Photo used under creative use license courtesy of Chumsdock.
Guest post written by Anne-Marie Kovacs & Audrey van Petegem of The Succulent Wife.
The health benefits of tea have been well documented, but what most people don’t realize is that there are only four varieties of tea: green, black, white, and oolong. The leaf from the Camilia Sinensis plant must be present for that hot cup of brew to truly be considered a tea. Herbal blends can be added to any of the tea leaves for various effects. Adding peppermint to your tea can potentially reduce hot flashes, while adding ginger could aid with digestion. However, what is known as ‘herbal tea’ is not actually a tea at all.
All the teas contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Tea has less caffeine than coffee and zero calories.
So, how do you get four varieties from one plant? The diversity comes from how the leaf is processed—this makes certain teas stronger in specific health benefits than others. Here are some potential health benefits for each variety of tea. Check them out to see the possible benefits for your favorite, or a tea you haven’t tried yet:
- Black Tea derives its dark color by going through a fermentation process that starts with the Camilla Sinensis leaves being withered, moistened and rolled up to promote the enzyme production. Next the leaves are oxidized, which turns the leaves from green to black. Due to this procedure, black tea has the highest flavonoid antioxidants, called thearubigins and theaflavins that may reduce the onset of Type 2 Diabetes by mimicking the action of insulin.
- Oolong Tea uses partially fermented leaves and, next to black tea, has more caffeine than green and white tea. It contains theophylline and theobromine that may help stimulate the central nervous system. Theobromine, also found in chocolate, is considered a possible natural pick-me-up with no calories.
- Green Tea is made from unfermented leaves. It is high in catechins that may act as a fat blocker and help the body break down and eliminate the fat. In addition, a recent study
- White Tea, a relatively new variety, it is made with the immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds open fully and is the least processed of the four. It has the least amount of caffeine with a lighter, sweeter flavor. Since white tea is considered to be the closest to its most natural state, it has the highest antioxidant of all variety. It may help boost a healthy immune system and guard against the common cold and flu. A study from the UK
For me, the greatest benefit of drinking a hot cup of tea is its ability to help me unwind and relax before dealing with the day’s stressors. How about you?
Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in a Humana plan depends on contract renewal. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits may change each year.
This information is available for free in other languages. Please call Customer Care at the number on the back of your Humana member ID card. 13
Esta información está disponible gratuitamente en otros idiomas. Comuníquese con el Departamento de Atención al Cliente llamando al número en el dorso de su tarjeta de identificación de afiliado de Humana.