Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Good news for all the tea drinkers out there, drinking tea may improve your health. Before you start drinking tea you need to decide which tea to drink. Traditionally only black tea, green tea, oolong tean and white tea are considered real tea and are brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What is different between the four types of teas is how the leaves are prepared. Black tea is dried out and oxidized, green tea is dried but not oxidized, oolong tea is dried and partially oxidized and white tea is neither dried nor oxidized.
All of these teas contain antioxidants named polyphenols. Antioxidants help your protect your body form the damage done by free radicals. Antioxidants help you lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and cholesterol problems. Of the four types teas, green tea has the highest level of antioxidants.
Studies have shown that tea drinkers have lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. Drinking tea is believed to lower you cholesterol and promote weight loss as well. Drinking tea has even been shown to potentially reduce your chance of geting Parkinson’s disease.
The problem with the human studies that have been done on tea is that they are observational studies and are not clinical. They collect data people who drink tea or don’t drink tea and then observe what kinds of health differences the tea drinkers and the people who don’t drink tea. It is likely that the tea is making the tea drinkers healthier given the high antioxidant levels of tea but it hasn’t directly been proven. It is possible that people who drink tea are just more healthy minded than those that don’t drink tea. Studies done on rats have shown that drinking tea reduces rats’ cancer risk.
For those of you who don’t like caffeine, decaffeinated tea still has some of the antioxidants that are in caffeinated tea. What method is used to remove the caffeine determines how much of the antioxidants remain. Chemical processing removes 70% of the antioxidants but water processing only removes 5% of the antioxidants. The added benefit of decaf tea is that you drinking decaf tea will not raise your cortisol level, which leads to aging, muscle break down and weight gain.