After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. They come from shrubs native to China, India, and the Middle East called Camellia sinensis or Camellia taliensis. Naturally free of sugar and calories, teas are available in a wide range of delectable flavours. The juice from these leaves is boiled in order to extract it; the juice is then used to produce tea. But nowadays, after being cleansed, teas are powdered and stored in teabags.
Many teas also offer health-promoting effects, and modern science has begun to validate some of their traditional uses. The most common type of teas are herbal teas. The term “true tea” refers to a different variety that is not herbal in origin. A good example is black tea.
Do Teas have colours?
You must have heard names like Green tea or white tea right? Naturally, teas don’t have colours. What gives each type of true tea their distinct colour and flavour is the manufacturing process, which includes:
- The time the leaves are harvested
- How long and in what way they were allowed to wither
- How long the leaves were oxidised or browned
Benefit of Drinking Tea
Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease. While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence that regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness.
Types of Tea
Teas are broadly classified into two based on their natural sources – True Teas and Herbal Teas.
Teas made with herbs, spices, leaves, or other plant material are called herbal teas and are made from the Camellia taliensis plant.
Here are some popular herbal teas and their benefits.
Red tea, commonly known as rooibos, is distinctive in that it is primarily grown in Africa. The leaves are used to make a herbal tea known as rooibos, bush tea, red tea, or redbus.
Rooibos tea enhances good cholesterol while lowers bad cholesterol, improves blood pressure and circulation, keeps hair strong and skin healthy, and relieves allergy symptoms.
This tea is made from dried chamomile flowers and has many benefits:
Prevents common cough and cold.
This tea is prepared by boiling and straining peppermint leaves. Its benefits include speeding up metabolism, helping with digestion, and relieving stomach pain.
It is full of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and keep your heart healthy. It has lots of benefits which include reducing pain naturally, soothes nausea, relieves constipation, etc.
This tea comes from the extracts of the hibiscus flower. It is popularly called Zobo in Nigeria. Here are some of its benefits:
Prevents the flu.
It lowers high blood pressure.
Removes bad cholesterol from the body.
This is one of the popular teas in Nigeria. It is very good for the body because it removes plaque from your blood vessels, keeps the heart-healthy, improves mood, etc.
True teas are obtained from the cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Examples are black, green, white, pu-erh, and oolong teas
Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that’s used to make green tea. However, the leaves are dried and fermented, giving black tea a darker colour and richer flavour.
Unlike many other varieties, black tea is caffeinated, so it’s important to monitor your intake. When you pour yourself a cup of black tea, you benefit from flavonoids that combat inflammation and support healthy immune function. Black tea can be steamed, cooled and then pressed on minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Steamed tea leaves are used to make green tea, which is particularly popular in Nigeria and has been extensively researched. It contains a high amount of epigallocatechin gallate. Cancers of the bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreas, and colon organs may be prevented by the antioxidants in green tea. It is also believed to lower inflammation, assist in weight loss, and guard against heart and brain illness. Additionally, it lowers the risk of stroke, raises cholesterol levels, and lowers the chance of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
White tea comes from the same plant you get green, oolong or black tea from, though uncured and unfermented. The white tea benefits include preventing tooth decay, promoting healthy skin and hair and increased energy and mental alert. Additionally, it has been shown to be protective against the central nervous system, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
Oolong tea is the middle stage in the process of turning green tea into black tea. It is chiefly famous for its ability to lower bad cholesterol level (LDL). It can increase the production of good cholesterol (HDL) that will keep your heart healthy.
This is one of the little known forms of tea that come from the tea plant. Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. This is a very strong and fermented tea and its most important benefit is that it keeps your brain sharp, focussed and healthy. Another benefit of pu-erh tea is that it is very effective in enhancing blood circulation in the body.
Teas to Avoid
While the majority of teas are beneficial for your health, you may want to steer clear of these varieties:
Detox teas made for fad diets that suggest you will quickly lose weight. These teas often come laced with laxatives that can be harmful to your health.
fancy tea lattes and trendy bubble teas, which are high in sugar, calories, and carbs but have little to no nutritional value.
Herbal teas that may potentially trigger allergies. Many herbal teas contain different types of fruits, herbs, spices and flowers that some people are allergic to. If you have allergies, always read the ingredients on the package before you consume a new herbal tea.
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