Tea, the dried leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, is the most popular beverage, consumed by over two-thirds of the world’s population. Different types of teas available in the market are black (fermented), green (non-fermented) and oolong (semi-fermented). These are classified based on the levels of oxidation that the leaves have undergone.
Drinking tea has been considered a health promoting habit since centuries and modern scientific research is providing the basis for this belief. Each new study, is adding to the list of ever increasing health benefits of tea and these are all published in scientific literature.
Tea plant has been cultivated for thousands of years and its leaves used for medicinal purposes since long, apart from being used as a refreshing beverage in every season. It can be served as hot or as iced tea, but its benefits go beyond refreshment.
As said earlier, there is plenty of research that shows that drinking tea has many health benefits and can actually improve your health. Also, drinking a cup or two of tea isn’t harmful and fits well in a healthy lifestyle.
What is it in your refreshing cup of tea, which makes it healthful?
Tea contains certain chemical substances, such as polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins, which are linked to the health benefits of tea. These chemicals have strongly been tied to improved health and have been shown to improve heart health, brain health, bone health, oral health and also have anti-carcinogenic effect. Recent researches on consumption of tea have shown that tea drinkers are less likely to develop diabetes, have more regulated sugar levels and better weight management, as compared to non tea drinkers. Tea has also been shown to reduce stress and fatigue and improve memory. In addition, it has been proven to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.
Is green tea better?
Green teas are the least processed and tend to have a higher content of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of chemicals having antioxidant property, which means they act as scavengers of free radicals, reducing their damaging effects on the various organ systems of the body. Green Tea polyphenols have a protective effect on heart, have anti-carcinogenic and anti-anxiolytic properties, which means it helps in reducing stress and also helps one to think better.
Green tea contains an amino acid L-theanine, which helps to release an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which brings a relaxed but alert state of mind. This makes green tea act as a mood lifter.
Green tea has many polyphenols such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), gallic acid, epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin 3-gallate (ECG) and epicatechin (EC). Green tea is the richest in EGCG which is considered the most potent antioxidant and is responsible for many of green tea’s health benefits.
Which one should on choose: green or black?
Both green and black tea have similar benefits as they have similar types of chemicals whic differ in the amount found in each type.
Both have beneficial effects on the blood vessels and both have anti-oxidative properties, which are more enhanced in green tea, due to its lesser processing.
Although, both contain caffeine, black tea usually has more, making green tea a better choice for people who are more sensitive to stimulants. The amino acid L-theanine in green tea makes it a stress buster, giving a calming effect while also counteracting the effect of caffeine.
So the bottom line:
“Enjoy your morning cup of green tea with no stress added!! “