Finals are a stressful time of year, but tea is a good way of drinking the stress away in a healthy way! Besides de-stressing tea has a lot of health benefits. Below are a list of different teas with their benefits.
Catechins (texture) give green tea its signature texture, and as a potent antioxidant, hinders dangerous free radicals in the body. Caffeine gives green tea its bitter taste, while increasing alertness, and relieving fatigue. Theanine, an amino acid, gives green tea its taste and acts as a mild relaxant. Theanine helps to relieve the jittery effect that caffeine can sometimes produce in sensitive individuals. This makes it a great alternative to coffee which not only has higher levels of caffeine, but does not contain theanine to regulate the unpleasant physical side effects. These are the main research properties included in green tea. Green tea contains a well-balanced mix of these ingredients.
White Tea is the least oxidized of all types of tea. Because of this and the higher proportion of young bud leaves, white tea is usually very low in caffeine, which makes it a good choice for people who are watching their caffeine intake. Many people believe white tea to be even better for you than green tea because it has been processed less. Research has shown that white tea contains the same free radical fighting catechins as green tea. White tea can help to prevent heart disease, cancers and stroke, as well as helping to treat diabetes. High levels of calcium and fluoride help maintain healthy teeth, gums and bones. White tea is an excellent addition to your daily routine.
Oolong Teas are unique because they span an oxidation range of 20-80%, where some are closer to green teas, and others are more similar to black teas. Caffeine levels vary accordingly, where greener oolongs will have less caffeine content and darker oolongs will have higher caffeine content. Oolong teas, because they have higher oxidation levels than green tea, will also have lower catechin levels, although catechins are still present. However, although catechins decrease with oxidation, theaflavin and thearubigin levels increase. These polyphenols help in defending the body against stroke, dementia, heart disease and cancer. In addition to this, oolong teas have long been believed to aid in digestion, so have a cup with or after your next meal.
Black teas contain the highest levels of caffeine among all types of tea. For someone who is looking for an efficient energy boost, this would be a great choice. However, for caffeine sensitive individuals, consumption of black tea should be moderate. Black tea does contain low levels of catechins, but is noted for having the highest levels of theaflavins and thearubinins. As more research is showing, these compounds are just as effective as the catechins in green tea in preventing heart disease, stroke and cancer, and lowering cholesterol. So don’t think that that your morning black tea isn’t as healthy as your cup of green tea in the afternoon. You are just consuming a different variety of healthy compounds.
Herbal “teas” or tisanes are not true teas, because they do not derive from the Camellia sinensis plant, however these tisanes have some virtues of their own. Most notably, these infusions do not contain caffeine, which makes them acceptable for young children, the elderly or for evening tea drinking. A specific example, rooibos, a red bush from South Africa, has high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as being caffeine free. Lavender has been used for generations to promote relaxation and to calm the mind and body. Chamomile, while also having strong calming powers, has been used as a natural pain reliever when prepared in strong infusions. Peppermint is used by many traditions, especially in Moroccan culture, as a tea to help aid in digestion and to clear the sinuses. These herbs, while not having the super powers of the Camellia sinensis plant should not be overlooked, as they do have their own more subtle benefits and can be enjoyed by anyone at any time of the day.