Did you know that there are five true teas? They are black tea, green tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and white tea. True tea all comes from the same plant; the Camellia sinensis. The differences between teas arise from processing, growing conditions, and geography.
Enjoyed for centuries, tea is one of the healthiest food or drink choices. So, let’s see their health benefits.
It’s one of the most popular drinks in the world, particularly so in Great Britain and Ireland. Due to the slightly bitter and astringent taste, many people enjoy the drink together with a small amount of milk. Research shows that it can reduce blood pressure, lower type 2 diabetes risk, and improve the cholesterol profile.
While black tea is the popular choice in the Western world, green tea dominates the East, especially in Japan. There are many varieties of green tea that includes sencha, genmaicha, and matcha. Systematic reviews demonstrate that regular green tea consumption can reduce cancer risk, reduce blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance, and increase glycemic control.
Oolong has a mixture of the benefits that green and black teas provide, and it contains a range of polyphenols found in both. Depending on the degree of leaf oxidation, it may taste closer to green or black tea. This tea can lower blood glucose levels and improve the cholesterol profile.
Pu-erh is a Chinese drink and it has the local name of ‘heicha’. It is also a fermented drink. Similar to red wine or kombucha, pu-erh contains lots of live (beneficial) bacteria. Pu-erh tea can improve health markers in patients with metabolic syndrome.
If black is the strongest of the true teas, then white is the mildest. It may also be a good option for those with caffeine sensitivities since it only contains around 25% as much caffeine as coffee. The nutritional profile and polyphenolic content of both green and white tea are similar.
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