HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEA
All teas provide health benefits. They may vary in accordance with several factors, such as their level of oxidation for instance.
Health benefits of white tea include reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disorder and improvement in oral health. It has antioxidant and anti-aging properties which help in maintaining good health and healthy skin. It protects skin from the harmful effects of UV light. With its antibacterial properties white tea protects the body from various infection causing bacteria. White tea provides relief to diabetic people from symptoms such as decrease plasma glucose levels, increase insulin secretion and excessive thirst (polydipsia). Intake of white tea also helps in losing weight.
White tea contains tannins, fluoride and flavonoids such as catechins and polyphenols. These are responsible for the various health benefits that white tea provides. White tea contains nutrients and antimicrobial qualities that protect the body against occurrence of diseases. Green and black teas are also beneficial but it is the white tea that undergoes less processing which helps in retaining high levels of phytochemicals.
Antioxidant and antiaging properties: Presences of free radicals in the body is what leads to damage of different body organs including the skin. These radical elements highly contribute to accelerated aging process that again comes with other challenges that are associated with advancement in age. White tea contains polyphenols which helps in of neutralizing these free radicals making them less destructive to the body. Results of a study suggest that white tea may increase antioxidant effects of organs as well as plasma. Another study was done to investigate neuroprotective effect of white tea extract on hydrogen peroxide induced toxicity. The results of this study showed that white tea extracts with its antioxidant properties help in cell neuroprotection. White tea with its antioxidant property may also reduce the risk of premature aging.
Healthy and youthful skin: White tea also helps in maintaining healthy and youthful skin. Use of white tea is recommended due to its antioxidant properties which help in quick repair and recovery of damaged skin. It is also beneficial in protecting skin against effects of ultraviolet light.
Oral health: Health benefits of white tea include improvement in oral health. The presence of polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins help in inhibiting growth of various bacteria that may cause plaque formation. The fluoride content found in white tea may also be effective in reducing risk of dental caries or tooth decay/cavity.
Effects on diabetes: Result of a research studysuggests that intake of white tea may provide relief to diabetic people from symptoms such as excessive thirst (polydipsia), decrease plasma glucose levels and increase insulin secretion.
Cardiovascular disorder: Flavonoids found in various food products such as white tea, fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disorder. The flavonoids help decreasing the blood pressure. It also helps in improving dyslipidemia, endothelial function and inhibits low-density lipoprotein oxidation. Consumption of white tea rich in flavonoids may reduce the risk of various cardiovascular disorders.
Antibacterial properties: Diseases and medical conditions are mainly caused by pathogens which attack the immune system making the body to operate under the normal capacity. White tea has antibacterial properties which can protect our skin from bacteria and other germs. Various products such as hand soap are made using white tea as a key ingredient. Consumption of white tea helps in protecting our body from infection causing bacteria and other microorganisms. Intake of white tea provides relief to those suffering from flu and common cold.
The many well-researched health benefits of green tea make it a great beverage to include in your diet for the prevention and treatment of cancer, heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol levels, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, tooth decay, and many others. Green tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) which is also helpful in treating a variety of diseases.
Green tea has acquired a prestigious place among beverages and it is one of the first drinks that come to mind in terms of antioxidant components. Within a relatively short time, it has gained a global following of billions and many lovers of normal tea have switched over to green tea because of its undeniable health benefits. Those who are accustomed to normal tea may not like the striking taste of green tea the first time, but between the boost to your health, the ease of access, and the slightly addictive quality of the taste, it will probably win over normal tea lovers in no time.
The question is, what is there in green tea that makes it so special and healthy? Also, what is the correct way to use it? What products available on the market are based on green tea? With any wildly popular health phenomenon, there are plenty of questions, and we have tried to answer the major ones below.
Along with caffeine, which gives green tea its characteristic taste, bitterness and stimulating effect, green tea is also rich in a group of chemicals, called Catechin Polyphenols (Commonly known as Tannins, which contribute to bitter taste and astringency). These Catechin Polyphenols include Catechin, Epicatechin, Epicatechin Gallate (ECG), Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), and various Pro-Anthocyanidins. They are also known as Flavonoids, and are very powerful antioxidants. Flavonoids, together with some amino acids like Thianine, are responsible for the potent flavor of green tea. Furthermore, green tea also contains Amino Acids such as Theanine, Butyric Acid & Liganin; Xanthine Alkaloids such as Adenine, Dimethylxanthine, Theobromine, Theophylline and Xanthine; Pectin (also found in fruits); saccharides (sugar), Chlorophyll and Triterpene Saponins. Some vitamins, like vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C and vitamin E are also found in green tea. After that impressive list, perhaps you are beginning to understand how packed green tea is with nutrients and beneficial components.
