Care for some tea? Things you should know about your drink

  • Anjali Mukerjee, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 20, 2015 10:04 IST

The medical community is all praise for the positive effects of tea on our health. There are various types of teas and each of these have their own specific health benefits.

But all 2,000 varieties come from mainly four major categories - Black, Oolong, Green and White tea. Here's a lowdown.

Black tea: The tea leaves undergo a complete processing that causes the leaves to turn black, and gives it a strondrinkg flavour. The leaves are then crushed to various sizes and sorted.

Green tea: It is usually spread out in the open so that it becomes soft and pliable. The leaves are then left to dry which helps in retaining the brew's fragrance and flavour. The aim in the process is to retain the tea's healthy parts that are rich in minerals and nutrients.

Oolong tea: It has several health benefits, similar to black tea. The degree of fermentation decides its nutritive benefits, though.

White tea: It is usually not fermented, and has health benefits similar to green tea.

Ginger tea: It is made from the ginger root. It is pungent in taste and is used to give warmth to the body and aids digestion.

Herb teas: Herb teas have several varieties. When herbs like mint, tulsi, ginger, jasmine and others are infused into hot water, their medicinal properties show and the effect is laxative, refreshing and sedative in nature.
a) Some herb teas help to relieve colds, congestion, sore throat and stuffy nose.
b) Some herb teas contain ginseng, which helps the body to build physical and mental strength.
c) Herb teas are caffeine free too, and help in getting good sleep.
d) Herbal tea made from jasmine flowers has antioxidants and provides Vitamin C to the body.

Other health benefits:
* Fights free radicals and prevents cell destruction.
* Vitamin C is present in green teas and it is said that two cups of green tea have as much Vitamin C as a glass of orange juice.
* The polyphenols identified in tea are primarily antioxidants, which are also found in fruits and vegetables.
* Reduce cardiovascular diseases.
* Reduces weight by regulating metabolism.

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