Who doesn’t love a steaming cup of tea first thing in the morning? Be it to energise, rejuvenate or power you up for the morning chores, tea can be an important start to your day. But at a time when there are so many different types of teas to choose from and one is bombarded with suggestions of why one should have one over the other – be it black, green or white teas, depending on how they’ve been processed – it’s important to understand the health benefits and repercussions of each so that one can make an informed lifestyle choice.
To help shed the confusion on which tea should you start – or even end – your day with, we got in touch with the experts to try and understand the difference in health benefits among the three most common types of teas — White, Green and Black.
”White tea is considered to be the healthiest among all three varieties,” says Dr Sakshi Chopra, bariatric nutritionist, Jaypee Hospital. It is a minimally processed tea and is not oxidised. Thus, it retains its natural antioxidants, making it a very healthy brew. A white tea blend is likely to have sweet undertones and adding honey can overpower the taste of the tea, said Anamika Singh, a well-known tea sommelier, at the Power Up and Power Down session held at Hotel Crowne Plaza, Mayur Vihar. However, when drunk by itself, the visual and fragrant effects of the tea can be calming. But here are some other uses.
* While tea can serve as one of the best ways to kickstart a hectic schedule, with its unique and beneficial properties it is also considered one of the best stress busters to unwind and power-down at the end of an exhausting day, according to Singh.
* Free radicals present in the body could cause organ damage, but the antioxidants present in white tea help neutralise the effect of these free radicals.
* It also has anti-ageing properties, again due to the high levels of antioxidants present.
* Sipping white tea can give relief from cold and flu.
* White tea can also control the formation of fat cells, called adipocytes.
Green tea bags are a common sight these days, but according to Singh, the bags do not have a good quality of tea leaves and should not be used. Green tea is a minimally processed tea, which is lightly oxidised. This comes at the cost of a reduction in antioxidants but more of caffeine content. Dr Apoorva Saini of Santoshiarogyam Diet E Clinic advises drinking green tea between meals rather than a normal cuppa as it reduces the chances of acidity. There are other benefits and disadvantages associated with the brew:
* It helps to burn fat and boosts metabolism due to the presence of caffeine, thereby helping you reduce weight.
* It is moderately rich in antioxidants, which can have a protective effect from cancer.
* Catechins present in the tea kill oral bacteria, helping you maintain dental health.
* Green tea is rich in caffeine, which is an active stimulant. It can keep you awake for long and have a calming effect on the nerves.
* Certain amino acids are also present in this brew, which facilitate brain function.
Just like wine, tea can also be aged, according to Anamika Singh. Black tea is fully fermented and that is how it gets its dark hue. Owing to this, it has more amount of caffeine and tannins and a robust flavour. A warm cup of this brew can surely revitalise and energise your lazy mornings. There are other benefits of the tea as well:
* It is extremely rich in caffeine and can help lower the inflammation of the airway, giving relief to asthma patients.
* It can help sharpen attention and improve cognitive skills as the L-theanine present in the brew helps modulate brain function.
* The soothing effect of black tea is a mood booster and enhances the feeling of happiness as it reduces LDL Cholesterol and blood pressure.
Depending on your bodies needs, choose the tea that would benefit you the most. Many say one-two cups a day, without milk or sugar, can really help detoxify the body and mind.