What is the difference between green and black tea?
About 80% of tea consumed in the US is black tea and about 19.5% is green tea. The health benefits that are associated with drinking tea seem to come from both black and green intake – with little difference seen between the two! Both decaf and regular tea contain these flavonoids so you can choose whatever suits your lifestyle and taste preference. 1
Both green and black tea come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). The leaves of this plant are grown the same way but treated differently after harvesting them. Black tea is oxidized (allowed to undergo chemical reactions caused by exposure to oxygen) and green tea is not. Oxidation results in color and flavor changes.
Green tea leaves aren’t fermented and hence, don’t go through the oxidation process that black tea undergoes, making it extremely rich in the EGCG (epigallactocatechin gallate), a popular antioxidant known for fighting cancer, cardiovascular conditions and more. -Green tea contains 1/4th of the caffeine that coffee has, making it healthier. -Since oxidation is arrested, it is believed that more polyphenols are preserved. -It supports weight loss programmes that include diet and exercise. -Green tea leaves is good for afternoon breaks and meditation in the evening. -It is less acidic and so, washes off acidic waste. -Pure organic green tea creates a detoxifying effect, giving you glowing skin, boosted metabolism and stronger immunity.
The EGCG in black tea is destroyed during the fermentation process. Hence, green tea is ahead of black tea in its antioxidant quality and quantity. -Black tea contains 1/3rd the amount of caffeine your coffee contains. -It hydrates the body and strengthens the immune system with bacteria-fighting antioxidants and promotes blood flow to the brain. -It improves focus and concentration. -It’s a morning ‘eye-opener’. -Black tea and coffee are more acidic. Mild black tea needs lemon to kill acidity. 2
The bulk of research shows that regular tea drinkers, people who drink two cups or more a day, have less heart disease and stroke, lower total and LDL (often called “bad”) cholesterol, and that they recover from heart attacks faster.
Some laboratory tests also show that black and green tea may help boost metabolism to aid weight loss, block allergic response, slow the growth of tumors, protect bones, fight bad breath, improve skin, protect against Parkinson’s disease, and even delay the onset of diabetes.
In a study involving bladder cancer cells, green tea extract seemed to make the cancer cells behave oddly. They matured sooner, bound together tightly, and had a hard time multiplying. Another study found that men who drank oolong tea plus green tea extract lost more weight and total body fat, compared with men who drank plain oolong tea. Also, the green tea drinkers had lower LDL cholesterol.
Other small studies have found that the antioxidants from drinking tea can help prevent skin cancer. There’s also evidence that tea extracts applied to the skin (in a lotion) can block sun damage that leads to skin cancer.
All this research seems to suggest that if you want to do something good for yourself, drink tea. “It has no calories and lots of polyphenols. If you’re drinking tea, you’re not drinking soda — that’s a real benefit. Water doesn’t give you those polyphenols,” says Blumberg. 3
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