Health benefits of Tea - how tea can help you live a healthier life

January 17, 2019

Tea has become a popular beverage when it comes to detox diets. The substances in tea are known to offer many health benefits such as weight loss, anti-aging, lowering the risks of cancers, heart diseases, hair losses and diabetes. The active molecules which have health benefits are polyphenols, particularly catechins and epicatechins. Those molecules have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. No other food or beverage contains as much antioxidant than tea. As a general rule, the less oxidised the plucked tea leaves are and the more active polyphenols - catechins and epicatechins -  it contains.

Here are some studies we found regarding the benefits of each tea types.

Health Benefits of White Tea

White tea is the least processed tea among all, as buds and leaves of tea plants are plucked, withered naturally in the sun and dried. As it goes through very simple processing and the degree of oxidation that occurs to white tea is minimal, it contains relatively high amount of active antioxidant polyphenols.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is made by steaming or pan-firing the tea leaves immediately after harvest. This process stop any oxidation of the tea leaves, by killing enzymes involved in oxidation process. As catechins and epicatechins are not oxidised to become a bigger phenolic compound, the extensively-researched and well-known antioxidant, The EGCG (“Epigallocatechin gallate”), a type of catechins, is abundant in green tea. Researchers found that it might prevent many cancers, weight loss, reduce risks of Alzheimer or Parkinson, improve the level of cholesterol or lower down the risk of stroke. Beside that, catechins in green tea also act as antibacterial and antiviral agents.  

Health Benefits of Black Tea

Black tea are made from fully oxidised tea leaves. The oxidation process transforms the catechins, unoxidised phenolic molecule found in natural tea leaves, into more complex phenolic compounds, called thearubigins and theaflavins. Between the two, only theaflavins contain significant antioxidant potential. Theaflavins contribute to bitterness, astringent mouthfeel and the red colour of black tea, although theaflavins are much less bitter and astringent than its precursors - Catechins and Epicatechins. Studies show that black teas contains between 4-18% theaflavins component, in comparison to 40% of catechins content in green teas. As theaflavins has similar health antioxidant benefits to catechins, studies says that black tea can also help preventing cancers and fighting against Alzheimer. But as the active polyphenol level in green tea far exceeds that of black tea, green tea is often claimed to offer more health benefits.

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is partially oxidised tea and has similar benefits to other teas. Some specific studies on oolong tea suggests that it may help diabetes prevention or bone density loss. The caffeine content in the tea could also help preventing cardiovascular disease. Another study says that the combination of caffeine and polyphenols in tea helps with weight loss.

Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

Matcha is a type of green tea that has been powdered. Matcha is really high in antioxidants because the whole tea leaves are consumed, whereas we only consume infused tea leaves when we drink other leaf teas. Therefore the quantity of polyphenols, catechins and caffeine that matcha contains is much higher than other tea. In general, Matcha contains more caffeine and catechins than orthodox green tea. In a study from Consumer Lab, it has been found that matcha powder could contain up to 109 mg of EGCG per serving, while green tea leaves normally contains  between 25 mg to 86 mg of EGCG per serving.

Health Benefits of Puerh Tea

Puerh Tea is a tea that has gone through a post-fermentation process. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that it helps with digestion and weight loss. Some studies suggested that it helps reducing the blood fats and diabetes. It is also believed that Oolong and Puerh tea are better for supporting weight loss, it might also raise good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering the bad one (LDL).

Health Benefits of Herbal tea

Herbal teas are infusions not made from the plant camellia sinensis. It is coming from dried herbs, spices or flowers.

  • Chamomile tea might help improving the sleep quality or depression. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Peppermint might help relieve indigestion. Recent studies says that it might improve cognitive functions.
  • Rooibos has few studies on the benefits, one says that it might help increase the density of bones
  • Greek Mountain tea might help with digestion and immune system. It has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
  • Lemon Verbena might help with insomnia and indigestion.    

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