Is Tea Good for You?
Tea is pleasing to the taste buds and is a great way to warm up when served piping hot or to cool off when served over ice. Medical science has also discovered that tea may offer health benefits, adding to its appeal. A cup of tea treats your body to antioxidants, substances that can help to reduce the harmful effects of particles called free radicals that are associated with aging and cellular damage. While questions remain as to how much tea you need to drink to get the most health benefits, many experts typically recommend enjoying two to four cups per day. You can talk to your doctor about how much tea is ideal for you based upon your specific health and wellness needs.
What Types of Tea Are There?
There are five main types of tea available for your sipping pleasure: green, black, oolong, jasmine and herbal. Which type is right for you will depend upon your personal taste preferences and on your nutritional needs.
• Green tea is made from leaves that are steamed prior to drying, making the tea very high in antioxidants and lower in caffeine than other types.
• Black tea is the most common variety. It has a very strong taste and is put through a long fermentation process prior to drying. Compared to other types of tea, black tea has the highest caffeine content. The variety is also lower in antioxidants than other types.
• Oolong tea is fermented for a short period of time before drying. Its antioxidant and caffeine content fall between that of green and black teas.
• Jasmine tea is a black or green tea that is scented with dried flowers from the jasmine plant. It has a distinctive, floral taste that many people enjoy.
• Herbal teas generally do not contain tea leaves. Instead, they are made from dried herbs. Most are naturally caffeine-free, and their health benefits vary widely, depending on what types of herbs they contain.
How to Choose the Perfect Tea to Enjoy
As you shop for the right tea to suit your tastes, you'll need to decide whether you prefer a product that comes as loose leaves or in tea bags. Loose leaf tea is typically prepared with an infuser or in a special teapot that has an infuser inside of it. Some people feel that loose leaf tea is more flavorful than tea made with teabags. Still, teabags are very popular because they make preparing a cup quick and easy. If you love the taste of tea but want to decrease your intake of caffeine, you can find decaffeinated green, black and oolong teas to suit your needs. back to top »