The Different Types of Tea and Their Health Benefits

By Ashley Henshaw. May 7th 2016

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world, with only water being more common. There are many different types of teas available today, most of which have wonderful health benefits. Find out more about different types of tea and how they can be good for your health in this article.

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the most common types of teas on the planet. It has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Heart health: This tea has been found to effectively lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body. Many studies also suggest that green tea helps prevent atherosclerosis.
  • Cancer prevention: It’s likely that the polyphenols in green tea are the reason this drink is useful for cancer prevention – these substances are thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Though studies are still ongoing in this area, green tea has been linked to reduced risk of several types of cancer, including skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer.
  • Weight loss: Studies have found that green tea extract can boost metabolism to help the body burn fat. This is thought to be a result of substances called catechins, which are found in the tea.
  • Diabetes prevention and treatment: Because it can be used to control blood sugar, green tea has been used to help prevent and slow the progression of type 1 diabetes.
  • Antioxidants: The antioxidants in this type of tea are helpful for warding off aging and cellular damage.

Black Tea

Much like green tea, black tea is great for your heart. Here are some of black tea’s key health benefits:

  • Heart health: One of the biggest reasons to consider adding some black tea to your diet is the fact that it has been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks by 11 percent when three cups per day are consumed. On top of that, it has even more heart-healthy benefits. For example, black tea also helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Healthy blood vessels: Black tea contains flavonoids that are useful for protecting blood vessels from inflammation. This also helps prevent blood clotting.
  • Antioxidants: Black tea also has a considerable amount of antioxidants, which can help fight against free radicals that lead to aging and cellular damage.

White Tea

White tea is one of the more popular teas today because of its naturally light and sweet flavor. Other varieties, such as green tea, have a natural bitterness and require some sweeteners to be palatable for some people.

  • Antioxidants: Interestingly, green, black and white teas are all made from the same type of plant. The differences in the teas come from the way in which the plants leaves are processed. With white teas, leaves are processed the least, which allows them to have the more antioxidants than green and black teas (although green teas aren’t far behind in antioxidant content)
  • Cancer prevention: Some of the antioxidants in white tea have been found to have cancer-preventing properties. Examples of types of cancer which white tea may help prevent are lung, colon and skin cancer.
  • Antibacterial and antiviral: White tea has also been found in some studies to have antibacterial and antiviral health benefits, so it may help you stay healthy and have a strong immune system.
  • Low caffeine levels: In addition to having more antioxidants, white tea also beats out green and black teas when it comes to low levels of caffeine. This is a definite benefit for those who don’t want to consume too much caffeine or who want something to drink later in the day without it keeping them awake at night.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is also popular for its many health benefits, which include:

  • Weight loss: This particular type of tea has been found in several studies to help people lose weight. In one study, 66 percent of overweight individuals lost weight by drinking oolong tea daily for six weeks straight. Due to this fact, it is becoming more popular among those who are looking for healthy and natural ways to drop a few pounds.
  • Cavity prevention: Oolong tea contains significant levels of fluoride, which is needed to help prevent dental cavities from forming.

Rooibos Tea

Although it’s not as commonly known in America as green or white tea, rooibos also offers a few potential health benefits that tea lovers may find interesting.

  • Caffeine-free: This herbal tea is completely free of any caffeine because it is made from a bush rather than the traditional tea plant.
  • Antioxidants: Rooibos tea has plenty of antioxidants which are great for your health.
  • Potential health benefits: There are some studies which suggest that rooibos tea may help prevent cancer, protect against radiation and provide a boost to the immune system. Though these findings are promising, more research is needed to confirm them. Therefore, rooibos tea is healthy due to its lack of caffeine and antioxidant content. However, further health benefits are likely but unsure at this point.

Possible Health Risks Of Teas

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to get the most health benefits out of your teas. First, remember that drinking tea with added sweeteners could reduce the health effects of drinking that particular type of tea. In addition, prepackaged tea drinks don’t always have the same effects when it comes to health benefits. For the best results, brew pure preparations of the tea and avoid adding extra sweeteners.

Second, avoid any teas that are used for crash diets or extreme weight loss. Teas aren’t intended to have these health effects so products with these claims likely have added substances or chemicals with unknown health effects.

Bottom Line

Just about any type of tea you drink will have some health benefits, so consider drinking at least a cup a day. You’ll find that while many of the health benefits go unseen, you’ll feel better overall and may be able to avoid some serious health conditions.


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