There are few things more soothing when you’re sick or during a cold winter’s day than a warm cup of tea. Although tea is a big business today, it has been revered for its health benefits since ancient times. Other than water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world – and for good reason.
Certain types of tea have been linked to the following health benefits:
- Lower blood sugar/less risk of diabetes
- Concentration and alertness
- Fights viral and bacteria infection
- Boosts metabolism and aids weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart attack
Although there are many varieties of tea, almost all of them are derived from the same plant: the Camellia sinensis. The differences in flavor and health benefits lie in the way the tea leaves are cultivated and processed.
Black tea, which has the highest caffeine content of any tea, is made with fermented tea leaves. Many instant teas and chai teas have a base of black tea. Research has shown that black tea could protect lungs from the damaged caused by exposure to cigarette smoke and reduce the risk of stroke. One type of black tea, pu-erh tea, is made from aged, fermented leaves that are pressed into cakes. In animal studies, it has been linked to reduced weight gain and lower cholesterol levels.
White tea is an uncured and un-fermented type of tea, meaning that it undergoes virtually no human processing. Studies have shown that white tea holds potent anticancer benefits, and many researchers believe that it is the healthiest tea of them all. Additionally, white tea is believed to combat aging, promote mental and physical relaxation, reduce anxiety, increase concentration, and boost the immune system. It has the least amount of caffeine of any tea.
Green tea is made with steamed tea leaves and has powerful antioxidant properties. It has been linked to preventing growth of pancreatic, lung, breast, bladder, and colorectal cancers. Studies have also shown that this tea, which also undergoes minimal processing, can also promote weight loss.
Oolong tea is commonly drank to lower bad cholesterol levels and to aid weight loss. Oolong teas fall somewhere between black teas and green/white teas, as they are semi-oxidized and usually brownish in color. This is a smooth, aromatic, and complex brew that is popular among tea connoisseurs. Many people believe that oolong tea helps reduce plaque in arteries, reduce cholesterol, and boost metabolism.
In addition to the four types of “true” tee, there are a hundreds of types of herbal tea made from spices, flower, fruits, and leaves. Almost all herbal teas are 100% natural and caffeine-free, with plenty of health benefits of their own. Some popular herbal teas include red/rooibos tea from South Africa, Yerba Mate tea from the Amazon Rainforest, and nurturing chamomile tea.
Whether you feel like you’re coming down with the flu, need a daily pick-me-up, or just love the taste of mint, you simply must try our delicious Olive Leaf Mint Tea. We grow the olive leaves for our tea on our Baja, California farm and add 100% natural peppermint leaves for a soothing, pleasant flavor. No matter which type of tea you prefer, it’s time to start replacing other beverages you regularly consume with tea this year!