After water, tea is the most popular drink in the world. I never knew that and when I first heard it, I was surprised but after thinking about it with more than my default American perspective, it made sense and seemed pretty obvious. It’s an enjoyable and refreshing drink that people all over the world love to have every day and in many cases multiple times per day. Studies have also found that tea is very good for you, providing numerous health benefits and some are known to enhance longevity. Let me start by saying that I’m not an expert on tea. I drink tea. I like tea. That’s my expertise. Having said that, in this post, I’m going to cover the teas that I drink and enjoy along with comments on their respective health benefits.
The Basics: Black, Green & White Teas
Black Tea is the most common variety of tea that is consumed by people all around the world. It has a bitter flavor and is very rich in caffeine. There are many health benefits of black tea. It is extremely rich in antioxidant compounds such as thearubigins and theaflavins which help in lowering cholesterol levels. It is found in research that people who drink more than three cups of black tea in a day are less likely to have strokes.
Green Tea seems to be the go to tea for regular people that want to drink something “healthy”. The fact of the matter is that green tea does in fact have plenty of health benefits. It contains antioxidants known as catechins and a subgroup called EGCG which helps reduce the risks of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, some doctors recommend people with cardiovascular diseases to have a up or two of green tea every day.
Similar to green tea, white tea has antioxidants that can help reduce the risks of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, white tea also improves glucose tolerance, providing benefits for people with diabetes. If you’ve never had white tea, the leaves are plucked when they are very young which gives it a very mild flavor.
Oolong Tea is quite similar to black tea. The only difference is that it is fermented for a brief amount of time when compared to black tea. The best health benefit that Oolong tea is famous for is that it helps in weight loss. Oolong tea initiates an enzyme which is responsible for completely dissolving the triglycerides. Triglycerides are nothing but the form of fat that are stored in fat cells. Research has shown that women who consume Oolong tea burned more calories within two hours than women who only consumed water.
White Tea has a very mild flavor as the leaves are plucked when they are very young. White tea has multiple health benefits. It lowers the risk of cancer and cure cardiovascular diseases to a huge extent. It also provides benefits to people who have diabetes. It also improves glucose tolerance. My personal favorite is Silver Needle.
Pu-erh tea is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in the Yunnan province of China. Personally, I think this tea is fantastic from a flavor perspective but it also packs some significant punch when it comes to health benefits. Most notable are its effects on cholesterol levels. A study in France a few years ago confirmed that drinking Pu-erh tea was just as effective as some of the most advanced cholesterol lowering medications available. Additional benefits include blood cleansing properties and weight loss.
Sometimes I will mix Pu-reh with a scoop of Chia seeds for a very high fiber, low calorie, low carb breakfast or snack. Chia by itself is fantastic and combined these two are pretty much a super food in my opinion, great for energy, athletics, weight loss, strength, cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, lowering triglycerides, digestion, memory, inflammation, and many other benefits.