For those trying to live a healthier life by eating and drinking better foods and adding exercise and other lifestyle changes, changing to drinking tea is a good step. But how do people choose the healthiest tea? Does tea have caffeine, and does it have health benefits? A person can choose between green and black teas and get many health benefits. But which option is healthier?
Green and Black Tea Have Many things In Common
Green tea, black tea, and even oolong tea are harvested from the same tea plant—the Camellia sinensis. The teas are processed differently once they are picked. Both green and black tea have large amounts of polyphenol antioxidants, more than what is found in fruits and vegetables. They also contain more types of antioxidants that block DNA damage from tobacco and other toxic chemicals.
Both types of tea help protect drinkers from heart disease and cancer. So, the benefits for green tea drinking and black tea drinking are the same. All types of tea are challenging coffee as the most popular drink. Caffeine lovers still get their fix with tea. Both teas help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and help lower blood pressure.
How Are Green and Black Teas Processed?
The difference in green and black teas are how they are processed and the amount of caffeine found in each. Green tea leaves are picked and processed without oxidation and are a lighter colour. The tea leaves are picked and then heated by pan firing or steaming, and then dried to prevent oxidation and flavour changes. Green tea is known for its fresh-picked flavour. It will be green, yellow, or light brown in colour.
Black tea leaves are picked and then allowed ot oxidize before being heat-processed, fermented, and dried. The oxidation process allows oxygen to interact with the tea leaf cells, turning the leaves dark brown or black in colour. It also changes the flavour to malty, fruity, or roasted depending on the processing it undergoes. It tastes more astringent and bitter than green tea. Black tea has more caffeine, which is a stimulant that can boost alertness, short-term recall, reaction times, and mood.
Is Green or Black Tea Better?
People who want to avoid caffeine will do better with green tea. But, in all other respects, both green and black tea has multiple health benefits that make them very comparable. In the end, it comes down to flavour preferences, with many people keeping a collection of both teas for variety and enjoyment. Both types of tea contain tannins that can reduce the absorption of minerals, so they are better to drink between meals rather than with meals.
Both green and black teas contain some powerful antioxidants and have health benefits for the heart and brain. Green tea may contain more powerful antioxidants, but both teas deliver plenty of them to be equally beneficial. People who are changing over to tea from coffee and like the boost they get from caffeine might like black tea better.
Since there are multiple choices of flavours and varieties of both green and black teas, people can benefit from consuming both types of teas. The choice becomes one of taste preference and how much caffeine one wants to consume.