The definitive guide to tea Health Education

Tea can mean many different plants. There's Maté, the bitter South American shrub dipped in boiling water to extract the caffeine-like compounds it contains. There is rooibos, the "red tea" from a polyphenol-rich bush native to South Africa. There is coca, the South American plant that also made cocaine. There are the unnamed wild bitter root and herbal teas of the Maasai, the evergreen Native American tea for the production of vitamin C, the nettleaf teas used throughout Europe.

For today's article, I focus on the actual tea plant – Camellia sinensis. All classic teas come from the same basic plant. The differences lie in the processing after the harvest. Most teas are oxidized in a controlled manner to develop flavor and various bioactive compounds. The more oxidized, the darker the tea. The less oxidized, the easier.

I will also focus on the health benefits of tea instead of focusing on the essentials of tea sorting, the endless, tailored varieties, and the optimal temperature – tea experts. I enjoy tea, but I'm not a connoisseur. I can tell you about the health implications, and I imagine most of you are here for it anyway.

Types of tea

Even in "real tea" there are several varieties.

White tea

White tea is made from tea leaves, which are processed very easily and without oxidation. Studies show that it contains less antioxidants than green tea or oolong tea, but that does not mean that it is "worse".

White tea has connections This inhibits the absorption and digestion of glucose, thereby lowering blood sugar levels.

White tea also shows a unique ability Combat amyloid plaque in association with Alzheimer's disease (albeit in test tubes, no living individuals yet).

Green tea

In Japan, green tea is slightly steamed. In China, it is quickly roasted in dry heat. The result is a slight oxidation. It has a grassy taste and generally the highest content of antioxidants – the catechins. In one study In terms of antioxidant content and the effect of 30 different teas, the top 2 and 6 were the top 10 green teas.

Most studies have found that green tea is the one with the most health benefits in all teas, but I take it with a grain of salt. For example in this studyGreen tea has been associated with better health results in Mediterranean adults than black tea but has not been screened for physical activity. Green tea drinkers had more physical activity, which the authors suggest is one advantage Green tea, but I suggest, is a feature of the "healthy user effect". Green tea drinkers did more healthy things like sports, while black tea drinkers were less likely.

There are consistent links between green tea and lower cognitive decline, We do not see that so often with other teas (or coffee).

Oolong tea

Oolong is midway between green and black tea: more oxidized than green, less oxidized than black. Oolong also has a high antioxidant content. in this same 30-tea antioxidant studyOolongs took 4 of the top 10 places.

Black tea

Black tea is completely oxidized tea. It is the most caffeine-rich and rich in antioxidants known as theaflavins.

Theaflavins in the range of 50-100 mg (4-8 cups of black tea) reduced body fat and increased muscle mass in Japanese womenwhile green tea catechins had no effect.

Pu-erh tea

Pu-Erh tea is additionally fermented microbially. It develops intense aromas and unique bioactive compounds.

For exampleerh contains alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors This reduces the intake of glucose from the diet and lowers the blood sugar level, especially after eating.

animal experiments show Protective effect against metabolic syndrome, hyperglycemia, obesity and fatty liver. It seems to reduce liver fat, but by a strange mechanism: by increasing de novo lipogenesis (fat formation) in the visceral adipose tissue. Rodents in the study decreased but increased in visceral fat.

Matcha tea

Matcha green tea is made from powdered, shadowy tea leaves. Well, "shadowed" could be a more accurate descriptor; A few weeks before the harvest, matcha-designated tea plants are covered with shade. This slows growth, sweetening and deepening the aroma and increasing the amino acid content of the leaves (especially L-theanine). Powdering the tea leaves into a powder increases the surface area and provides a stronger, stronger infusion. When you drink Matcha, you consume the leaves and all their polyphenols and amino acids themselves. The powder is not screened out like normal green tea leaves.

This seems to increase the antioxidant activity. First, more L-theanine is available. I've already talked about the stress-reducing benefits of L-Theanine, but it's true good against Fear and goes well with caffeine (more on that later). Plus, a 2003 study found that Matcha's epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) was 137 times more bioavailable than traditional leaf-based green tea and more than three times as bioavailable as the "greatest literary value of other green teas" is explained by the fact that you powdered it Consume tea itself instead of soaking and discarding the leaves. Another advantage of Matcha is that you need much less of it because it is so strong that the potential disadvantages of the tea, such as the fluoride content, are less problematic.

(Can you say that Matcha is my favorite?)

The health benefits of tea

In general, tea is a rich source of bioactive polyphenols with suspected health benefits, Some of the potential anticancer effects reported in the study:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)In Korea, drinking more than two cups of green tea a day was associated with a lower COPD rate.

colon cancer: In Korean patients who had colorectal adenomas (benign tumors) removed, taking green tea extract reduced their recurrence one year after surgery.

