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Our Guide to Tea & Its Health Benefits

It’s chilly out and one of the best things you can do for your health is drink some tea. Not only does it feel good and warm you up, it’s doing some good for your body, too! Take a look at our guide to tea & its health benefits and choose one that’s right for you. Drink up!

There’s lots of types of teas out there and plenty of tea ingredients for every taste. And whether you like it hot or cold, there’s definitely a nutritious component to this centuries old drink. In general, tea is made from the leaves of shrubs native to China and India. These leaves, which contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids, are now grown all over the world and enjoyed by many, some of who are seeking out its medicinal properties, and others who are just enjoying the soothing taste.

Teas go through various forms of processing and the more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols are where these magic flavonoids come from and they help with the prevention of a host of diseases as we’ll see in a minute. Whatever way you choose to drink your tea, steer clear of added sweeteners or “diet” teas that promise instant weight loss. They might do more damage than good!

Green Tea

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With about 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup, green tea has powerful antioxidants called catechins. A subgroup of these antioxidants, known as EGCG, may ward off everything from cancer to heart disease, while lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10 percent. Green tea is definitely the multi-tasker of the group since it also has anti-aging properties. 

Black Tea

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Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content – about 40 milligrams per cup. To give you an idea,  cup of coffee has anywhere from 50 to 100 depending on the brand. Black tea is oxidized or fermented, so it has lower concentrations of those awesome polyphenols we mentioned earlier, but their antioxidizing power is still high. Black tea forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. It also may reduce the risk of stroke by 21% and is linked to lower levels of cholesterol. Wow!

Oolong Tea

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Oolong activates an enzyme responsible for dissolving triglycerides, the form of dietary fat that’s stored in fat cells, so it’s a healthy tea to drink if you want to give your weight loss a boost. Like black tea, oolong has lower concentrations of the polyphenols, but it still helps with disease prevention while promoting strong bones and boosting your immune system. It’s also got a little less caffeine than black tea, with only 30 milligrams per cup.

 White Tea

shutterstock_260877779These leaves are picked when they’re very young, so white tea has a much milder flavor than any other variety, and a lot less caffeine, too. So if you’re sensitive to caffeine this is a good way to go since it only has about 15 milligrams per cup. Loose white tea may also contain more antioxidants than tea in bags, because the leaves are less processed. White tea has lots of health benefits including radiant skin, and although no human studies have been done, animal studies found that consuming white tea resulted in improved glucose tolerance and a reduction in LDL cholesterol. 

Herbal Teas

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Technically, herbal teas are not teas at all. They’re usually some combination of dried fruits, flowers, and herbs and these varieties contain no caffeine. There’s plenty of flavors out there and studies show that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily could help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Another popular herbal tea is chamomile tea, which may promote sleep and calm the nerves. If you’re prone to an upset stomach, try peppermint tea with its soothing properties after a large meal.

Fruit Teas

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This tasty option is becoming more popular as people realize the benefits of tea. Sometimes orange zest or dried blueberries are blended with other tea varieties so find one you like. Usually to get the most health benefits from a tea, you’ll need to drink a single brew instead of a large watered down ice tea, which have such a low amount of antioxidants that you’ll have to drink 20 bottles! One popular and fruity tea combo is lemon ginger tea. Ginger has an active ingredient called zingiber, and lemon contains the immune-boosting compounds pectin and limonene. Together this tea is an effective weapon against infections and can help keep your immune system healthy!

So what are you waiting for? Boil a pot of water and enjoy some tea & its health benefits today!

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About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at walt@viance.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at viance.com. :)

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