Green tea antioxidant is one of the reasons why green tea (and all types of teas) are good for your health.
Over the years, many studies have been conducted to confirm what Asian people have known for centuries: green tea can help:
- reduce cancer rate
- lose weight
- improve immune system
- lower cholesterol,
- and many more
But is green tea the only type of tea that offers such health benefits?
Green Tea vs Black, Oolong or White Tea
While the bulk of studies on green tea antioxidant and its associated benefits was only conducted using green tea, more and more studies are popping up to prove that black tea, white tea and oolong tea also offer almost identical benefits, whether caffeinated or decaf.
So, is all tea good then?
First, you should know that in order to be tea, it must come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. This plant grows in India, China, Japan, Taiwan, etc. and is responsible for all varieties of white, oolong, green and black tea. However, there are many herbal infusions such as Yerba Mate, chamomile “tea” and Rooibos that don’t originate from this plant and cannot be called “teas”. That is not to say that these other beverages don’t offer any benefits, but they won’t be discussed on this page, which is focused on green tea antioxidant. Learn more about herbal “teas” and infusions here.
Because white tea, green tea and oolong tea are less processed than black tea, they may offer a few more antioxidants, but the overall health benefits would be similar. Therefore, you can choose a variety of tea that pleases your palate and stick to it instead of forcing yourself to drink a flavor that you don’t like, just for the health benefits that are associated with it. Caffeine content also varies, based on the type of tea. Learn more about caffeine in tea here.
Also, loose leaf tea offers about the same health benefits as bagged tea, but the flavor of loose leaf tea is normally much nicer, and will often make it easier for you to build a habit of drinking the recommended 3 to 4 (small) cups of tea daily. Also, avoid making the mistake of over-steeping your tea, which results in a bitter beverage.
Some people also believe that allowing the tea leaves to move around while steeping (possibly through dunking the bag/tea ball or moving the French press strainer up and down) can release more antioxidant compounds than if you left it there without touching it. It’s also a great way to ensure you don’t forget about your tea, and accidentally let it over-steep!
If you want to start drinking green tea but don’t know where to start, I personally recommend Genmai Cha Tea, which has a nice roasted rice flavor or this Green Tea Sampler that will introduce you to 4 different types of green teas.
Try to stay away from bottled tea as it is often made from tea concentrate, and packed with added sugar, preservatives and other additives, which defeat the purpose of drinking tea for improving your health. Same goes with adding sugar, cream and other not-so-healthy additives to your tea. Try to optimize your green-tea antioxidant ratio and minimize the high-calories and/or high-fat additives that aren’t good for your health. However, lemon is a great way to increase black or green tea antioxidant because lemon also contains antioxidants, and is very low in calories.
Green Tea Antioxidant Benefits
As mentioned before, many studies have been conducted about the health benefits associated with drinking green tea or other types of tea. Here are a few:
- American Journal of Epidemiology 1999;149:162-167 – Those who drink one cup of black tea or more may be 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack than non-tea drinkers.
- Cancer Lett. 2001, 167,175-82 – A ten-year Japanese study showed that consuming 3 or more cups of green tea per day can reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer.
- Tufts University June 2003 – Green tea may help burn calories faster.
- Learn More About Green Tea Antioxidant
- Discover the Health Benefits of White Tea
- Discover the Health Benefits of Black Tea
- Learn More about Yerba Mate Tea and Other Herbal Infusions