Prostate Cancer: In Hong Kong, consumption of green tea has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. However, controlled follow-up studies in men with prostate cancer showed mostly no results.

skin cancer: In whites, both caffeinated coffee and tea consumption were associated with protection against basal cell carcinoma (although coffee had the stronger relationship).

Most cancer studies in humans are merely observational studies, More interesting are some of the other effects.

Most teas are mild against hyperglycemiaThis is most likely due to the ubiquity of substances that inhibit the effect of digestion and absorption of glucose enzymes. In other words, if you drink tea with your meal, this is usually the case Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you absorb,

Tea polyphenols are among the best that can cause a positive hormonal response– the one in which your body reacts to the presence of "toxins" by up-regulating its own defenses and triggering a positive net cascade of health effects. There is coffee, chocolate and red wine. Green tea, for example, solves the problem Nrf2 wayThis leads to an increase in glutathione and other antioxidant pathways that our body uses to reduce oxidative stress and neutralize reactive oxygen species.

The (few) negatives you should look out for …


I have already treated fluoride and am still not sure. There seems to be some benefits to topical application on teeth, but systemic intake raises problems. For example, women who consumed the most fluorinated water (and tea) during pregnancy give birth to children with depressive IQs, Tea is very high in fluoride. The plant itself is quite good at raising fluoride from the soil, and soil fluoride in tea-producing countries is increasing due to industrial pollution.

High quality tea from younger leaves is more likely to have lower levels of fluoride because the plant did not have as much time to deposit soil fluoride in the leaves. The cheapest brick tea with the lowest quality is made from the oldest leaves and has a higher fluoride content.

White tea is usually low in fluoride, as the leaves are picked very young. Green, oolong and black tea leaves remain in the plant for so long that measurable amounts of fluoride can be absorbed.

in the IrelandAs the only European country with legally prescribed water fluoridation, the average fluoride content of the brewed tea was 3.3 mg / l, with the highest values ​​being 6 mg / l. Based on Irish tea consumption, the authors suggest that "the majority of the Irish population is at risk of chronic fluoride poisoning."

Organic green Matcha tea in Japan is a good option for fluoride minimization as Japanese soils typically have a relatively low fluoride content.


If you use plastic teabags, Your tea will be full of microplastics, Stick to teabags made of loose sheets or paper.

How to brew it

Okay, how should you brew your tea?

duration: If you try to maximize antioxidant extraction, it will be better for a longer time.

In one study from packed and loose leaf black tea, longer brewing times extracted more antioxidants.

For packaged tea 5 minutes produced the most antioxidants.

For loose leaf tea, 60 minutes produced maximum extraction. In the first 10-15 minutes, however, the vast majority of antioxidants were obtained. Longer brewing times extracted more, but the extraction rate dropped off a cliff. The difference between 15 minutes and 60 minutes is probably not enough to wait one hour for your tea.

water optional: A recent study compared to green and black tea brewed with three different waters: tap water, bottled and deionized. Tap water with a higher content of minerals gave the most delicious tea with the least amount of antioxidants. Bottled and deionized water with a lower mineral content extracted the bitterest compounds resulting in a higher antioxidant content but a harder flavor.

water temperature: I have read and heard many different "rules" for brewing tea. Some say never to boil the water. Others say the opposite. I just know that I've never noticed a big difference – but I'm not an expert. What I know is that both lower and higher water temperatures seem to extract and maintain a good amount of antioxidants:

In the above black study, they used water at 80 ° C or 176 ° F. This is well below the boiling point.

The study compared 30 teas of Green, Black, Oolong, White, and Pu-Erh using water at 98 ° C or 208 ° F. That's almost boiling.

A few ways to enjoy it

Collagen Matcha Latte: Read this post for instructions.

Coffee Matcha: Sometimes I make a batch of press coffee from France and throw a spoonful of matcha powder into the ground. I'll add some hot cream to the brew. This is a great way to get caffeine and L-Theanine together, a synergistic combination shown to improve cognitive performance, Many find that Theanin takes the caffeine rush the jitter.

Creamy turmeric tea: Read this post and add some black tea.

And … I have some new ways to solve the above problems. For those who want to go to the door quickly in the morning, who have tea in hand, the new should look at Primal Kitchen® Matcha Keto Collage Latte and Chai Keto collage latte, I'm excited about her. Let me know what you think.

In summary

Like everything else, tea is not a super substance that prevents you from cancer, diabetes and obesity. But it is a drink that is consistently (and sometimes causally) associated with better overall health, has a long tradition of use and can complement an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle. All teas seem to have some benefits. So drink what you like the most.

What kind of tea do you drink? How do you do it? How do you take it?

Thank you for reading. Watch out!


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