is still required before we can completely discredit or confirm the health benefits of herbal teas.
Caffeinated Vs. Decaffeinated - The Choice?
A lot of people get antsy about the amount of caffeine they consume and worry about going over the limit. You can rest easy knowing the caffeine count in most teas is about half that you’d get from the same size cup of coffee.
However for those of you who prefer to drink decaf tea keep this in mind. So far it’s uncertain whether the de-caffeination process removes the beneficial antioxidants or keeps them untouched.
So our advice to you?
If you’re looking for tea with health benefits make sure that you pick a variety which originates from the Camellia plant.
Also to receive the full benefits brew your tea for 3-5 minutes allowing the water to absorb up the plant matter, antioxidants and taste.
It’s important you brew your tea properly otherwise you won’t receive the health benefits. Ideally you should be drinking anywhere from 3-6 cups spread out throughout your day.
Always remember to know what you’re drinking but most importantly enjoy what you’re drinking. Enjoy your tea and take care!