The health benefits of green tea are primarily due to its antioxidant properties that come from its caffeine, Catechin Polyphenols and Theonine content. The major health benefits stemming from antioxidant effects are listed below.
Anti-Aging: The free radicals created in the body are responsible for corroding the body in various ways, one of which we see as the signs of aging and the related symptoms. The main job of antioxidants is to neutralize the oxidants or free radicals present in the body and green tea is very rich in antioxidants. The Catechin Polyphenols present in green tea are hugely responsible for the antioxidizing effects, the most powerful among them being the Epigallocatechin Gallate. Therefore, regular consumption of green tea can effectively delay the signs and symptoms of aging.
Stimulating: One of the primary reasons for the popularity and consumption of all kinds of tea by human civilizations is its stimulating effect. This effect, again, is due to the Caffeine and Tannins present within the tea leaves. Caffeine & Tannins, despite their potentially adverse effects on health in the long run, act as very powerful stimulants. That is why a cup of tea makes you feel fresh and highly energized. Tea is an easy and ideal solution to counter fatigue, laziness, sleepiness and lack of energy, and to improve blood circulation. This is why it is so popular with a wide variety of people in various industries, including professionals, housewives, students, and anyone else who has ever felt a bit drowsy during the day!
Immunity Boosting:Research shows that people who regularly drink green tea do not fall victim to common bacterial and viral infections as easily as those who do not add green tea to their diet. The message is clear. Green Tea boosts the strength of the immune system. The Catechins present in green tea prevent bacteria and viruses from attaching themselves to cell walls in order to infect them. These Catechins also counter the toxins released by microbes. This antimicrobial property also protects you from bad breath, dysentery, diarrhea, tooth decay, indigestion, flu, cough & cold, and colitis, all of which are caused, in some way, by microbial & fungal action.
Astringency: This is yet another powerful benefit of green tea. Astringent substances trigger contractions in muscles and tissues, while toning up muscles and skin. Even if you do not wish to drink green tea, a simple, daily mouthwash with green tea can cause sufficient contraction in your gums to keep them firm and tight on the teeth, thus preventing loosening and loss of teeth. You can also wash your hair with green tea and feel it grow stronger and healthier every day.
Anti-carcinogenic: Apart from causing premature aging, free radicals are also responsible for causing certain types of cancer. The Catechins present in green tea neutralize these free radicals, prevent formation of carcinogens like nitrosamines and reduce the risk of cancer for people who regularly consume green tea. Green tea is now being clinically used and prescribed as a home remedy to aid in the prevention of cancer, particularly for those patients at high risk for cancer in the colon, rectum, pancreas and intestines.
Reducing Cholesterol: Green tea has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels to some extent, probably due to its alkalinity.
Cardiac & Arterial Health: Certain components in green tea prevent thickening of the blood, thereby reducing chances of Arterial Sclerosis, Thrombosis, as well as Cardiac and Cerebral Strokes.
Anti-diabetic: If not taken with sugar, the alkaline nature of green tea helps to reduce the blood glucose level. Moreover, the antioxidant and astringent qualities of green tea ensure good health and better functioning of the pancreas. Improving the function of the pancreas means a more efficient and regulated secretion of insulin and the subsequent improvement in decomposing and absorbing of sugar. This increase in effective functions can help prevent the onset of diabetes.
Weight Loss: Believe it or not, but green tea also helps people lose weight by enhancing the rate of metabolism, thereby promoting a faster consumption of the fat storage of the body. Recently, green tea has replaced many other beverages in the western world as its helps in weight loss, and obesity is still a chronic problem in many places. Drink a cup or two of green tea every morning and you are bound to lose a few pounds of excess weight over a week or so.
Detoxifying: Green tea is the best cure for particularly savage hangovers and fatigue caused by the consumption of alcoholic beverages and lack of sleep due to late night parties. Start your hangover with a large cup of green tea with lemon, and the hangover will quickly fade to a bad memory. Green tea with lemon juice is a very good and popular remedy to eliminate the exhausting effects of alcohol almost instantly.
Yellow tea is famous for its smooth, savory and sweet fruity aroma. It is closely related to green tea and has similar health benefits.
