People all over the world have enjoyed tea for thousands of years. From green and black to chamomile and peppermint, there are many reasons as to why tea is such a popular drink. It’s delicious, it’s cheap and it’s supposedly healthy.
We’ve all heard claims about the health benefits of tea, and it turns out they’re true. A number of studies have shown that drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your overall health and wellness. However, some brews have more health benefits than others.
Green Tea Is Great For Heart Health
Green tea originated in China—where they process the leaves with heat using a pan-firing or roasting method—and Japan, where the leaves are steamed. According to Penn Medicine, green tea is “exceptionally high in flavonoids,” which can help boost your heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting.
Studies have also shown that green tea can help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol. Additionally, green tea can have a positive impact on liver, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
Matcha Is High Quality Green Tea
A recent trend in the tea world is matcha, which is a form of green tea. Made from entire leaves of tea bushes that are grown in the shade, matcha is a “very fine, high-quality green tea powder,” according to Penn Medicine. Matcha is also the only form of tea in which leaves are ingested. Because of this, it contains even more antioxidants than regular green tea.
Green Tea Has A Large Family
Other medicinal properties of green tea include reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s also shown to be an anti-inflammatory, which is great for your skin. But these benefits aren’t just limited to green tea. They also extend to the green tea family, which includes white, oolong, green and black teas.
“White tea is the delicate, unfermented leaves of the plant, oolong tea is partially fermented, green tea leaves are quickly processed to not allow for fermentation and black tea leaves are highly fermented and oxidized, which gives them a higher caffeine level, too,” says Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, the author of The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods.
One study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that regularly drinking from the green tea family could lower the risk of developing a neurocognitive disorder like dementia. This is particularly true for elderly women.
Herbal Teas Have Unique Benefits, Too
Herbal teas are also great for your health. They feature a blend of herbs, spices, fruits and other plants. However, they don’t have caffeine, which is why herbal teas are known for their calming effects. There are a number of different herbal teas, and each one has its own unique properties.
- Peppermint tea contains menthol, which makes it great for soothing an upset stomach. It can help with motion sickness, constipation and IBS. It also offers pain relief for migraines and tension headaches. Additionally, peppermint tea is associated with a healthy digestive system.
- Chamomile tea can reduce stress and improve sleep and relaxation. It can also help reduce menstrual pain, muscle spasms and can support immune health.
- Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure and fat levels, while it’s also great for weight management because it can get rid of sweet tooth cravings. Hibiscus can also improve liver health, and it’s possible that it prevents the formation of kidney stones.
- Ginger tea can treat chronic indigestion. For those with osteoarthritis, it can also help to relieve joint pain. For expectant mothers, drinking ginger tea can help fight morning sickness.
There Are Types Of Teas That Should Be Avoided
The majority of teas have health benefits, but there are definitely some types that should be avoided. Trendy bubble teas are loaded with sugar and have essentially zero nutritional value. Fancy tea lattes and drinks—even a green tea latte—from your favorite drink spot are also loaded with sugar.
Detox teas promoted in those fad diets that promise to help you lose weight fast are often laced with laxatives. We should also point out that some herbal teas can trigger allergies because they contain different types of flowers, spices and herbs that people can be allergic to. If you suffer from allergies, it’s always a good idea to read the ingredients on the package first.
Make Sure To Keep It In Perspective
Tea does have its health benefits—especially green tea, but the health boost needs to be kept in perspective.
“Tea consumption, especially green tea, may not be the magic bullet, but it can be incorporated in an overall healthy diet with whole grains, fish, fruits and vegetables, and less red and processed meat,” says Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Tea might not be a magical drink, but it definitely fits in perfectly with a heart-healthy lifestyle. Plus, there are no harmful side effects.