For some, tea has to be the first thing in the morning to kick start their day and for others tea is a great symbol of hospitality. Tea is most closely connected to the socializing than any other beverage. For little ones, tea party is a favorite play time. But, the question is, are there any benefits of tea or is it harmful for your health?
Tea and It’s Types
It originated in China during Tang Dynasty. Tea is a beverage, prepared by pouring boiling water over tea leaves. The common additives in tea are milk, sugar, cardamom, ginger, lemon and some spices etc. I personally find tea to be a tricky food item to serve, as every person has a personalised taste e.g., strong or light, milk or no milk, with sugar or no sugar etc.
Before tea became a way of life, it was taken as a medicinal staple. It was consumed as a health tonic and for individual illnesses. Tea is an important part of breakfast, tea break, lunch, tea time and dinner at home, as well as at work and while traveling. It is an important street food served in cities, country sides and hilly areas where cold weather makes it’s use undoubtedly important.
The same kind of tea plant Camellia Sinensis can be used to make all kinds of tea.
- Unfermented Or Green Tea: Tea leaves are steamed to sterilise them and to prevent fermentation, thus it retains it’s green colour.
- Partly Fermented Or Oolong Tea: In this case the fermentation is allowed to reach a desired point.
- The Fermented Or Black Tea: Tea leaves are fermented, which changes the colour from green to darkest brown.
- White Tea: Young tea leaves and unopened buds are used to make this least processed tea. The resulting tea is very light coloured with mild flavour.
- Pu-erh Tea: This tea is made from wild tea trees instead of cultivated tea plants.
Benefits of Tea
Most people these days are curious whether there are any benefits of tea or not. All teas have a prestigious value in Chinese Herbalism though most researches are focused on green and black teas. It must be considered that tea can not be used solely to prevent or cure any disease.
All teas pack antioxidant polyphenols called catechins. Green and white teas have more of these antioxidants as compared to other teas but difference is not that huge, thus making them all health boon.
- According to the researches it has a substance called ECGC, which acts as a powerful remedy against severe sepsis.
- It’s antioxidants interfere with the growth of lung, stomach, bladder, breast, colorectal and pancreas cancer.
- Green tea reduces the risk of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reducing the risk of deaths by cardiovascular diseases can be as easy as drinking tea. Studies suggest that green tea is associated with lowering bad cholesterol and reducing the risk of stroke.
- Brachial artery, runs from shoulder to elbow, is a good indicator of blood flow. According to a study, 3 groups of healthy volunteers were given hot water, caffeine and green tea. Researchers concluded that brachial artery expanded by 4% 30 minutes after consuming green tea. Hot water and caffeine had no effect.
- Black tea is one of the most popular beverage around the world. In order to benefit from antioxidants present in black tea, it is suggested to avoid adding milk as milk proteins bind with the antioxidants present in tea.
- Black tea reduces bad cholesterol levels and that in-turn reduces heart strokes and fatal attacks.
- It provides effective relief from asthma.
- Another benefit is that it is associated with aiding in prevention of cancerous growth in breasts.
- It gives a relaxing effect to the digestive system be side of the presence of tannin in it.
- It has the most effective properties of all teas as it undergoes minimal processing.
- It has small amounts of fluoride, which according to studies kills plaque causing bacteria, bad breath and tooth decay.
- White tea with its abundant antioxidants, reduce the effect of free radicals thus slowing down ageing process.
- Other than these all benefits, white tea is also beneficial in weight loss, aids in managing diabetes and protects skin against UV lights.
- Numerous researches have been done on the benefits of oolong tea which reveal that it has antioxidants like EGCG, theaflavins, theaarubigins and amino acid like theanine which is responsible for its relaxing effects.
- Studies also suggest that it’s regular consumption helps prevent developing diabetes and maintains normal blood sugar level.
- It’s consumption decreases high blood pressure and controls the risk of stroke and heart diseases in some.
- Scientists believe that it boosts metabolism and and decreases the fat absorption from diet hence help lose weight.
- Other than these researches report that it promotes tooth and bone strength, improves brain function and protects against some cancers.
- This tea has high levels of antioxidant activity because of polyphenols (theaflavins, catechins and flavonoids).
- Studies have proven pu-erh tea to speed up fat burning, reduce stress and helps regulate sleep patterns, aids in cell repair and digestion, reduces cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory properties.
These are some types and benefits of tea. Do you know any-other benefits of tea then let us know in the comment section below.