Saturday, October 20, 2012

All I Need Is A Cup of Tea?

Tea always gets a good name. Everyone says you should be drinking more tea to lose weight and stay healthy. But no ones seems to be able to directly tell you the benefits of tea.

Nutrients in Tea
First off, there are different types of tea, right? There is green, black, white, and a variety of teas specific to certain regions. All these types of tea contain something called flavonoids (you've probably heard of one of these flavonoids called ECGC), which help the body fight against diseases.

Also, tea, like any other drink containing caffeine helps to 'wake you up' and keep you alert.

Unfortunately, a lot of diet companies sell certain teas as weight loss formulas. There has been no conclusive medical evidence that tea in itself helps you lose a lot of weight. Granted, green tea does possess some weight loss qualities, but they are insignificant at best.

The Best Type of Tea
Black, green, white, herbal? What really is the difference? The difference is in how the tea is made. See the excerpt below by Julie Edgar on WebMD:
  • Green tea: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Black tea: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.
  • White tea: Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
  • Herbal tea: Herbal teas are generally made from a plant besides tea. For example, chamomile tea. So though they are called teas, technically, they aren't. However, they are mostly made from healthy substances and so do have their own benefits. For example, hibiscus tea may help to lower blood pressure.
So now you can see why green tea seems to have the most health benefits. Just don't fill it with all the sugar or honey.

Additional Tips
Caffeine can be a great thing if consumed minimally not to allow the body to become dependent on the substance for proper mental function. Watch how much black tea you consume. With the other types, they contain a lower amount of caffeine and so you don't have to be as vigilant with the quantity you drink.

As with anything you eat, go for natural vs. processed. Use tea leaves or a tea bag where you can, rather than the powdered iced teas or pre-made teas. Those things contain a lot of sugar.  Tea itself has 0 calories (that's right: ZERO), so the calories you see on packs is all in the additives.

What kind of tea do you drink the most?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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1 comment:

  1. Green Tea & White Tea, definitely! :)

    I now have one or two mugs of camomile tea before bed now :)

    Funny thing is, I never liked tea without sugar and milk, now I have at least one mug of the above teas a day!


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