Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea


Health benefits of oolong tea include reducing chronic bodily conditions such as heart diseases, inflammatory disorders, providing vital antioxidants, reducing high cholesterol levels, promoting superior bone structure, robust skin and good dental health. The oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity flavor and tasty aroma. It is considerably low in caffeine and extremely relaxing to drink.
Health benefits of oolong tea are doubled because of combined qualities of black tea and green tea. According to Tea Association of USA, oolong tea falls between green and black teas, as its leaves are only partially oxidized. There are numerous kinds of tea in this world; oolong tea being one among them. The origin of oolong tea dates back to almost 400 years in the history of China. It is a semi-green fermented tea. But, the fermentation process is halted as soon as the tea leaves start to change their color.

Nutritional Value
 Tea is a nature’s gift that is rich in anti-oxidants. It also contains vital minerals and vitamins such as calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium, and potassium, Vitamin A, B, C, E and K. in addition to folic acids, niacin amide and other detoxifying alkaloids. Developed in semi-fermented processing, the oolong tea is rich in numerous polyphenolic compounds, adding value health benefits of oolong tea.
Benefits -  The various health related benefits of oolong tea are as follows:

Controls Obesity
 The polyphenol compound found in oolong tea is very effective in controlling the fat metabolism of the body. It activates certain enzymes and thus enhances the functions of the fat cells in human body. Daily consumption of oolong tea can reduce obesity.

Removal of Harmful Free Radicals
 The polyphenolic compound is also responsible for removal of free radicals in our body, thus saving us from potential harm that these free moving cells may pose to the human body.

Treatment of Skin Disorders
 According to scientific experiments, patients diagnosed with eczema skin disorder can benefit from drinking 3 cups of oolong tea 3 times in a day. The beneficial results of oolong tea could be seen in less than a week with these patients showing remarkable skin improvement.

Promoting Good Bone Structure
 The antioxidants present in oolong tea protect the tooth against decay, strengthens the bone structure and boosts normal healthy growth of human body.

Treatment of Diabetes
 Oolong tea is used as an herbal brew for treating type 2 diabetic disorders and as an appendage to other supplementary drugs for treating the disease.

Protection against Cancer
 It is well-known fact that tea drinkers have lower risk of acquiring skin cancer. Moreover, oolong tea compound polyphenol promotes apoptosis in stomach related cancerous growth. This polyphenol extract also acts a chemo-preventive instrument against development of other cancerous forms.

Stress Buster In a detailed study conducted at the Osaka Institute for Health Care Science, in Japan, the experimental mice that were ingested with oolong tea showed a remarkable improvement in stress levels by more than 10 to 18 %. The natural polyphenols in the oolong tea is said to be the main stress buster.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Benefits of White Tea


White Tea Antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that protect the body from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are nasty things that go around wreaking havoc on your body, damaging DNA and accelerating aging. Antioxidants scoop them up and neutralize them. White tea is loaded with these protective nutrients.

Cancer Prevention
White tea may have profound power against cancer-causing cells and against many different types of cancer, such as colon, prostate, and stomach cancers. Flavonoids, a class of antioxidants, inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent the development of new ones. In some cases, white tea has been found to work as well as prescription drugs, but without the side effects.

Lower Blood Pressure
Studies show that white tea can thin the blood and improve artery function. It helps lower high blood pressure and maintain a healthy one. By promoting strong and healthy blood vessels, white tea guards against the ravages of stroke.

Lower Cholesterol
Catechins, another group of antioxidants, have been found to reduce cholesterol, and white tea is teeming with them. Cholesterol is a special type of fat and is necessary for health. There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and white tea increases the good while decreasing the bad. This helps prevent hardening of the arteries and blockage of blood flow.

Heart Protection

By thinning the blood, lowering blood pressure, and reducing cholesterol, white tea protects the heart and the entire circulatory system. Researchers have also discovered that people who drink 2 or more cups of tea a day are almost 50% less likely to die after suffering a heart attack. White tea is truly a remarkable heart tonic.

Stronger Bones

Studies have found that people who drank tea regularly had greater bone density and strength than non-drinkers. White tea may also have beneficial effects for sufferers of arthritis and osteoporosis.

Antibacterial & Antiviral

White tea is a natural killer of bacteria and viruses. The antioxidants so abundant in white tea tone the entire immune system, providing protection against a variety of invaders and a wide range of diseases. Its helps guard against the common cold and flu, and can ease the symptoms of HIV.

