Health Benefits of Tea

Drinking tea is linked to health benefits including preventing cancer, heart disease and diabetes; aiding in weight loss and boosting mental alertness.

The teas most linked to health benefits — green, black, oolong, and white — are all derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, which is native to China and India and chock full of antioxidants called flavonoids.

Tea has less caffeine than coffee, and offer a host of compounds that are good for the body.

Tea leaves consist of a potent flavonoid called ECGC, which helps to protect the body against free radicals that could potentially contribute to things like cancer, clogged arteries, and heart disease.

Brewing your own tea is much better than buying bottled teas because you can avoid added sweeteners.

Additionally, the more processed the tea leaves, the less antioxidants, or polyphenols, present. For example, although oolong and black teas still have a high level of antioxidants, their leaves are fermented and oxidized; therefore, green teas pack the highest antioxidant punch.

Here are the most beneficial teas and their specific benefits as it relates to your health.

Health benefits of green tea

Green tea is the best tea option for overall health. The amount of ECGC in green tea fights against a varying list of illnesses and diseases. Green tea boosts present t-cells in the body, which help the immune system. In other words, green tea can be an easy and safe way to help control autoimmune problems. Green tea also aids in weight loss as a result of the ECGC flavonoid increasing the CCK hormone within the body, which is responsible for creating a satiated feeling.

Health benefits of black tea

Black tea is the best alternative to coffee because of its level of caffeine. This tea can help substitute your coffee addiction. Black tea is the main ingredient in popular chai teas—my favorite! Drinking black tea can slightly lower blood pressure, boost the metabolism, and aid with blood vessel function because of the caffeine level.

Health benefits of oolong tea

Oolong is a medium tea between green and black tea. Though often overlooked, oolong tea helps weight loss because of its combination of caffeine and catechin, an antioxidant. Consuming oolong tea can boost metabolic rate in the body by 3-4%.

Health benefits of white tea

While all of these teas have a large amount of health benefits and similar compounds, white tea is the least processed tea, which correlates with having the most potent level of healthy antioxidants. White tea is said to be able to ease the symptoms of some illnesses and promote recuperation, while strengthening the cardiovascular and immune systems.

Health benefits of ginger tea

Ginger tea can be made from dried ginger root in manufactured tea bags. It can also be made by peeling a piece of dried ginger, slicing it and adding boiling water. Either preparation will yield health benefits, including relieving nausea, helping relieve constipation and cutting down on bloating. It also contains antioxidants to fight free radicals.

Health benefits of nettle tea

While researchers have explored the health benefits of nettle leaf tea, there is still more testing to be done. Early studies have shown nettles can help relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis, assist in blood sugar management and to potentially lower blood pressure. However, product other than tea made from nettles have also been known to cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Find more healthy recipes and food ideas on A Healthier Michigan.

Photo credit: Getty Images

(Visited 1,499 times, 1 visits today)

Read 5 Comments

  1. Pu-erh tea also has health benefits. This is an aged tea, and there is a good description on Red Blossum Tea’s website. Pu-erh has similar anti-oxidants to those found in other teas, it has lower caffeine, and it has a naturally occurring statin drug (lovastatin), which reduces LDL cholesterol.

    Caffeine contributes to weight loss in some ways, as indicated in this article, but it also contributes to weight gain in other ways. One way is that caffeine increases cortisol, which is a hormone leading to weight gain. Another way that is that caffeine triggers insulin release, which can lead to insulin resistance, which is an early step towards type 2 diabetes. That is why the Mayo Clinic cautions diabetics to limint caffeine.

    1. Bruce,

      Thank you very much for your comments! I will have to give Pu-erh tea a try, as I have not seen that before. It sounds like a wonderful alternative for caffeine consumption. I also agree that caffeine needs to be in moderation as well–especially for those individuals that might be more prone to side effects from it. I appreciate your suggestion!

      Thanks again,

      Kristin Coppens

  2. Caffeine contributes to weight loss in some ways, as indicated in this article, but it also contributes to weight gain in other ways.

    1. Jr,

      Thank you for your comment! I completely agree–it’s important to note than most things in excess are going to produce a result you are NOT looking for. Everything in moderation is the key, and the way to receive the most health benefits!

      Have a great day,

      Kristin Coppens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *