Green tea, white tea, black tea—I keep stumbling across articles touting the benefits of drinking tea. I’m a coffee fan but am wondering if I should drink more tea because of the potential improvements to my health. But should I? If so, which types of tea offer which benefits? What have studies found out about various teas?
From what I’ve read, researchers have identified a lot of exciting possibilities about the benefits of tea, but they need to conduct more in-depth clinical trials with larger groups of people in order to confirm their hypotheses. New evidence is coming to light as studies are completed and published. But so far, what they’re looking at is pretty amazing.
Green Tea One of the top stars in the tea world, green tea has a lot of possibility. Scientific studies have found that green tea may potentially help prevent cold and flu symptoms, prevent dental cavities, reduce the risk of heart attacks and clogged arteries, reduce inflammation, slow cartilage breakdown, and reduce the risk of cancer. However, note that cautionary word, “may.” In an article posted on mayoclinic.com, all of these exciting “maybes” are followed by a tempering statement along the lines of “further research is needed before a recommendation can be made.”
White Tea comes from the same plant as green tea (camellia sinensis) but is picked earlier and is fast-dried rather than roasted. It has many of the same potential benefits as green tea, including possibly reducing cholesterol levels, fighting cancer, and preventing sun damage to the skin.
Black Tea like green and white, is packed full of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. Early research has found that regular tea drinkers have less heart disease, fewer strokes, lower cholesterol levels, and quicker recoveries from heart attacks. It seems to me that although the research on tea is evolving, it’d be in my best interest to up my intake. Tea has zero calories and an abundance of antioxidants. Besides, on these cold winter days, snuggling up with a book and a cup of tea sounds perfect to me!