Healthy Teeth and Gums

White tea contains small amounts of fluoride and other nutrients which keeps the teeth strong and healthy. It also kills the bacteria which causes plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Healthy Skin

Free radicals from staying out in the sun too long, stress, and a poor diet can damage the skin and cause it to prematurely age. By scavenging these free radicals, white tea protects the skin and helps to reverse some of the damage. Drinking white tea promotes healthy and radiant skin.

Other Health Benefits

White tea has many other benefits to offer. It may reduce blood sugar and help prevent and alleviate the symptoms of diabetes. It reduces stress and increases energy.

White tea may or may not aid in weight-loss. Studies suggest tea may increase metabolism and encourage the body to burn more fat, but a balanced diet and regular exercise are more likely to produce results. Still, adding white tea to your weight-loss plan can't hurt.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Health Benefits of Black Tea


Over ninety percent of all tea sold in the West is black tea. All four varieties of tea (black, green, oolong, white) are made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, but black tea generally has more flavor and caffeine than the others. Because black tea keeps its flavor for several years, it has long been an article of trade and bricks of black tea even served as a form of currency in parts of Asia into the 19th century.
Today, India, China, and Sri Lanka are the world's largest producers of black tea. In the production of black tea, the leaves are first spread out on racks and blown with air to remove about a third of their moisture and make them pliable. Then they are rolled around to break their cell walls and release the sugars necessary for fermentation. To promote fermentation they are kept in a highly humid environment, which turns the leaves dark and develops black tea's strong flavor. Finally, the leaves are dried and shipped off to all corners of the globe. The health benefits of black tea focus on the same areas as the green, oolong, and white variety. Since they all come from the same plant, it's only natural they would have similar benefits.

Cardiovascular Health
 Black tea is abundant in antioxidants, such as flavonoids, demonstrated to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, preventing damage in both the bloodstream and at artery walls, and lowering the risk of heart disease. Additionally, it has been shown that black tea flavonoids are able to both improve coronary vasodilation and reduce clots. Polypehnols found in black tea are also very strong antioxidants, and the manganese in black tea may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by helping cardiac muscle function.

Cancer Prevention
 Polyphenols in tea seem to help in preventing formation of potential carcinogens in the body, particularly in certain types of cancer, such as ovarian, lung, prostate, colorectal, and bladder. Other studies reveal that black tea may help prevent stomach, prostate, and breast cancer. A compound in black tea called TF-2 causes such cancer cells to go into apoptosis (programmed cell death) while normal cells remain unaffected. One study on oral cancer showed that consuming black tea can significantly reduce the risk of oral cancer, particularly in those who smoke cigarettes and use other tobacco products.

Skin and Hair Health
 The antioxidants in green tea may help keep your skin from being plagued by acne, and in some cases have been demonstrated to function equally as well as the harsher benzoyl peroxide used in so many skin products.

Bone and Connective Tissue
 Studies indicate that the bones of regular tea drinkers are stronger than those of non-tea drinkers, even when other variables were adjusted for. Scientists theorize it may be an effect of the powerful tea's phytochemicals.

Digestive Tract Health
 The tannins in tea have a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illnesses and make it a great digestive aid, used in China as such for thousands of years. These tannins decrease intestinal activity and exercise an antidiarrheal effect. The polyphenols in green tea have been demonstrated to have an effect on intestinal inflammation suffered by people afflicted with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Brain and Nervous System
 Unlike high levels of caffeine found in coffee, the low amounts in black tea promote blood flow in the brain without over stimulating the heart. The caffeine in black tea hones mental focus and concentration and studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can help you relax and concentrate more fully on tasks. Black tea has been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol after a month of drinking four cups of tea daily. The caffeine in black tea might also give your memory the boost it needs for a few hours and some studies suggest that a regular tea habit may help protect against Parkinson's disease.

