It’s the world’s most popular drink, next to water—and it’s steeped in health benefits. Here, what four top brews can do for you.
The scoop: Green tea has a more delicate flavor than black. The leaves are dried and heat-treated soon after they’re picked, which stops the fermentation process. It contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine per cup.
Health benefits: Green tea is full of antioxidants called catechins; a subgroup known as EGCG may ward off everything from cancer to heart disease, says Karen Collins, a registered dietitian and a nutrition adviser at the American Institute for Cancer Research, in Washington, D.C. One study found that each daily cup of green tea consumed may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10 percent.
The scoop: Oolong is similar to black tea, but it’s fermented for a shorter time, which gives it a richer taste. It contains about 30 milligrams of caffeine per cup.
Health benefits: It may aid in weight loss. “Oolong activates an enzyme responsible for dissolving triglycerides, the form of dietary fat that’s stored in fat cells,” says Baer. One study showed that women who drank oolong tea burned slightly more calories over a two-hour period than those who drank only water.
The scoop: These leaves are picked when they’re very young, so white tea has a much milder flavor than any other variety, not to mention less caffeine—about 15 milligrams per cup. Loose tea may also contain more antioxidants than tea in bags, because the leaves are less processed.
Health benefits: White tea is another health multitasker. It offers the same potential cardiovascular and cancer-fighting benefits as other teas, says Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Association of the USA, in New York City. And some research suggests that it may offer benefits to people with diabetes. An animal study published in the journal Phytomedicinefound that consuming white tea resulted in improved glucose tolerance and a reduction in LDL cholesterol. Some experts believe that this may eventually have implications for humans.
Source: Real Simple