There is plenty of evidence to suggest that drinking tea can be a healthy experience. Tea contains ingredients which may be beneficial in the fight against heart disease, cancer, and various stress-related illnesses. In the Western World, green tea has gotten a great deal of attention in recent years. However, black tea remains a popular beverage worldwide. If you are not familiar with black tea, you may be wondering how it differs from other brews.
An Intriguing Flavor
To begin with, black tea has a heartier flavor than other forms of tea, particularly green tea. As a result, an individual who is interested in an intriguing taste sensation may be drawn to black tea. The black tea produced in China comes in varieties that are both sweet and spicy. They may also contain a chocolaty flavor or even one reminiscent of orchids.
Differences in Preparation
Interestingly enough, black, green, and oolong teas are derived from the same plant. However, they differ significantly in the way they’re prepared. Oolong teas are partly fermented, while black teas are fully fermented. Meanwhile, herbal teas come from the flowers, leaves, bark, and seeds of other plants. All teas may have therapeutic benefits–but which is the healthiest for you?
Is it as Healthy for You as Green Tea?
With all the publicity surrounding the health benefits of green tea, you may be wondering whether black tea can have similar therapeutic effects. The short answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
It is true that green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a dynamic anti-oxidant. When tea is fermented to make black tea, EGCG is changed into other compounds. As a result, initially, scientists believed that black tea was not as rich in health benefits as green tea.
But recent studies have changed that view. The primary compounds in black tea–theaflavin and thearubigens–are not there just to make black tea appear dark, rich, and flavorful. They can also be a powerful antidote to what ails you.
Taking a Closer Look
Let’s examine the health benefits of black tea in greater depth. To begin with, an extensive study conducted by the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and the Environment discovered a connection between black tea consumption and reducing the risk of stroke. A study of more than 550 men over a 15-year time period found that black tea flavonoids cut the production of LDL, or bad cholesterol. This cholesterol can play a role in the development of strokes and heart attacks. In fact, male subjects who consumed more than four cups of black tea each day had a lower risk of stroke than males who drank no more than three cups daily.
Similarly, a study at Boston’s School of Medicine found that consuming black tea can reverse the abnormal functioning of the blood vessels that lead to stroke or heart attack. This improvement was apparent within just two hours of drinking a single cup of black tea.
In addition, a research study of more than 3,000 adults in Saudi Arabia indicated that drinking black tea can cut the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 50 percent. Black tea tends to be preferred over green tea in the Arab nation.
Any of the teas that have been derived from the camellia plant contain a healthy dose of polyphenols, which are a form of antioxidant. Both green tea and black tea have as many as ten times the amount of polyphenols that are contained in fruits and vegetables.
If you examine the people of the nations of Japan and China, you’ll quickly find that tea drinkers tend to be healthier than non-tea drinkers. Researchers note that Japanese and Chinese tea drinkers have less of an incidence of heart disease. In addition, they don’t have the kind of cancers that many Westerners have to combat on a daily basis.
Still, it is critical to note that additional research needs to be done in order to fully explore the benefits of black tea consumption. As Jane Higden of the Linus Pauling Institute stated in published reports, “Although numerous observational studies have examined the relationships between tea consumption and the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, there is no conclusive evidence that high intakes of tea are protective in humans.”
Summing it Up
It is true that not all teas are created equal. But whether you choose black tea or green tea as your beverage of choice depends on your personal preferences. If you like a full-bodied tea that tends toward the exotic, you may want to add black tea to your weekly shopping list. Thankfully, research indicates that black tea may be just as appropriate for the health-conscious as green tea is. As a result, you can indulge in black tea, knowing that it may be just as effective in battling illness as green tea is.