Increased Energy
 In moderation caffeine can be a benefit - in black tea it stimulates the metabolism, increases brain function and aids alertness. The caffeine in tea acts as more of a subtle stimulant, taking more than a few minutes to take effect, rather than hitting your system as quickly as coffee or cola. This effect is assisted by another compound found only in tea, theophylline. While caffeine chiefly targets the brain and muscles, theophylline stimulates the respiratory system, heart and kidneys. This helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

Oral Health
 Research suggests that catechin antioxidants in black tea may reduce oral cancers. Tea's polyphenols and tannin perform as antibiotics, preventing bacteria that cause tooth decay, and the polyphenols in tea can help to keep in check the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Immune System
 Tea is full of substances called "tannins," which studies have shown have the ability to fight viruses such as influenza, dysentery and hepatitis. One such tannin named "catechin" helps suppress tumors. Black tea also contains alkylamine antigens, which help boost immune response.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Benefits of Green Tea


For the past several years, the health benefits of green tea has been placed all over the news, talk shows and magazines, but what are the benefits, you ask?  Here is a great article from WebMD with the information.
Green Tea's Powerful Antioxidants
Green tea's antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. Grapes and berries, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants.
Because of green tea's minimal processing -- its leaves are withered and steamed, not fermented like black and oolong teas -- green tea's unique catechins, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are more concentrated.

But there's still a question of how much green tea you need to drink to reap its health benefits. EGCG is not readily "available" to the body; in other words, EGCG is not always fully used by the body.
"We must overcome the issue of poor bioavailability [and other issues] in order to get the most out of their benefits," says Tak-Hang Chan, PhD, professor emeritus in the department of chemistry at McGill University in Montreal. Chan has studied the use of a synthetic form of EGCG in shrinking prostate cancer tumors in mice, with success.

Green Tea vs. Cancer
Marji McCullough, ScD, RD, the American Cancer Society's strategic director of nutritional epidemiology, says human studies haven't yet proven what researchers like Chan have discovered in the lab: green tea's EGCG regulates and inhibits cancer growth and kills cells that are growing inappropriately.

"Epidemiologically, one of the challenges is finding populations that drink enough green tea and have for a long time," she says. "With cancer, it's always difficult to find the exposure time," or the point at which cancer cells begin to develop.
Still, it's difficult not to be intrigued by a few human studies that have shown that drinking at least two cups of green tea daily inhibits cancer growth.
One of them, a study conducted in Japan that involved nearly 500 Japanese women with Stage I and Stage II breast cancer, found that increased green tea consumption before and after surgery was associated with lower recurrence of the cancers.

Studies in China have shown that the more green tea that participants drank, the less the risk of developing stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Finally, a recent analysis of 22 studies that probed the correlation between high tea consumption and reduced risk for lung cancer concluded that by increasing your daily intake of green (not black) tea by two cups may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by 18%.

Is Green Tea Good for Your Heart?
It seems to be, but there are conflicting results of a few epidemiological studies conducted in the East and West.

In a study that involved 500 Japanese men and women, researchers found that drinking at least four cups of green tea every day may be related to the reduced severity of coronary heart disease among the male participants.
A Dutch study of more than 3,000 men and women found that the more tea consumed, the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels, especially in women.

As Goldberg suggests, lifestyle and overall diet are critical to the outcomes of these studies.
But green tea's antioxidants are dilators, she says, because they improve the flexibility of blood vessels and make them less vulnerable to clogging -- and antioxidant-rich blueberries and pomegranates do the same.

"I think people should know these are important studies, that everyday foods that are an option may actually have health benefits," Goldberg says. "I think green tea, because of its antioxidant value, may have heart benefits, but it's not something we regularly prescribe to people, because there isn't as much evidence as there is in exercise's ability to improve heart health."
Green Tea and Weight
Green tea and its extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL "bad" cholesterol -- two risk factors for heart disease and diabetes -- but in very limited studies. One study in the Netherlands and a study in Japan showed that green tea did both.

In the Dutch study, participants who drank caffeinated green tea lost more weight, but even those who typically drank the decaf variety saw a decrease in their waistlines and body weight. Researchers speculated that the caffeine helps with fat oxidation.
In the Japanese study, 240 men and women were given varying amounts of green tea extract for three months. Those who got the highest amount lost fat and weight and had lower blood pressure and lower LDL "bad" cholesterol.

Green Tea Straight Up
Taking weight loss supplements that contain green tea extract probably won't hurt, unless you have liver problems.

But the best way to get the most out of green tea -- even if your main goal is losing weight -- is to drink it.
"Taken altogether, the evidence certainly suggests that incorporating at least a few cups of green tea every day will positively affect your health," says Diane McKay, PhD, a Tufts University scientist who studies antioxidants. "It's not going to cure anything and it shouldn't be consumed as a drug, but it can complement the rest of the diet."

McCullough bears the same reminder: eat your fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts -- and go ahead, drink as much green tea as you want.
"I don't think it can hurt to drink it. I'd focus on dietary sources rather than supplements because there are several compounds in green tea that might need to be consumed together. We just don't know yet," she says.