Monday, 6 August 2012

What a wonderful life, what a wonderful drink!

We have all heard about the benefits of drinking tea but there are so many different types it can be hard to work out which tea is best for you. I thought I'd look into it a little more to make it more simple. I did some tea-search! Haha, such a dad joke! 

The main benefits of teas include reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, slowing down the ageing process and assisting in weight loss. The more I looked into this wonder drink for this blog post the more I discovered how good for us it actually is. So as well as tasting great, keeping us warm and hydrated tea also contains lots of antioxidants which helps our cells regenerate and repair and can also help to prevent cancer and help our immune system. It can help beat bacteria, aid in digestion, prevent diabetes and even fight cavities and reduce plaque in your teeth. To sit down and have a cup of tea always makes us feel relaxed and studies have shown that this is not just because we are taking some time out but by drinking tea it actually lowers the amount of cortisol in our body, which is a stress hormone. Bring on the Tea!
There are a few main different types of teas. Black, White, Green and Oolong all come from the same plant, the Camellia Sinesis plant but are dried and brewed differently. Herbal Infusions tea are  made from the leaves, roots, stems, bark and flowers of different herbs and plants that have shown to be beneficial for our bodies. Here is a quick summary of what makes them different and why they are good for you. I have also added a bit of information about some of my favourite teas and what health benefits they provide.
Black tea is the made from fermented tea leaves and has the highest caffeine content. Studies have shown that it may help protect lungs from damage caused by cigarette smoke as its very high in antioxidants which help fight free radicals. It may also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke because it prevents our blood from clumping and forming clots. Black tea can also neutralise germs, including some that cause diarrhoea, pneumonia, cystitis and skin infections. 
Green Tea is made with steamed tea leaves and has been shown to have the most benefits of all the teas for assisting with weight loss. The compounds in green tea help to accelerate calorie burning and also helps with digestion. It is also very high in antioxidants which interferes in the growth of some cancer cells and also can reduce the risk of neurological disorders and stroke. It can also be good for your skin, it can help with acne and is used in many skincare products for this reason.
White Tea is uncured and unfermented and studies have shown that it has the most potent anticancer properties, even more so than green tea because it is less processed. White Tea can lower blood pressure and improve the function of the arteries and it also helps in protecting the skin from damage and can even reverse some of the damage wrought by free radicals.
Oolong Tea is the darkest and most oxidised of the teas and it assists in anti ageing, studies have shown that those who drink oolong tea show fewer signs of ageing than those who don't. Test have shown that oolong tea also lowers the levels of bad cholesterol. It can promote longevity by stimulating bodily functions and strengthening the immune system
Herbal teas have many different benefits and there is hundreds of different types! Most of the plants that are chosen for these teas are known for their healing or calming properties and benefits, fragrance and taste, Here are the benefits of some of the more common herbal teas.
-Chamomile is a herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family. It has anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. It can help with insomnia and other sleep disorders, help soothe stomach cramps and also help with anxiety and panic attacks. 
-Rosehip Tea is high in vitamin C as well as antioxidants and will enhance the immune system and protect from free radical damage. 
-Jasmine Tea has a main green tea component so has very similar health benefits but with the infusion of Jasmine. 
-Ginger Tea is known to be good for helping with headaches, heart burn, inflammation and also nausea. It can help with a sore throat and it very popular for women with morning sickness during pregnancy.
-Peppermint Tea is very refreshing and is good to drink after a meal as it helps aid in digestion and to freshen your mouth. 
-Chai Tea is made from a base of green, black or oolong tea with spices and herbs added for flavour and benefit such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Depending on the other ingredients used Chai tea can fight bacterial infection, ease sore throats, help the digestive system and help with body aches. 

If you want some more information, here are the websites I used to help find out the different things about tea!