Research now suggests that certain teas are high in anti-oxidant polyphenols which are effective in helping to fight a range of cancers, diabetes and heart disease, whilst others can aid us by preventing blood clotting and in lowering cholesterol levels, even losing weight and of course invoking mental clarity and alertness. With tea ranges now stretching from an array of green, black or white tea blends, through to herbals, rooibos and instants, there is sure to be a tea to take your fancy.
Green, Black, and White Tea
These teas are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant which is grown in native India and China. It is this particular shrub that holds the health giving properties of antioxidants called flavonoids, with the highly potent ECGC. It is the qualities of ECGC that is said to fight against free radicals found in the body that can play a role in the formation of cancer, heart disease, and blocked arteries.
Mental clarity and alertness is achieved by naturally occurring theanine and caffeine which work together to lift the brains activity.
It is said that the purer the tea leaves remain before steeping in boiling water, the higher their polyphenol and flavonoid content will be. Green tea contains the highest levels of polyphenol which is why it is so well known for its antioxidant affects. Black teas usually go through a process of fermentation, or are oxidised prior to completion which, whilst reducing their concentration of polyphenols, does not do too much to reduce their antioxidant qualities.
Herbal and Rooibos Teas
These teas are produced from a huge array of herbs, fruits, seeds and roots, offered as pure infusions or combined together to bring about certain healing effects. Herbal and Rooibos teas are not derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and so do not provide the health-promoting properties as mentioned above. For this reason, the correct name for this style of tea is a Tisane.
The chemical composition of herbal teas varies widely and is largely dependent on the compound used. Despite tisane not containing polyphenols, and the limited supporting evidence on the health benefits of herbal teas, certain varieties have been known to promote various health qualities that many people receive relief with such as relaxation, sleep inducement, weight loss, chasing off colds and calming the spirit.
Unfortunately, instant tea can hold very small levels of actual tea and has the potential to be loaded with sugars or artificial sweeteners. To be sure for yourself, read the label before purchasing and if in doubt, avoid all together.
Tea for Life
With such an amazing range of health promoting teas available to purchase from your tea shop, you will find it easy to incorporate the many health benefits of your favourite blend into your lifestyle. Let there be no limitation to the range of blends that you sample and why not stock up with a tea cupboard full of Eastern promise.