Dialogue of the well being advantages and well being results of tea has flooded the web in addition to print publications lately. Generally talked about well being advantages embrace antioxidant exercise, most cancers prevention, decreasing of ldl cholesterol, decreasing of blood stress, discount of stress, antibacterial and antimicrobial exercise, and enhancing basic well being and selling general well-being. Tea, constituted of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, has a protracted historical past of use for well being functions. Tea originated hundreds of years in the past in historic China as medication used to deal with varied sicknesses; over a whole lot of years, tea regularly shifted first in direction of being seen as a basic tonic for good well being, after which developed into being seen a beverage as it’s at the moment.
Types of Tea:
Tea is available in many sorts, starting from the least-processed white tea, to unoxidized however usually steamed or pan-fired inexperienced teas, by way of intermediate oolongs, fully-oxidized black teas, and aged pu-erhs. Every of those broad varieties is available in dozens if not a whole lot of sorts, and inside every selection, particular person teas differ vastly from one property, farm, or manufacturing facility to a different, and even from one yr to the following (as they’re influenced by variable components reminiscent of climate). Totally different teas can have remarkably completely different flavors, aromas, and different traits. Not surprisingly, they’ve extensively variable well being advantages as properly.
Are some kinds of tea more healthy than others?
Inexperienced tea is extensively touted as having a myriad of well being advantages. Oolong tea (typically spelled wu-long on this context) is commonly pushed as a weight-reduction plan or weight-loss drink. Pu-erh tea is promoted as decreasing ldl cholesterol. White tea is commonly offered as having extra antioxidants than different teas. Many of the sources making these claims are firms selling their very own merchandise; they don’t cite scientific research backing their claims. Whereas a few of these claims about well being results are true, others could be deceptive and even outright unsuitable.
Which of those claims are true?
Among the most widespread and most deceptive statements about tea are generalizations about one broad class (reminiscent of inexperienced, black, or white) being universally higher than others are deceptive. In actuality, the well being advantages differ far more amongst particular person teas than they do amongst broad classes. Science firmly backs this attitude.
A 2005 article within the Journal of Meals Science offered a research of the distribution of Catechins and different chemical substances in 77 completely different teas. Catechins are probably the most well-known antioxidants in tea, and are well-established to have constructive results on well being. Many of the teas studied have been ones extensively out there in supermarkets within the U.S. The printed research could be discovered right here:
The outcomes are astounding: amongst black teas, the tea with probably the most Catechins had over 12 instances as a lot because the one with the least. Amongst inexperienced teas and others (together with white and oolong) the issue was even bigger. Whereas inexperienced teas tended to have extra Catechins than black teas, a variety of black teas ranked greater than lots of the inexperienced teas. Additionally, black tea incorporates theaflavins, antioxidants not present in inexperienced tea besides in tiny traces. If we settle for these measures as a great indicator of well being worth, this research firmly establishes that the well being results of tea should be addressed on the extent of particular person teas, not broad classes.
So how will we maximize our well being advantages when ingesting tea?
This appears to current an issue. If we’re searching for well being advantages reminiscent of antioxidants, and these advantages differ extensively from one tea to the following, how are we to decide on what to drink? An apparent long-term answer is for scientists to review and publish the antioxidant content material of extra teas, and likewise to proceed researching and questioning the validity of varied claims of well being advantages. However till that is achieved, the very best we will do is to discover ingesting all kinds of various teas…and maybe extra importantly, to be skeptical of daring claims and sweeping generalizations which might be made irrespective of rigorous scientific analysis.