Every year I start with intentions to create healthy habits, so I was excited to learn that multiple forms of tea have health benefits. We all know green tea is the healthy option that is full of antioxidants and all things good for you! But did you know that green tea isn’t the only healthful infusion? Any excuses to drink more tea sounds good to me! Now if only the sweet treats and savory delights that so perfectly accompany teatime were just as healthy.
1. White Tea: Made from baby leaves, is rich in antioxidants, which promote health by preventing disease and combating the effects of aging, and in theanine, a rarely occurring amino acid. Theanine’s many benefits include anxiety reduction, mood improvement, an increase in concentration and relaxation, and the boosting of the immune system. White teas are very lightly processed.
2. Oolong: Somewhere between black and green, Oolong boasts the largest variety of flavors. It is classically made in Taiwan and the southeast region of China. Production begins by tossing the leaves to bruise their edges, a process that releases enzymes to react with oxygen; the centers remain green. The extent of oxidation varies among tea estates. The results may include richer teas with a higher level of processing, amber-hued teas with hints of fruit or chocolate, and still others that bear floral and aromatic notes, nudging them closer to green teas. Among other health benefits, oolong lowers cholesterol, boosts metabolism, reduces arterial plaque, and aids in weight loss.
3. Black Tea: Provides the richest beverage, as it undergoes full oxidation. For this reason, milk is often added, especially among the British, to temper the robust flavor. The taste, body, strength, and color vary, depending on time of harvest, elevation, origin, degree of oxidation, and leaf varietal. Black teas are rich in antioxidants that improve cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol.
What is your favorite kind of tea?