Want to look like you are 25 even when you are 40 years old? Drink tea! Find out how it works, and the best type of tea leaves to use.
Looking young is something everyone desires, regardless if you are 25 years old or 45 years old. There is a plethora of anti-ageing facial creams and treatments going for $100 and up. What if your budget is more modest; what can you do to look young for less than $50 a month?
The answer—drink tea!
Originating from China 5,000 years ago, tea has since established a dominant global presence in the culinary and medicinal field. All tea variations come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, which is native to Asia. The key that creates the differences in caffeine levels, nutrition and flavour lies in the oxidization of the leaves—to obtain the potent black tea, tea leaves are completely wilted and oxidised; this is contrary to the lighter teas, such as white tea, which is wilted, mostly dried and barely oxidised.
With so many variations to choose from, it may be hard to find one that appeals to your taste buds. So how about picking one based on their health benefits? Green, red, white, yellow and black teas—we have heard about them all, but what sets them apart from each other?
Green tea has a rich history—its origins in China date back to more than 4,000 years ago, and it was used in traditional Chinese medicine for various purposes such as aiding digestion and regulating body temperature.
Many tea connoisseurs label green tea as the most natural among the lot, as unlike the other varieties green tea does not undergo wilting or oxidation. It is dried in various ways such as sun drying, basket or charcoal firing, pan firing, oven drying, tumbling or steaming.
As a result of growing methods, green tea retains maximum amounts of polyphenols and antioxidants. One of the antioxidants that it is packed with is catechin, which primarily assists in detoxing the body of free radicals that cause cell damage, which leads to ageing. So drinking green tea may keep you looking like 25 years old for a long time!
Fun fact: yellow tea is considered rare, expensive, and is mostly referred to the teas served in the Chinese Imperial court. So drinking this automatically makes you royalty!
Jokes aside, leaves for yellow tea are harvested earlier than for green tea. The leaves are processed similarly to green tea, with an added step of steaming the leaves under a damp cloth, thus turning the leaves yellow. This gives yellow tea a flavour that is mellower than green tea.
While there is no concrete scientific evidence on the health benefits of yellow tea, a 2007 scientific study indicates that ‘yellow tea is more potent than other types of tea in suppressing liver toxicity’.
If there is a tea that has controversy surrounding it, it is white tea. Of all the tea varieties, it is the only one without a general consensus its definition: one explanation is that it is minimally processed tea that is only dried and no other procedures; another explanation is that it is made from steamed and dried young leaves and buds.
As a result, white tea retains larger amounts of polyphenols, more than that present in green tea. Additionally, white tea has less caffeine than green tea. If you ever get tired of drinking green tea but still desire its health benefits, white tea is a good replacement.
Since it is the only tea where leaves are fully wilted, oxidised and dried, black tea has the strongest taste and the highest amount of caffeine among all the teas. Referred to as red tea in Chinese, black tea also has the highest acidity level among all the teas so daily consumption should be regulated.
If you are looking for a tea that helps with alertness and energy, black tea is the one to drink. While there is insufficient research done, it is suggested that drinking black tea regularly may lower the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and the risk of heart attack.
Filled with natural antioxidants that offer several health benefits, tea is an ancient drink that will stay in style for a long time to come. When buying tea, especially white or green tea, choose organic tea since the plant readily absorbs fluoride from pesticides. It is also best to avoid boiling tea leaves, as there is a high chance of burning any antioxidants and flavonoids, all of which contribute to better health and wellness. Instead, tea leaves should be steeped in water that is heated to between 70-80 degrees Celsius.