When you return from work each day, the first thing you do is prepare a hot cup of tea. It rejuvenates and refreshes you. It restores energy needed to complete household chores before you dive into bed. Tea, like coffee, belongs to the class of stimulants. However, its health benefits go beyond that. This article discusses the advantages of drinking tea. Also, learn more about the varied types of tea.
Types of Tea
The beverage is of different types. They are sourced from the same plant – Camellia sinensis. The plant is native to China and India. The varieties are distinguished on the basis of the point in the growth cycle when the leaves are picked and on the methods of processing. We have listed the common varieties below.
- Black Tea: This is the commonest variety of tea. It is made by fermenting the leaves of the shrub. It is rich in caffeine.
- Green Tea: This variety has gained immense popularity for its weight loss benefits. Unlike the black variety, it is dried for a shorter period and is not fermented.
- White Tea: White tea is made from the young bud of the plant. It is un-oxidized and unfermented. Although it is believed to be the most potent variety, it is still being studied for its varied health benefits.
- Oolong and Pu-erh Tea: These are fermented varieties. Pu-erh tea is made by aging the leaves.
There are herbal teas too. They have made from fruits and herb extracts. They include ginger, ginseng, hibiscus, chamomile, jasmine, rosehip and echinacea.
Benefits of Tea
- Aging is the biggest concern for women. They dread the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Tea is packed with anti-oxidants. Flavonoids are the most important antioxidant. The antioxidants help fight signs of aging. It protects cellular damage caused by free radicals. The proportion of antioxidants is highest in the white variety, followed by the green variety and finally the black variety.
- Catechin, a highly effective anti-aging ingredient in tea, regulates blood cholesterol levels by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine.
- Tea is beneficial for oral health too. It possesses antibacterial properties. It suppresses the development of plaque and inhibits the formation of cavities and dental caries.
- Drinking a cup or two of tea regularly has a positive impact on heart health. Tannins and fluoride reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by maintaining proper blood circulation and preventing clogged arteries.
- It protects and strengthens the bones. It improves gastrointestinal health. It also has a positive impact on blood sugar levels. It increases mental alertness.
- The antibacterial properties of tea bolster the body’s immune system.
- It is a low calorie drink.
- Tea accelerates metabolism and thus helps burn fat and lose weight faster.
- Many recommend limiting the intake of tea because of its caffeine content. The caffeine content in tea is half the proportion of that present in coffee. Hence, the former does not cause harm to the body neither does it act as a diuretic. Instead, it helps keep the body hydrated.
- Some reports state that polyphenols present in tea prevent carcinogenesis. This means it reduces the chances of cells becoming cancerous. It prevents the development of tumors throughout the body.