Tea is a classic beverage that millions around the world enjoy on a daily basis. Whether enjoyed hot or cold, tea is a popular favorite among many, no matter what the weather. There are many variations of tea, almost as many types of tea as there are ways to drink it. What you may not know is that teas carry a ton of health benefits. From green to white to red to black, each tea carries its own special benefits. Here are the benefits of tea, specifically green and red tea. See what drinking these teas can do for your health.
1. Green Tea
Green Tea History
Green tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. The tastes and aromas of green tea vary according to where they are grown and produced. Asia commonly incorporates green tea into a variety of recipes, including ice cream and cakes. Green tea was first brewed in China in the reign of Emperor Shennong, in 2737 B.C. Since then, green tea has been used as both medicine and beverage in the majority of regions located in Asia. Its medicinal qualities include quenching thirst, preventing fatigue, improving brain and urinary function, and helping the five vital organs, according to The Kiss Yojoki, book of tea, written by Eisai, a Zen priest in 1191. Green tea is grown either in the sun or in the shade and processed using either modern or artisanal methods. Green tea should be steeped in hot water for three to five minutes in order to derive the maximum benefits.
The Benefits of Tea (Green Tea)
- Green tea has a high amount of flavonoids, plant compounds that are antioxidants.
- Green tea has a great source of catechins, which is more powerful than Vitamin C and E in stopping oxidative damage to cells and have other properties that fight disease
- There has been an association between drinking green tea and a decreased risk for various cancers that include lung, skin, breast, colon, bladder and esophegeal
- Drinking green tea can give you a reduced risk for heart disease due to the blocked oxidation of LDL cholesterol, the increase of HDL cholesterol, and improved artery functions
- A Chinese study reported a 46-65% reduction in risk for hypertension among consumers of oolong or green tea, versus non-consumers of tea
- Contains EGCGs such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which fights cancer
- Contains a multitude of dietary minerals, sterols, carbohydrates, amino acids, enzymes, and phytochemcials
2. Red Tea
Red Tea History
Rooibos tea is enjoyed around the world for its great taste. With a unique color, the tea was first started by Dutch settlers on the Cape of Africa as an alternative to black tea. It was acquired from the Aspalathus linearis bush plant in South Africa. Black tea was too expensive for settlers who would have needed to purchase the tea off supply ships from Europe. European travelers who visited South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries noted the good plants there with curative properties. Rooibos tea was made by cutting the leaves from the plants, rolling them into hessian bags, brought down the slopes with donkeys and chopped and left out in the sun to dry. Benjamin Ginsberg perfected the curing of rooibos tea by fermenting the tea in barrels covered in wet hessian sacking in 1904. The cultivation of the rooibos tea plant was started by Dr. Le Fras Nortier in the 1930s, persuaded by Ginsberg.
The Benefits of Tea (Red Tea)
- Alleviates colic as well as allergies, dermatological problems such as eczema, and asthma
- Good for healthy skin due to high alpha-hydroxy acids
- Quercetin and luteolin, two flavonoids in rooibos, have cancer fighting qualities
- Can help with recurring headaches as well as insomnia, bone weakness, hypertension
- Prevents premature aging due to high antioxidant content
- Can ease severe stomach cramps
- Boosts the body’s immune system
- Can reduce types of cancer and other serious conditions
- Polysaccharise from the Aspalathus linerris may have anti-HIV activity potential
- Helps with nervous tension as well as digestive problems
- Contains polyphenols that are antiviral and anti-inflammatory as well as antimutagenic qualities
- Good for cardio health due to quercetin a powerful antioxidant in rooibos
- Has antispasmodic properties due to the activation of potassium ions in the body without interfering with calcium activity
- Can soothe colic and stomach pain
- Rooibos tea is rich in manganese, fluoride, and calcium for healthy teeth and maintaining good bone structure