Health Benefits of Green Tea, White and Black
Did you know that green tea is actually the same plant as black tea and white tea? They are each just different stages of growth on the same plant. White tea is a fabled beverage of the “great masters” of ancient China, black tea of modern European cultures, and green a favorite of modern health enthusiasts.
If we drink repeated doses of a beverage daily besides pure water, tea is a great one. Save coffee as a treat, and even then maybe organic decaf – and utilize the incredible health benefits of tea as your daily beverage. Acidity in coffee can help digest foods in a high animal product diet, but as we choose more simple nutrition we reduce the need for such high acid beverages.
Much research has been done on green tea, showing it stimulates the immune system to fight disease; with similar qualities found in both black and white tea. Many flavors and styles of tea, some with added spices and flower essences such as black tea with chai spices, and white tea with fruit or flowers, tempt the palate. As you adventure into the wonderful world of tea, you are bound to discover favorites.
Many qualities are synergistic, and we may never know every detail of why tea is so beneficial; yet the leaves are loaded with flavanoids and polyphenols that work as antioxidants.
Green Tea Inhibits Cancer
Green tea has high concentrations of EGCG, which inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase. This may sound like a Greek to us, but EGCG targets this enzyme in tumor cells and stops new growth and DNA development. Scientists consider modeling anti-cancer drugs after it, but why take the drug when you can take the real thing?
Inhibits Bacterial Viruses
Studies conducted at Pace University in 2004 indicated that white tea inactivates bacterial viruses, such as Staph, Strep, pneumonia and dental carries.
Bone and joint health
Research indicates green tea could be beneficial in reducing inflammation related to arthritis and slowing cartilage breakdown. Some early data indicate that regular tea consumption might improve bone mineral density.
Older adults in Japan who drank green tea daily showed less memory loss, than those who didn’t drink tea regularly. While there’s still much to learn about tea’s health benefits, they still seem to be in the cup rather than an extract or capsule. Those qualities fortifying memory may also be those that appear to strengthen the cardiovascular system.
Caution in Pregnancy
Women who drink large amounts of green tea around conception and early in pregnancy may have increased risk of having a child with spina bifida or other neural tube disorders. It can also inhibit folic acid uptake, so as with everything in life, moderation and balance are key.
Tea: A Daily Beverage
At our house we often drink a quart of green, black or white tea in the morning; great way to start the tea habit (and be ready to flush out the toxins).
Remember if you add anything such as milk substitute or sweetener, have the beverage with a meal, in order to keep your fat burning levels up. Best between meals to have your tea – that’s it – black, green or white – just plain!