Now we aren’t talking about herbal teas which technically isn’t tea. Real tea is derived from a particular plant the Camellia sinensis. Which only includes four varieties: green, black, white, and oolong. What real tea lacks in range, it makes up for it with a whole host of health benefits. Scientist attribute tea’s health properties to its polyphenols and phytochemicals. While most studies have focused research on green and black teas, white and oolong also bring benefits to the table.
Tea just like coffee does contain caffeine but to a much lesser degree, making it a healthier alternative. And they all will deliver a slightly lower buzz than a cup of coffee: it takes up to four eight-ounce cups of black tea to provide roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. However, people with caffeine sensitivity and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should stay away from them.
Research has found that by drinking 3-4 cups of tea a day can help reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes by up to 25%. It even helps reduce stress levels and contribute to both relaxation and concentration. This is because the L-theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the Camellia Sinensis plant. More notably is the fact that it is the only way to get it naturally into your diet. Women who drink at least a cup of tea a day reduce the chances of ovarian cancer by 10%. It is believed that the antioxidants and magnesium in tea contribute to keeping weight in check.
What sets the four teas apart is the way they are processed, which then gives them their unique flavors. Black tea is made from leaves that are fully oxidized; thus changing their chemical makeup when as they are wilted, bruised and exposed to air. Oolong tea is partially oxidized, and both green and white tea are not oxidized. The difference being that white tea is made from young leaves or buds.
Tea after water, of course, is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. And tea is uniquely rich in a particular type of polyphenols called catechins, specifically, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate).
Here are a few key differences
Black tea has a higher caffeine content the green tea and is said to be a heart helper. While this type of tea may not be high in flavonoids as compared green tea, it may be good for heart health and may reduce cholesterol levels. It can also boost your energy levels.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants, The polyphenols found in green tea help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering your total and LDL cholesterol and may also reduce the risk of breast cancer. One study found EGCG can suppress lung cancer cell growth and another found that it inhibits breast cancer tumors.
White tea has the highest amount of polyphenols; known to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Then there Kombucha tea.
Kombucha tea which is making a comeback for its supposed health benefits has been around for some time now (anywhere from a few hundred years to a few thousand years). Sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, the tea, of course, has nothing to do with mushrooms. This is a black tea that’s fermented using sugar and a starter culture from (good) bacteria and yeast and can be an excellent source of probiotics, and may even help reestablish a balanced gut microbiome and improve the health of your digestive system. However, as much as the proponents claim of the many benefits of kombucha tea. There is very little scientific evidence that suggests consuming kombucha tea has better health benefits when compared to regular tea. There have even been reports of adverse effects. Such as an upset stomach, infections and allergic reactions in kombucha tea drinkers. Therefore, the safest approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available.