Thursday, March 27, 2014

Teaology 101: Dude, it’s medicinal!

Some people steep it for too long, others not long enough. Some people add milk and sugar, others add a squeeze of lemon or nothing at all. Regardless of how you drink it, most agree that tea is good for you.

There are endless studies that have shown tea may help prevent certain illnesses, control some health issues, reduce stress, and keep you mentally alert. Tea appears to be the elixir of life!

I mentioned a few properties of the Camellia sinensis plant in a previous post such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the caffeine, theanine. I’m going to breakdown the purported health benefits of the main types of tea as each type has its own list of goodness.

White Tea: Studies have shown that this contains the most potent traits that guard against cancer because it is the least processed. White tea may also fight obesity, and calm your mind.

Green Tea: This has a high concentration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant found only in green tea. The antioxidants may prevent a number of cancers such as breast, lung, and stomach. As well, green tea may prevent clogging of the arteries, reduce the risk of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and reduce risk of stroke.

Oolong Tea: Though not as widely studied as other teas, some research indicates that oolong tea may lower bad cholesterol levels and help in weight loss.

Black (red) Tea: This tea has the highest caffeine content which is no wonder it is known to sharpen concentration. Also, studies have shown that black tea may reduce the risk of stroke, lower cholesterol, improve circulation, and prevent some illnesses of the intestines.

Pu-erh Tea: Another tea that is not researched enough is pu-erh. The few studies suggest that this wonderful tea controls your weight and reduces cholesterol.

Many other studies show that tea can prevent tooth decay and fight bad breath, keep you looking young, and hydrate the body. It all sounds wonderful, but nothing is conclusive. The studies should be taken with a grain of salt. Information changes quickly and depending on your sources, may differ from one study to another. However, there doesn’t appear to be any harm in drinking tea, any tea. So, drink to your health!

Note:  I am not a doctor nor do I play one on t.v., but I've always wanted to be one!

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