Health benefits of oolong tea include the reduction of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, inflammatory disorders, and high cholesterol levels, while providing vital antioxidants, promoting superior bone structure, robust skin and good dental health. Oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity flavor and a pleasant aroma. The various health benefits of oolong tea are as follows:
The polyphenol compound found in oolong tea is very effective in controlling the metabolism of fat in the body. It activates certain enzymes, thereby enhancing the functions of fat cells in the body. It is commonly believed that daily consumption of oolong tea can reduce obesity. More widespread studies need to be done on humans, but early studies are very promising. In one animal study, mice that were given polyphenols in addition to a high-fat and high-sugar diet still showed a decline in overall body weight and fat index. Some earlier studies actually showed that the caffeine content was the active ingredient behind the weight loss, but it now appears to be mainly due to polyphenols. Apparently, the active components in oolong tea make fat work for you!
Removal of harmful free radicals
The polyphenolic compound in oolong tea is also responsible for the removal of free radicals in our body, because it functions as an antioxidant and stimulates the behavior of other free radical compounds in the body. Therefore, consuming daily doses of oolong tea can help people from the potential harm that these free-moving cells often pose to the human body, including cancer, atherosclerosis, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegeneration, and diabetes. Any antioxidant characteristic of food or drink is beneficial, but polyphenols are particularly powerful antioxidants in oolong tea.
According to scientific experiments, patients diagnosed with eczema can benefit from drinking 3 cups of oolong tea throughout the day. The beneficial results of oolong tea could be seen in less than a week in these patients, who showed remarkable improvement in their skin. Although the active mechanism has not been pinpointed exactly, many believe that the polyphenols present in oolong tea also work as anti-allergenic compounds, thereby relieving irritation and chronic skin problems, known as atopic dermatitis. In a 2001 study, 54% of test subjects were found to show positive, long-lasting results in terms of skin conditions after 6 months of daily intake of oolong tea.
The antioxidants present in oolong tea protect teeth against decay, strengthen the bone structure, prevent osteoporosis, and promote normal, healthy growth of the human body. A number of studies analyzed the long term effects of drinking tea, particularly on bone mineral density (BMD). It showed that people who consistently drank black or oolong tea for more than 10 years were tremendously less likely to lose their bone mineral density over that span of time. It is thought that some of the components in tea actually stimulate the retention of minerals from other food that we consume.
Oolong tea is used as an herbal brew for treating type-2 diabetic disorders and as an addition to other supplementary drugs for treating that disease. It regulates the amount of blood sugar and insulin that is in the bloodstream at any one time, so the dangerous dips and spikes in blood sugar that can be so disastrous for diabetic patients was reduced. A 2003 study showed that when combined with regular hyperglycemic drugs, oolong tea further balanced the blood sugar levels and prevented the sudden drops in almost all of the test subjects.
It is well-known fact that tea drinkers have a lower risk of getting skin cancer. Moreover, polyphenolic compound in oolong tea promotes apoptosis in stomach related cancerous growths. This polyphenol extract also acts a chemo-preventive instrument against the development of other cancerous forms. The compounds stifle the activation of carcinogenic cells, prevent the formation of N-nitroso compounds, and trap genotoxic agents before they can become effective.
In a detailed study conducted at the Osaka Institute for Health Care Science in Japan, the experimental mice that ingested oolong tea showed a remarkable improvement in their stress levels by 10 to 18 %. The natural polyphenols in the oolong tea was cited as the main cause of it being such a stress-buster. Also, the L-theanine found in tea leaves is an amino acid that blocks L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain. This would normally cause cortical neuron excitement, which leads to increased cognitive activity and neural stress responses. Since this amino acid binds to those sites, excitation doesn’t occur, and stress decreasesbecause you are more able to keep your mind at rest.
Mental performance and health
Health benefits of oolong tea include improved mental performance and alertness. Regular intake of caffeine rich oolong tea may help in improving mental performance and maintaining alertness throughout the day.
The health benefits of black tea include beneficial impacts for high cholesterol, diarrhea, tooth decay, low-concentration levels, digestive problems, poor blood circulation, high blood pressure and asthma. Black tea is one of the most popular teas known to man, and is well known for its medicinal qualities and health benefits.
During the processing stage, black tea is oxidized, which gives it the unique color, flavor, and health benefits that are so widely known. If you enjoy the flavor of black tea, you also have a choice to consume it in a variety of ways. Chinese people add sweetening agents, spices, chocolate, or even rare herbs while brewing black tea. In India, milk and sugar is normally added to black tea. Some people also add various herbs including ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon grass, mulethi, or holy basil (tulsi).
