Tea is always a go-to beverage for any season because it can be drank either cold or hot. While it might just be a refreshing beverage, drinking a cup of tea a day can provide a lot of health benefits. Depending on the type of tea being consumed, there are different perks and drawbacks.
All teas contain certain enzymes that allow the leaves to oxidize. This process is what changes the color of the tea, depending on how long it’s allowed to oxidize. Green tea isn’t oxidized as long as black tea, which is why their colors are drastically different. Oolong tea is somewhere in the middle of black and green. The oxidation of tea leaves determines the taste and benefits that each will provide.
Paige Bergeron is a daily tea drinker. “I like green tea and I usually have a cup a day. The flavor is much more enjoyable than black tea because it doesn’t taste as earthy.”
Black tea is much darker than other teas. It is from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Black tea is more oxidized which gives it a longer-lasting taste. This form of tea is the most common and contains a load of health benefits.Pure Leaf black tea with vanilla. The vanilla gives it a subtle sweet flavor. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
- Black tea helps aid digestion.
It is abundant in the chemical tannins, which helps the digestive system process foods. Tannins is a relaxant that helps the intestines break down food and avoid constipation.
- It’s anti-inflammatory.
Black tea is high in antioxidants that help prevent inflammation in the body. It is also helpful in protecting mental health.
- Black tea promotes a healthy gut.
The gut contains a lot of bacteria. Some bacteria is good, while other bacteria is not. The polyphenols in black tea help maintain a healthy gut by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria and kill off harmful substances.
Green tea is a popular drink option among most people because the taste isn’t as strong as black. This tea is packed with different antioxidants that are beneficial to the body.
- Green tea promotes a healthy heart.
Drinking green tea has shown to reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol. These things can protect against a heart attack or a stroke. According to Health, green tea drinkers have a 31-percent reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- It helps burn fat.
Green tea contains an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate, which is a substance that helps boost the metabolism. The body must break down the fat cell and move it into the bloodstream in order to burn fat. Epigallocatechin gallate helps promote this process.
“Green tea always gives me energy. I can visibly tell when I haven’t drank it that day because I feel sluggish,” Bergeron said.
- Green tea increases energy.
Green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, but not as much as coffee. Green tea provides the same alertness from caffeine that coffee would without that jittery feeling.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that contains similar benefits of green and black. It is semi-oxidized. Depending on how long it sits, it can be more like black tea or green tea. The taste of the tea can vary depending on what region it comes from.
- Oolong tea is high in nutrients.
In a single cup of brewed oolong, there’s a list of nutrients that it contains. It holds fluoride, manganese, potassium, sodium, magnesium, niacin and caffeine. Oolong tea also has theanine, which is an amino acid found in tea that has a calming and relaxing effect.
- It promotes strength.
Oolong tea has been found to promote tooth strength. Because the tea is rich in fluoride, it has shown to reduce dental plaque and strengthen tooth enamel.
- Oolong tea may relieve eczema.
Eczema is a skin condition that leaves the skin red and itchy. A Japanese study was done with 118 people who drank oolong tea daily. After one month, 63 percent of patients had shown skin improvement.
One of the best things about drinking tea is choosing different mugs each morning. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
When it comes to your morning drink, the health benefits of tea make it a better option than coffee. Coffee is much more acidic than tea and also increases risk for heart disease. Drinking tea is actually beneficial to the body. So put down that cup of joe and go for something that not only tastes good, but can also improve your health.