Tea has a way of giving me the time and space to get focused and clear. I look forward to enjoying a nice warm cup of red (aka black) tea, from Qi Men County, Anhui Province, while writing in my journal or thinking of my next crazy idea to pursue.
I also had the opportunity to visit the team museum in Hangzhou, China, home of one of China’s most famous green teas: Longjing Green Tea. In addition to having many varieties (red, green, white, oolong, pure), Chinese tea apparently comes with a multitude of health benefits. Lucky for those of us who enjoy a good loose leaf brew from China.
Helps with weight loss
You may have heard of the “green tea diet” fad that is going around. There are debates as to whether the tea-based weight loss diets actually work. There is research that connects green tea with weight reduction [“study: anti-obesity effects of green tea”]. Of course, drinking tea is only one part of a full program. Combining a tea habit with proper exercise and nutrition will help achieve your weight loss goals.
Which tea type should I drink: Green Tea, Pu’er Tea
Add a cup of tea to go along with the other cholesterol fighting foods in your diet. Several studies have shown that the catechins in green tea act as what’s called “hypolipidemics” – they lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol (called LDL) while increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL).
Which type of tea should you drink: Green Tea
Prevents tooth decay
Green tea is a natural source of fluoride, meaning it will be great for strengthening your tea and preventing cavities. However, drink the it with care. You don’t want to smile and have your friends tell you that a green tea leaf is stuck in your teeth.
Which tea type should you drink: All types
Promotes healthy skin
It’s possible to improve the health of your skin just by drinking tea! Traditional Chinese Medicine uses green tea to treat skin diseases, included some skin cancer. The content different anti-oxidants, called polyphenols, appear to be responsible for removing free radicals in the body. Free radicals are known for causing damage and aging to the skin if they are in our system too long.
Which tea type should you drink: Green Tea
While this has not been proven with rigorous scientific study, initial research suggests that drinking 3 cups of tea a day can raise the level of activity from your immune. This is connected to the polysaccharides found in teas. This helps the body fight off viral and bacterial infections. The older the tea leaf, the more polysaccharides. It’s worth a shot!
Which tea type should you drink: Oolong Tea
Lowers caffeine dependence
Is caffeine holding you hostage in the morning?
A typical cup of coffee contains around 130mg of caffeine. Black (red) teas usually have less than 50. Green and white teas have even less, meaning you can enjoy a good brew and reduce your caffeine intake by 60% or more! If drinking coffee gives you jitters, headaches, or keeps you up at night, green or white tea might be a healthy alternative for you.
Which tea type should you drink: Black(red) Tea, Green Tea, White Tea
Keeps you hydrated
One would think that a caffeinated beverage would dehydrate the body. More recent studies have indicated that drinking less that unless you drink more than 10-15 cups of black(red) tea – or 20 cups of green or white tea – the water you are imbibing is actually retained in your body! Tea is a great way to maintain hydration levels, so bring out the brew on those hot summer days.
If you haven’t tried adding tea into your regular diet, you may want to give it a go. The potential benefits seem pretty convincing.
Featured photo credit: Chinese Tea Ceremony by David Boté Estrada via flickr.com