Tea has many benefits to support health: Which teas are healthiest?
Tea is an easy way to boost hydration, especially in the winter when drinking cold water may not seem appealing. It’s also packed with antioxidants.
Tea contains polyphenol compounds, which have antioxidant properties. Studies show the antioxidants found in teas may be able to prevent and treat human diseases like cardiovascular disease (CVD) and may also be anti-aging and anti-diabetes.
Tea also has specific benefits depending on your health goals – drinking tea or another warm beverage in the morning can facilitate bowel function.
Most tea is caffeinated but far less than coffee, so it can also be a way for those who are more sensitive to caffeine to get an energy boost.
Green tea has the most nutritional benefit among teas. It has better antioxidant properties than black tea because it contains more polyphenols.
Green tea contains several types of catechins, a group of flavonoid compounds. Green tea's most abundant catechin, epigallocatechin gallate, can reduce inflammation and help maintain cardiovascular and metabolic health. Green tea is also beneficial to oral health and neurological function, according to a study published in BioMed Research International.
Green tea also contains l-theanine, an amino acid that many use to improve stress disorders, mood and sleep hygiene. Research suggests that l-theanine intake may improve attention, working memory and executive functions.
A staple category that includes Earl Gray, English Breakfast and many others, black tea consumption is associated with a lower risk of CVD. A UK-based study found that drinking black tea regularly was modestly associated with lower mortality from all causes. Research also suggests that black tea, as well as green and oolong tea, may benefit gut health because of active polyphenols like theaflavin.
Some studies suggest the taraxasterol in dandelions, which has anti-inflammatory effects, may protect against rheumatoid arthritis. Historically, dandelion leaves have been used to treat liver and gallbladder problems, though more research is needed to prove the benefits of those uses, according to Mount Sinai. Still, dandelion tea is full of vitamins A, B, C and D, and is a good source of iron, potassium and zinc.
Ginger tea can alleviate nausea and vomiting, especially during pregnancy or chemotherapy.
Ginger contains gingerol and shogaol, compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can also improve metabolic health by improving blood sugar balance.
Similar to ginger tea, peppermint tea can also calm a sick stomach. A 2021 study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine found peppermint oil reduced the frequency and severity of nausea and vomiting for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Want to take your turmeric in tea form? The health benefits of turmeric come from its active component curcumin, a polyphenol with antioxidant properties. Curcumin can help manage inflammation, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety and hyperlipidemia.
Source: USA Today