Mention the word ‘tea’ and a majority of us are likely to imagine the regular white tea that is the beverage of most of the households but tea is not just limited to it. There is a plethora of varieties of tea; green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, kombucha tea to name a few.Each has some health benefit associated with it. Today, we try to delve into the various health benefits associated with the very many varieties of tea but before that, let’s brush up our knowledge regarding tea with a little general info.
Did you know that the plant named Camellia Sinensis is the one that yields black tea, white tea, green tea and oolong tea as well. ‘Why, then, do they differ?’ is the obvious question. Well, it is the way they are processed that makes each one different from the other.
Leaves that have oxidized fully yield black tea. The chemical composition of these fully oxidized leaves changes when they are subjected to wilting, bruising and air exposure. Further, when the leaves are partially oxidized, Oolong tea is the product and when not oxidized at all, green tea is what one gets. White tea comes forth from young leaves (buds, to be more precise) that are not oxidized.
Now we head towards the health benefits associated with different varieties of tea.
White tea contains caffeine and antioxidants (named Catechins) which together help one lose weight. Also, since least of processing is put into white tea vis-à-vis other tea varieties, it, therefore, contains higher amounts of polyphenols renowned for their anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Rich in anti-oxidants, green tea is sure to help you remain in good form. What’s more, it is also known to fight against diseases. The polyphenols that green tea contains lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, which implies a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Besides, it also reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer.
Although black tea is not as rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants as is green tea but as far as its benefits to your heart are concerned, it stands at par with green tea. Moreover, it contains higher amounts of caffeine than green tea. Known to boost one’s energy levels, its consumption also results in reduced cholesterol levels.
Kombucha tea is fermented using sugar and a starter culture from yeast and bacteria (that are good bacteria, of course). It is highly beneficial to one’s digestive system because of the high probiotic content it has but one ought to be aware that some varieties of kombucha contain alcohol (as low as 0.5%).
Teas for weight loss
Although touted as contributing to weight loss, the ‘detox teas’ available out there tend to contain an amalgam of caffeine and a diuretic which causes one’s body to lose water weight rather than actual fat.