According to Boston’s School of Medicine, black tea reverses the abnormal functioning of blood vessels, which may lead to strokes and other cardiovascular conditions. Black tea is known for its curative qualities and other health benefits. Some of them are as follows:
Heart Ailments: The regular consumption of black tea can help repair coronary artery dysfunctions in many heart patients. Therefore, black tea drinkers are at a decreased risk of contracting many cardiovascular diseases.
Diarrhea: Black tea has a healing effect on intestinal disorders due to the presence of tannins. It is advisable for all diarrhea patients to sip plain, black tea slowly for maximum benefits.
Asthma: Hot and brewed liquids, in general, bring relief to asthmatic conditions. In light of that fact, it is no surprise that black tea is extremely beneficial for asthmatic patients, as it expands the air passage, thereby allowing patients to breathe more easily.
Digestive Problems: Black tea is rich in abundant tannins and other chemicals that have a positive and relaxing effect on the digestive system of human body. This anti-inflammatory quality of black tea is also helpful for curing digestive disorders.
Breast Cancer: Drinking tea, either black or green varieties, aids women in preventing cancerous growth in the breasts, especially women in the pre-menopausal phase. Tea assists in raising the level of globulin hormones during the female menstrual cycle periods. The presence of theaflavins in black tea destroys abnormal cells in the body before they cause any major damage or change into cancerous cells.
Pu-erh & Aged Teas
The unique processing of Pu-erh teas, where the leaves are literally fermented and aged, chemically changes the makeup of the tea. Pu-erh tea has varying, but generally low levels of caffeine. It also contains very high amounts of flavonoids, which are aggressive in lowering LDL cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Studies have shown that pu-erh has the ability to break up fats, which makes this tea especially effective at aiding digestion after particularly heavy or greasy meals. Traditionally, this type of tea was also believed to aid in weight loss, and is now included in many “slimming” tea formulas. Other recent studies have shown a decrease in body mass and higher metabolism when consuming pu-erh, however the effect on human metabolism has not been proven. While it may or may not aid in maintaining a healthy weight, the other benefits to the heart and body are important enough to consider trying this unique tea.
Health benefits of rooibos tea include its use as a cure for nagging headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies and premature aging. This herbal tea is absolutely free from caffeine content and is also low in tannins. You can enjoy the refreshing beverage all day long with no possible side effects. Drinking rooibos can further ease severe stomach cramps, as well as bring relief to asthma and other related conditions. It also boosts the immune system of the human body.
The health benefits of rooibos tea are abundant. This form of tea has traditionally been popular due to its great taste and unique color, while also boosting the health of the body. Rooibos tea or red tea is a medicinal, herbal beverage that is acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant that is found in South Africa. According to the South African Rooibos Council, rooibos is not a true tea, but an herb. The oxidized tea is red in color.
Its medicinal attributes have been confirmed. Rooibos tea is capable of reducing cancer, heart disease, premature aging and other serious conditions. Rooibos tea has no oxalic acid and therefore, it can be consumed by people who have kidney stones. Rooibos tea is rich in many mineral contents such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, fluoride, manganese, zinc, magnesium and alpha hydroxy acid. It also contains antioxidants like aspalathin and nothofagin, and the extremely potent and versatile phenolic compounds. Rooibos tea is one of the best health drinks or beverages for those who care about their health and fitness. Some of the beneficial factors that have been positively correlated with red rooibos tea can be found below.
Polyphenols: Rooibos contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimutagenic qualities. Polyphenols are organic chemicals that are most often praised for their antioxidant capabilities. Rooibos tea has many phenolic compounds within it, and polyphenols are some of the most important. They act as scavengers of free radicals throughout the body, which are detrimental byproducts of cell metabolism that can cause diseases like cancer and heart disease. Aspalathin and nothofagin are two other vital antioxidants that rooibos tea contains, making this a great beverage to boost your immune system and protect your body against all types of diseases and conditions.
No Caffeine: Rooibos tea is completely caffeine-free, therefore it is recommended by doctors for patients suffering from insomnia. A cup of rooibos beverage just before going to bed can help you sleep better, and by removing caffeine from your diet, you can also improve your stress levels, mood, and heart health. Being dependent on caffeine is the most common addiction throughout the world, but people don’t realize the dangers that it can pose. Rooibos tea gives you the energy and health benefits, without the dangerously addictive substance.
