Drinking tea is good for your health, both body and mind health. Drink tea regularly and you could reduce your risk of heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and obesity. From tea cocktails to kombucha and the now-ubiquitous matcha latte, tea seems to be everyone’s cup of you-know-what-these days. And according to a 2016 Mintel survey, the tea buzz is only expected to grow stronger as we continue to seek out healthful beverages that go beyond just a caffeine kick.
Tea leaves are particularly rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. These four teas have their own army of antioxidants posing different health benefits depending on how the leaves are picked, processed, and manufactured (this also gives each type of tea its signature color and flavor profile). They also come equipped with caffeine and an amino acid called theanine, which seems to heighten mental alertness.
True teas are made using the leaves of the tea plant known as Camellia sinensis. These teas include green tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and black tea. While these teas are made using the same leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the difference in color and taste arises from the production process. Green tea and white tea are the true teas, which undergo the least processing. These teas are not oxidized. The leaves are harvested and dried to prevent the chemical reaction that turns the leaves a dark brown or black color. As a result, these teas retain their natural green color and are considered among the healthiest teas.
Tea may protect against heart disease. While more studies are needed for conclusive evidence, it has been suggested that regular consumption of green and black tea leads to a significant reduction in the risk of heart disease related heart attacks. Tea can help lower cholesterol.A recent study in China has shown that the combination of a low-fat diet and tea produced on average a 16% drop in bad cholesterol over 12 weeks when compared to a control group simply on a low-fat diet. If you’re struggling to get your cholesterol under control, try adding tea to your diet to see if it helps.
Herbal blends have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50 percent of what typically is found in coffee. That means you can consume it without those pesky effects on your nervous system, says Leslie Bonci, nutritionist and owner of Active Eating Advice. If you’re trying to switch from coffee to tea, try a chicory root tea like Teeccino, which has a mouth feel and flavor similar to coffee. Chicory root is also known to help reduce stress and is a prebiotic so may be helpful to your gut. Bonus: this tea will give you a kick of energy without the caffeine.
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