These days, it’s hard to know which tea you should be buying. Grocery and health food store shelves are filled with dozens of varieties and flavors, all claiming to do different things to enhance your well-being. But a local anti-aging doctor stirs up the facts on tea.
Tea is steeped in tradition. Black, green, herbal, flavored – the choices are endless. But is there a trick to choosing the most beneficial kind?
Well I think the main benefit of tea is that it’s very rich in antioxidants. We’re always hearing about the importance of antioxidants to prevent what’s called free-radical damage, said Dr. Neil Hirshenbein.
Doctor Neil Hirshenbein says most teas have common roots.
Basically all the regular teas whether you’re talking about a black tea or a oolong tea or a green tea comes from the same plant it’s just the difference in the fermentation process, added Dr. Hirshenbein.
Herbal teas are different. Theyre not made from tea plants, but instead are a combination of different fruits, herbs and antioxidants.
Teas can come with or without caffeine. And some of the new varieties claim to contain additional supplements for things like memory, menopause, digestion, and energy.
So unfortunately most of these have such tiny amounts but it won’t really do much of anything except maybe sell the product.
There is, however, good, solid evidence to show that a basic green tea can be helpful in your daily routine.
It has proven natural cancer and heart-disease fighters. And now, Japanese doctors have shown that two cups a day can ease many common allergy symptoms.
You have to read the labels over time you’ll find that there are certain companies that probably have better products, teas, than others. But the most important thing is going to be how it tastes, whether or not they like it, because no matter how good it is for you, if you don’t like it you’re not going to be using it.
Additionally, keep in mind that many teas are a good substitute for coffee, if you want a pick-up. Caffeine-free herbal teas, like chamomile and sleepy-time, are great if you want help drifting off. And if you have a tea-ball, use it. Studies show that loose tea, as opposed to the kind that comes in a tea bag, tends to have more anti-oxidant power because the leaves are less processed.
The different kinds of Chinese teas
Chinese tea are classified into five categories according to the different methods by which it is processed–green tea, black tea, Oolong tea, white tea, and flavored tea.
Green tea is the variety, which keeps the original color of the tealeaves without fermentation during processing. Green tea has amazing health benefits, relatively low caffeine content, and a mild flavor. Commercial green tea even has a significant amount of vitamin C. Research indicates that green tea can even naturalize nasty smells, like garlic.
Green tea, for centuries is the beverage of choice in Asia and now it is rapidly gaining popularity in the western world. Its natural aroma and widely acclaimed health benefits make green tea appealing to both the tea lover and previously non-tea drinker. The aroma of some green teas surpasses even the best black teas in subtlety and complexity.
Green tea is as varied and unique as wines. Their uniqueness depends upon the growing region, the season’s weather, time of harvesting and type of processing. Many varieties are available in multiple grades. At Planet Yin Yang we offer both deluxe consumer grade and super premium grade that are sold to some of the worlds finest five star hotels and five diamond restaurants.
Black tea, known as “red tea” in China, is the category, which is fermented before baking; it is a later variety developed on the basis of the green tea. Black tea has a smoky aroma and an intense flavor.
Black tea is a completely fermented tea. During the production process of black tea, the leaves are changed substantially, allowing the characteristic flavors of black tea – ranging from flowery to fruity, nutty and spicy – to emerge. When black tea brewed, it produces a rich red color and strong flavor
In America and in Europe, drinkers are more likely to add milk and honey to their teas, while in Asia, tea is usually taken by itself. To taste the true flavor and smell the true aroma of black tea, you need to drink it without any milk, honey, sugar or other additives. However, whatever the method, this is by far the most well known form of the beverage.
Black tea is the most popular tea in the world. Black tea accounts for over 90% of the tea consumption in the western world. Black tea is the tea most widely used in making iced tea in England and North America.
Oolong tea represents the half way point between green tea and black teas, being made after partial fermentation. At their best, oolong tea is beautiful and full-bodied with a fragrant flavor and fruity, sweet aroma. The finest varieties are still handmade following the traditional manufacturing process.
Because Oolong tea is defined as semi-fermented tea, there are many degrees of fermentation. Some oolong teas are lightly fermented, so they are called green oolongs. These teas are very fragrant. Black oolongs are heavily fermented and are known for their lasting aftertaste. Combining the best qualities of green tea and black tea, Oolong Tea is not only as clear and fragrant as Green Tea, but also as fresh and strong as Black Tea. When you drink Oolong tea the natural aroma may linger in your mouth and make your throat very comfortable.
Oolong Tea is helpful in anti-aging, bringing high blood pressure down, improving immune-competence, and a good defense of heart disease. Oolong Tea can help you digest food, and refresh yourself. Oolong tea is perhaps the world most famous natural health drink. It had been consumed in China for centuries.
White tea does not refer to black tea with milk, but rather to a specific form of tea in which the leaves and buds are simply steamed and dried. White tea has the least amount of caffeine. These teas should be steeped in water well below boiling and for at least four to five minutes. Recent health studies have been very encouraging on the anti-oxidant benefits of Chinese white tea.
Flavored tea is made by mixing fragrant flowers in the tealeaves during processing. The flowers commonly used for this purpose are jasmine and magnolia among others. Jasmine tea is a well-known favorite with the northerners of China and with a growing in popularity around the world.
Green tea a cup full of health
GREEN tea’s ability to fight cancer is even more potent and varied than scientists suspected, research suggests.
Scientists already know that green tea contains anti-oxidants that may protect against cancer.
But now they have discovered that chemicals in the tea also shut down a key molecule that can play a significant role in the development of cancer.
The molecule, known as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, has the ability to activate genes — but not always in a positive way.
Tobacco smoke and dioxins, in particular, disrupt the functioning of the molecule and cause it to trigger potentially harmful gene activity.
The researchers, from Rochester University, found that two chemicals in green tea inhibit AH activity.
The chemical is similar to compounds called flavonoids, which are found in broccoli, cabbage, grapes and red wine, and which are also known to help prevent cancer.
Researcher Professor Thomas Gasiewicz said: “Green tea may work differently than we thought to exert its anti-cancer activity.
“It’s likely that the compounds in green tea act through many different pathways,” he said.