Dishing The Tea

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Are all teas good for you?

Tea is one of the most soothing beverages on the block. And being a tea-producing country, it goes without saying that we can’t seem to go a day without it. But are all teas made equal? Sure, black, white and green teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Nevertheless, it is how they are processed that sets them apart; taste and benefits wise. White tea is made from young leaves or buds that haven’t been oxidized. Both green and black tea is made from older leaves but the former isn’t oxidized. Black tea, on the other hand, contains leaves that have been fully oxidized, which changes their chemical makeup. We’ll boil down the benefits of these three teas. Furthermore, we’ll suss out whether slimming teas should be part of the pack.

Black Tea

The most common of the bunch, it’s made by rolling and fermenting the leaves, before they are dried and crushed. It also contains the most caffeine at 40 milligrams per cup. So, you know that it’s your go-to tea if you are looking for an energy boost. Under that slightly bitter taste are two major groups of pigments called thearubigins and theaflavins, which help with heart health and are believed to assist with cholesterol levels.

Green Tea

Unlike its black counterpart, the leaves don’t embark on the fermentation process. Instead, they are dried and heat-treated immediately after they have been picked. According to an article on Real Simple, this reduces its caffeine content to just 25 milligrams. Consequently, it outshines black tea in the heart health department. Thanks to its polyphenols it works harder to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by bringing down the cholesterol levels. It is also thought to help lower the risk of breast cancer.

White Tea

Being picked as young leaves has its perks. For starters, it doesn’t overpower the taste buds like the first two. Its minimalistic processing means that you are getting more of the antioxidants called catechins. In addition, you’re getting a higher quantity of the polyphenols which are also known for their antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral attributes. Did we mention that there’s research that suggests it could help with weight loss and helping the body improve glucose tolerance? And they’re cost effective since you can rebrew these tea leaves several times, according to an article in The Spruce. What you won’t get is a huge caffeine boost. At 15 milligrams a cup, there’s barely enough to get the kick you’d need on a busy day.

So, what about detox teas: Sorry folks. Weight loss teas are not what they are hyped up to be. You may argue that a few sips of this made you shift the scale. According to an article on Health Magazine, some teas will mix in a diuretic with its caffeine to help you release some water weight. While others, incorporate Senna, which is a natural laxative. Again, this only affects water weight and leaves your actual fat intact.

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