Differences Between Black, Green, White, & Red Tea: Health Benefits

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 14:32

Finding a tea you like can be a challenge with so many options out there. It is even more difficult when you are looking for a tea that will provide a certain type of benefit. For example, chamomile tea promotes sleep, green tea supports your metabolism, and so on. Because there is so much to keep track of when it comes to the difference between types of tea, we took a look at the fundamental differences in the process of making each one. We're expanding that research to create a definitive guide that explains the difference between black, green, white, and red teas and the benefits each can offer.

As we mentioned in our initial analysis of different types of tea, other than red tea, they are all made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. This means that whether you prefer black tea or red tea, there will be an overlap in the health benefits. The different processes that make each type of tea is where you will find the unique health benefits each of the different teas can provide.

Black Tea

Black tea is recognized for its strong, sweet flavor profile. As one of the most widely consumed types of tea in the West, the health benefits of black tea are well known. Black tea contains a flavanoid called polyphenol, which is thought to aid in disease prevention. The average cup of black tea has an average of 200mg of these flavonoids, making up a third of the recommended 600mg. Other flavonoids, thearubigin and theaflavin, which are recognized as powerful antioxidants, are particularly concentrated in black tea, as well as green tea.

Specifically, these highly concentrated flavonoids have proven to decrease cardiovascular risk factors, such as high triglyceride levels and a high ration of LDL to HDL cholesterol, when consumed on a regular basis. Additionally, some studies have shown that black tea helps to reduces clogged arteries, in women particularly.

Black tea contains a natural compound called tannins that have shown to decrease inflammation in the intestinal lining. This can help decrease the symptoms of an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Finally, black tea usually contains the highest quantities of caffeine, which can reduce fatigue, increase mental alertness and alleviate headaches.

Green Tea

Green tea gained popularity because of its impressive health benefits. Much like black tea, green tea is rich in polyphenol. In addition, green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which is an antioxidant linked to disease prevention. Green tea also contains catechin compounds, which have protective effects on neurons, potentially helping to prevent specific neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

It also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety effects. Not only that, but L-theanine works simultaneously with caffeine, which very effectively improves brain function. The two working in tandem provides a more stable energy, which allows for increased productivity over a longer span of time.

In a variety of studies, the antioxidants in green tea are linked to cancer prevention, including a lowered risk of developing breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer.

White Tea

White tea is less processed than other types of tea, so it retains a larger amount of antioxidants. Similar to green and black tea, white tea is linked to disease prevention. White tea is most similar to green tea, however, white tea contains less caffeine.

White tea is also linked to improved reproductive health and fertility, especially in men. A 2016 study showed that white tea extract could be used to improve sperm quality by increasing mobility.

White tea also contains high levels of flouride, which improves oral health and helps to prevent cavities. It is estimated that about 34 percent of the flouride in each cup of tea is retatined.

Red Tea

Red tea, also called rooibos tea which comes from the Aspalathus linearis plant, is completely devoid of caffeine, unlike the other types of tea. Because of this, red tea is commonly recommended for patients suffering from insomnia. Eliminating caffeine can improve stress levels and lowering blood pressure. This decreased blood pressure coupled with the antioxidant quercetin, can also help with preventing other cardiovascular diseases and respiratory conditions.

Red tea is also rich in calcium and manganese which can improve bone strength. This reduces the chances of developing bone conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic joint pain. It also contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc, which is beneficial for the skin, reducing acne, wrinkles, and relieving sunburns.

While not necessarily a health benefit, another unique feature of red tea is its lack of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is a crystal-forming substance, which can attach to kidney stones. Red tea is safe for those with kidney problems to drink.

Finally, red tea is rich in antispasmodic agents, which can help ease abdominal pain through the activation of potassium ions without antagonizing the activities of calcium.

This guide to the health benefits of different types of tea, combined with our guide on the processes of making each kind of tea, will help you choose the right tea for you. Make it even easier by having all of the different tea options in your office with redcup. Contact us today to incorporate different types of tea into your office beverage service.