Hypertension: Rooibos tea is known to relieve stress, nervous tension and hypertensive conditions. Hypertension is more commonly known as high blood pressure, and rooibos tea is known as a brochodilator, which not only relieves respiratory conditions, but generally reduces blood pressure, which can lead to dangerous cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
Bone Health: Rooibos tea is rich in calcium, manganese and fluoride minerals that assist in maintaining good bone structure and stronger teeth. By increasing the bio-availability of minerals in your system, you can reduce your chances of developing conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic joint pain. Manganese actually works on an even deeper level, and stimulates the enzymes which are required top build new bones and repair damage. Flouride is related more commonly to dental health, which is why flouride compounds are so often found in mouthwashes and toothpastes. Whether it is teeth or bone structure, red rooibos tea gives you an advantage!
Cardiovascular Health: Quercetin, another powerful antioxidant found in rooibos tea, has been linked topreventing a wide variety of heart conditions. It is anti-inflammatory, which reduces blood pressure, and it also scavenges free radicals like other antioxidants. It promotes an increase in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and inhibits the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) from binding to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This means added protection against various heart conditions, including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Infant Health: Rooibos tea can be useful for small children who suffer from colic or stomach pains. You may add some sweetened milk to the tea to improve the flavor and make it more palatable. This is actually what first began rooibos tea as a well-known health aid. Various South African women claimed that this plant was very soothing for their colicky infant. Word began to spread and rooibos tea was suddenly being thrown at any number of health issues to see what else it could help. 50 years later, the world knows all about this powerful little herb! The exact mechanism by which it soothes colic and stomach pain is unknown, but the general anti-inflammatory properties of the herb are most likely responsible.
Diabetes: Aspalathin is one of the rare antioxidants that are found in rooibos tea, and it has a number of unique qualities. It can help to balance blood sugar, improve insulin resistance, improve the glucose absorption by muscles, and boosts the insulin secretion from the pancreas. This all results in an ideal defensive shield against developing type II Diabetes, one of the most widespread and dangerous conditions that is currently sweeping the world. By balancing blood sugar, rooibos tea can also protect people that already have diabetes by preventing the spikes and drops of blood sugar that are so detrimental to their overall health.
Good for Skin: The alpha hydroxy acid and zinc content of red tea are very good for the skin. You can also try applying some red tea powder directly to the skin to relieve acne, pimples, sunburns or related skin conditions. Alpha-hydroxy acids are not found naturally from too many sources, but in terms of cosmetic products, it has become very popular, particularly because it can reduce the signs of wrinkles and other premature aging symptoms. Also, they are commonly found in chemical peels, which revitalize the skin and leave it fresh and invigorated with a healthy glow. However, there has been some controversy about commercial uses of alpha hydroxy acid, so it is always better to get it from a natural source, like red rooibos tea!
Kidney Stones: Even people with kidney stone problems can drink as much red rooibos tea as they want as there is no oxalic acid in the beverage. Many times, people with kidney stones are discouraged from drinking too much tea of other varieties because of that exacerbating ingredient. Oxalic acid is a crystal-forming substance, so it can make the presence of calcium stones or other painful growths in the kidney even worse by making them larger. That won’t be a problem with rooibos tea.
Antispasmodic properties: The tea is rich in antispasmodic agents, which can ease severe stomach cramps and abdominal pains. This is mainly due to the activation of K+ (potassium ions) in the body without antagonizing the activities of Calcium. Together, this can reduce the presence of hyperactivity in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing diarrhea and other intestinal issues.
Allergies: In many parts of South Africa, red tea is used as an effective curative to treat allergies like eczema, hay fever and allergy-related bronchitis. It has anti-inflammatory qualities, thanks to its phenolic content, and this is why it is also prescribed for asthma and topical allergic reactions of various types throughout the body.
Premature aging: The antioxidants present in rooibos tea slow down the human aging process and they also boost the strength of the immune system. Antioxidants seek out the free radicals that damage skin, hair, bones, and other organ systems by making them vulnerable to disease and degeneration. Rooibos tea is one of the most potent beverages in terms of antioxidant content. It also has anti-aging effects in terms of cognitive ability, because it reduces the impact of oxidative byproducts in neural pathways, stimulating concentration and focus!
Great beverage: Red rooibos tea is an excellent thirst quencher and does wonders for active people like professional athletes, hyperactive children and those who travel often, whether for pleasure or business. Most people prefer to drink rooibos tea in its natural form without any sweeteners, and those who simply want a refreshing drink without a caffeine boost, rooibos is the ideal choice.
Rare nutrients: Rooibos tea is said to contain rare nutrients like Quercetin and Bioflavanoids that assists in good blood circulation and obstructs hemorrhaging.
*source of information: organicfacts.net