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Benefits of Green Tea, Matcha, Black Tea and White Tea

Updated on June 11, 2009

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Note: Only the effects of tea that is made from the plant Camellia sinensis (namely black tea, oolong tea, green tea and white tea) are discussed here . 

What is Matcha ? 

Matcha is powdered green tea and is the highest quality of green tea. Matcha can be consumed by dissolving it in hot water, or blending it with cold milk or soy to make a refreshing drink for a hot day. 

The difference between matcha and loose green tea is that matcha has higher concentrations of catechins and vitamins as the whole tea leaf is consumed since the tea leaves are stone ground completely to produce matcha. 

There are two types of matcha : thick tea and thin tea. Thick tea is of a higher quality than thin tea.   Thick tea is made up of the young tea leaves of older tea plants ; thin tea contains the young tea leaves of the younger tea plants.   

Preserving the Freshness of Matcha 

Always store your matcha in the freezer in an air-tight container or plastic bag.  To make matcha for consumption, let the matcha reach room temperature, pour hot water and then strain the matcha through a fine sieve. 

Health Benefits of Green Tea or Matcha 

 

Anti- Cancer Properties 


Many studies suggest that green tea protects against a variety of cancers such as lung, prostate and breast cancer. Results of a 1994 epidemiological study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute revealed that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. 

Researchers attribute this anti-cancer property of green tea to the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). The Hirofumi Tachibana's team at Kyushu University in Japan showed that the growth of human lung cancer cells with a cell receptor called 67 LR is was inhibited significantly after drinking just two or three cups of green tea, which contains EGCG.  

Another study by the U.S. National Cancer Institute of laboratory animals found that

the catechins found in green tea prevented oxidants from causing cell damage, and inhibited the growth of tumor and cancer cells.  

Anti-Ageing Properties 


Green tea is rich with antioxidants, which help to reduce free radicals in your body. Free radicals are harmful by-products of your body metabolism thatcause damage to human cells and contribute to the ageing process in humans.  

Weight Control 


According to research conducted by the University of Geneva and the University of Birmingham, green tea increases the body’s metabolic rates and fat oxidation. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

The catechin polyphenols  in green tea increase thermogenesis, which is the rate at which calories are burnt. This finding may have contributed to belief that green tea aid weight loss. 

Heart Health 


Catechin polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant found in green tea, deter cancerous growth and  protect your heart against diseases.  These antioxidants in green tea lower LDL cholesterol and regulate your blood pressure. In addition, catechins inhibit the abnormal formation of blood clots. Thrombosis, which is the formation of abnormal blood clots is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke. 

Increases Mental Alertness 


Based on the results of human trials in 2007, theanine in the leaves of green tea reduces tension and stress by causing your brain to generate more alpha brain waves. This also has the effect of improving your mental concentration. 

Health Ailments 


Thus, here are a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea may be beneficial : 

    * cancer

    * high cholesterol levels

    * heart disease

    * infection

    * rheumatoid arthritis

    * stress 
 

Black Tea 

Black tea is a more oxidized version of tea than the oolong, green, and white teas. Like the other teas, black tea is made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea tends to be stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the other teas. 

Pure black tea contains negligible amounts of calories, protein, sodium, and fat.  

Health Benefits of Black Tea 


The association between tea consumption and reduced cardiovascular disease was confirmed in a 2001 Boston University study of black tea consumption over a period of time. Black tea from the camellia tea plant is rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant which reduces damage to the human cell, thus protecting your heart and guards against cancer development.  It should be noted that any milk in tea prevents vascular protective effects of tea, according to a 2006  German study. 
 

White Tea 

White tea is  made from uncured and unoxidized tea leaves. White tea tends to have lower caffeine content as buds and younger tea leaves are used to brew the tea. 

White Tea versus Green Tea 

White tea was found to have more anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities than green tea, according to a study at Pace University in 2004. 

White tea also contains higher levels of catechin levels than green tea, due to its use of young and unfermented tea leaves.  The amino acid, theanine, which relieves tension and increases mental alertness, are also present in higher levels of white tea as it is made from bus and young leaves.

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    • Kara Skinner profile image

      Kara Skinner 11 months ago from Maine

      This is a great article. I had no idea white tea had more catechins than green tea. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Kris 15 months ago

      So is white tea superior to Matcha as well (not just green tea)?

    • profile image

      Ciara 3 years ago

      Wow, this is new to me, dough and a cake , I am learning sminthoeg new from you every time I visit.... I bookmarked this to try... Thanks for educating me with all your bread techniques.... I just made another dough, using the leftover starter with Lebanese twist, I am not sure about the results, I am keeping my fingers crossed.. by the way I posted the amazing Hokkaido Milky Buns ... and my husband confirmed that this is the bun he wants for his sandwiches. Its true it smells and taste fresh as the same day you baked it.thank you

    • Temperance M profile image

      Temperance M 9 years ago from Oregon

      tea is also a powerful poutice used forever - if you have an infection under the skin and can't get to the doctor right away you can use a green or black tea bag (warm and wet if it isn't inside your mouth!) to help start drawing the infection out. The healing properties of tea are many and wonderful. Thanks for the great hub!

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