Tea existed nearly 5,000 years ago and has been a fixed drink in people’s lives since the ancient times. According to the Chinese legend, tea was accidentally made in 2737 B.C.E. when a leaf from an overhanging wild tea tree drifted into an emperor’s boiling pot of water. The Chinese Emperor, an inventor of agriculture and Chinese medicine, Shen Nong, was pleased with the flavor and the restorative effects it has on health that he dedicated time and effort in discovering more of the plant.
After that, from China, tea spread all over the world. People have been drinking tea for various reasons and throughout the years. Aside from water, tea is one of the healthiest beverages of today because of catechins. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and prevent cell damage along with other health benefits.
Because of that, its popularity increased and people began making some fun and fresh variations for it. Currently, there are over 3, 000 varieties of teas to date and with more to come in the future. However, with so many types and variations available, how will you know what tea to take for yourself?
Here are the types of tea that you can take specifically for your health needs.
Popular Classic Teas
These common and popular types of teas are made from the leaves of the same plant species the Camellia sinensis.Even though weather and soil conditions contribute to the taste of the tea, the major difference between them develops after oxidation.
Green tea is the second most consumed tea type after black tea. It is made from unoxidized leaves and is processed less than black tea and more than white tea while green tea has greater antioxidants than black but less than to white tea.
Drink green tea to:
- Lower the risk of breast, bladder, ovarian, lung, prostate, skin and stomach cancer
- Reduce the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease
- Decrease the dangers of bad cholesterol and stroke
- Promote weight loss
- Enhance working memory and can be a promising treatment for dementia
- Lessen the chance of having Alzheimer’s
- Reduce periodontal disease and keep teeth and gums healthy
- Block rheumatoid arthritis and combating those joint pains
Black tea is the most popular type of tea that people consume which accounts for 75 percent in the world. Because of the different way that black tea was oxidized it may give nutritional benefits not present in green tea.
Drink black tea to:
- Prevent cavities and harden teeth better due to more fluoride content
- Lessen the risk of atherosclerosis that can prevent coronary heart and chronic kidney diseases
- Lower stress hormone levels and help you recover from stress more quickly
- Reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure
- Cancel out impact of high-fat meals on blood pressure
- Get your caffeine fix, which has 22 to 33 milligrams more of caffeine content than green tea
- Control diabetes by having a higher rate of absorbing glucose in the body
White tea is harvested prematurely compared to black and green tea. It is processed rapidly to prevent further oxidation. Because of that, white tea has less caffeine and more antioxidants. This makes it a step higher from green and black tea despite being less studied on compared to green tea.
Drink white tea to:
- Reduce age associated wrinkles and look young due to its anti-aging components
- Lessen the risk of inflammations that characterize rheumatoid arthritis
- Decrease the growth of new fat cells and acts as a slimming substance as well as break down existing fats
- Lower the risk of cancer more effectively than green and black tea
- Boost immune system from bacteria that cause pneumonia, fungus growth, and plaque
Other Variations Of Teas
If you like something to spice up your tea drinking or try some new flavors, you can also opt to some these variations.
Take a break from hot teas and enjoy a new experience by drinking it cold. Not only this is a good alternative for sodas, you can drink your tea this way when it’s hot outside and enjoy its refreshing effects.
However, due to the negative nutritional effects that sweetened iced tea give, be sure to drink the natural, unsweetened kind.
Matcha is made from green tea leaves that are ground to produce a fine powder. In comparison to green tea, you drink the whole tea leaf when you drink it in its matcha form. Because of that matcha and green tea may have similar health benefits but matcha has 10 times more the nutritional value.
Furthermore, with its powder form, you can use matcha as an ingredient to desserts and meals adding more nutrition to food.
Most people drink their tea with a little sugar to ease some of the tea’s bitterness. However, try and add milk in your tea to make some milk tea. It is a popular way to serve tea in many parts of the world and is an easy way to spice your tea up a notch.
However, store-bought milk tea isn’t as healthy as it sounds due to the amount of sugar that is in there. So, when putting milk in your tea, do not add sugar and try putting honey instead if you really want to boost sweetness without compromising the health benefits.
Herbal tea is not officially a tea since it isn’t made from Camellia sinensis. It is a blend or infusion of leaves, fruits, bark, flowers or roots of almost any edible plants found around us. Here are some of them and their health benefits:
Chamomile Tea. Aids in digestion helps prevent diabetes and kidney damage.
Ginger Tea. Helps relieve nausea, menstrual pain and improve blood circulation.
Jasmine Tea. Promotes anti-aging properties and helps calm the nerves because of its aroma.
Peppermint Tea. Relieves stomach pain, cramps and can also help with insomnia as well as weight loss.
Tea has become more than a hot beverage for some people. It is a philosophy and a complex brew of art. In addition, it is culture. It is a taste of nature. And more importantly, it’s a way of life. There are a lot of types of tea out there that is as unique as the individual that is drinking it.
Moreover, you can also grow your very own tea leaves supplier in your garden. Herbal tea ingredients grow faster compared to Camellia sinensis which can take three years before you can harvest the leaves. But are you having trouble where to plant in your home or apartment? You can always opt to indoor herbal gardening instead.
In addition, other than giving a relaxing and soothing feeling, the health benefits that go with drinking tea, is a pleasant bonus. If you are not a tea drinker, you can always start becoming one and become one of the people who strive to live long and healthy.