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Amazing Health Benefits of Tea

by Mackenzie M. January 19th, 2012 | Nutrition
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As a former employee of the Teavana Corporation, a high-end tea merchant, and an avid tea drinker, I am familiar with the amazing health benefits of the hundreds of kinds of tea leaves. The basis of tea is simply soaking the leaves of a plant known as the Camellia sinensis in hot water.

Tea, consumed hot or cold, has a plethora of health benefits, but in my experience I keep finding people who are not familiar with them, let alone that the world of tea expands infinitely farther than the powder found inside store-bought tea bags. Remember, tea bags are filled with tea processed beyond recognition, and the bag also takes out many of the health benefits. To make it simple, I have listed a few of the different categories of tea, as well as some of their health benefits.

Black Tea. Perhaps the most popular tea in the West, black tea is loaded with health benefits, although it is by far the least healthy of other teas. Since the fermentation process of black tea differs greatly from other teas, many of the healthful EGCgs, or antioxidants, are converted into other compounds. Not to be written off, black tea may reduce the risk for strokes, as well as reduce production of “bad” cholesterol. Research is proving that drinking black tea can actually reverse abnormally functioning blood vessels.

Green Tea. The darling of the health world, green tea is notorious for its health benefits – for good reason. Research has suggested that green tea has the potential to fight cancer and heart disease, as well as lower cholesterol, burn fat, prevent diabetes and stroke, and dementia. The EGCg levels found in green tea make it one of the best sources for antioxidants, which are important in fighting diseases and are also known to have anti-aging effects.

Oolong Tea. Oolong tea, unfortunately, is lesser known to Americans; however, oolong also has many positive health effects, as well as a gentle, smooth taste. Oolong tea is known for its ability to assist in diets and weight loss. If oolong is consumed regularly, it not only provides enriching antioxidants, but it also deceases appetite. If used properly with exercise and healthy eating, oolong tea can be an integral part in any weight loss routine. On top of this, it is very helpful for relaxation, stress relief, and digestion.

White tea. White tea is often either overlooked by Americans, or is often falsely advertised in bottled drinks filled with sweeteners and chemicals. White tea in its most pure form is the least processed of all teas, leading it to be the absolute healthiest tea. While green tea and the others are healthy in their own right, white tea combines all of those health benefits, and then some. It is packed full of antioxidants, may have a noteworthy cancer-fighting power, and can also do anything from lowering blood pressure, to cholesterol, improving and protecting the cardiovascular system, building strong bones, and has even been known to boost the immune system as a whole.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.