For some drinking tea is a relaxing ritual; for others it is a refreshing beverage. Regardless of the reasons you may drink tea, you are actually gaining tremendous health benefits with each cup. Whether you prefer hot or cold tea; green, black, white, oolong, or herbal tea, tea is one of the healthiest beverage choices you can make. And if tea is not part of your daily regime, read on to find out why you will want to make this delightful beverage a staple in your kitchen starting today.
Green. It’s hard to find any list of super foods that doesn’t feature green tea near the top of the list, and with its many impressive benefits it’s no wonder. Green tea has an exceptionally high level of catechins, a potent antioxidant linked with everything from fighting cancer to warding off the effects of aging. The EGCG compound found in green tea is linked with supercharging the metabolism to help with weight loss. As if these benefits are not impressive enough, studies have shown promising results on green tea’s ability to prevent heart disease and protect the brain from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. Hint: get even more of green tea’s goodness by trying matcha tea, a tea made from ground green tea leaves.
Black. Black tea may sometimes stand in the shadow of green tea’s stellar reputation, but the truth is black tea offers plenty of impressive benefits as well. The theaflavin compound found in black tea has been linked with helping to lower cholesterol levels, and other flavonoids in this commonly brewed tea have been shown to help decrease inflammation of the blood vessels. Additionally, black tea contains more caffeine than other teas, but still less than coffee, making it a great coffee alternative for those wishing to kick the java habit.
White. White tea comes from the earliest growing tea leaves and offers many of the same benefits as green tea, but with a milder and sweeter taste. Fewer studies have been done on white tea than green tea, but early research indicates it may be even higher in polyphenols than green tea, making it even more protective against the damages of free radicals. If the stronger taste of other teas does not appeal to you, white tea may be the perfect tea for you!
Oolong. Oolong tea may not be as familiar to you as some other teas, but its health perks make it a tea worth getting to know. In particular, oolong tea has been shown to help decrease triglyceride levels. It also contains fluoride, making it an aid for stronger teeth.
Herbal. A seemingly endless variety of herbal teas are available, so if you haven’t found your favorite yet, keep trying. Generally speaking, herbal teas are caffeine free and high in antioxidants. Specific herbal teas offer different benefits. For example, chamomile tea is known for its role in helping people to relax, and has also been shown to help ward off some of the effects of Type II Diabetes. Ginger tea can be a potent anti-nausea agent. Rooibos helps to protect the body against the damaging effects of radiation and Echinacea tea is said to strengthen the immune system.
Fine Print: Whatever tea you chose, take care not to diminish its benefits by adding sugar. Additionally, dairy can block the absorption of some nutrients, so it is best to skip the milk or creamer for maximum benefits.