Tea from its very beginnings has had a reputation as a health giving tonic. According to Chinese history, Shennong discovered tea in the year 2737 B.C. Upon tasting tea for the first time, he noticed teas restorative qualities and proclaimed it to be an antidote to common poisons of the day.
Today, we know that loose leaf tea contains a spectrum of unique nutrients that are shown to be protective to the body.
But, which teas are the healthiest?
All fresh loose leaf tea is thought to be healthy. The general thought is the less the tea is processed, the more beneficial it is to your health - favoring green and white teas. The health properties of green tea have been studied in peer reviewed lab tests, and point to a wide range of antioxidants as the main reason it is so good for you. That being said, black tea and Pu-erh have unique antioxidants which have their own positive health benefits.
Catechins in tea, such as ECGC, are thought to reduce oxidative stress in the body, protect the heart, promote healthy cell division, and support the body’s defenses against cancer. The University of Maryland has posted numerous studies outlining green tea’s protective and therapeutic benefits in treating diabetes, high cholesterol, and Atherosclerosis. A study in 2004 showed green tea to be beneficial in protecting against Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Meanwhile, the thearubigins and theaflavins specific to black and pu-erh teas have been shown to be beneficial in heart health and possibly bone density.
What about herbal teas?
There are many healthful and healing herbal teas that are not directly related the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. Roobois, or red bush, the bright red herbal tea from South Africa, has been studied and thought to be potentially helpful in delaying Alzheimers and possibly boosting immune function. Herbal blends containing ginger and turmeric are great choices for supporting health as well. Both ginger and turmeric are powerful natural anti-inflammatories and are naturally caffeine free, making them an ideal picks for an after dinner or before bedtime brew.
So, what should I drink?
Consuming a wide spectrum high quality loose leaf tea is the best way to ensure you are getting the full range of health benefits tea has to offer. Like eating a variety of vegetables, consider experimenting with the full range of teas.
Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to buy fresh, high quality tea. Buy your tea from a reputable seller who carries fresh, well stored, and well packaged tea.
Follow our blog for future articles about tea and your health, along with many other tea topics. Stay healthy and thanks for reading!
- The Steepster Team