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Black Tea versus Green Tea, Which is Better?
Millions of people worldwide enjoy black teas and green teas. Although they come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, black teas are fermented longer than green teas, giving them their characteristic dark color and pungent aromas.
Traditionally, more people in China drink black tea and more in Japan drink green tea, but this is beginning to change as many in China are now enjoying green tea. Although black tea has traditionally been more popular in the United States, green tea has a strong following, and other teas, such as oolong, pu-erh and white teas are enjoying increasing popularity with both tea connoisseurs and casual tea drinkers alike.
But the question remains, which is better for your health, black tea or green tea?
Black tea consumption may lower bad cholesterol levels and could one day be used to help reduce the chance of heart disease for those at risk.
Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said they found consumers who drank black tea for three weeks experienced a decrease of between 7 percent and 11 percent in their low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or so-called bad cholesterol.
Exactly what caused the LDL cholesterol level to drop in those who consumed tea was unknown, but tests are being conducted to determine if the beverage slows the body's ability to absorb LDL cholesterol, researchers said.
There was no effect on the level of high-density lipoprotein, or the good type of cholesterol, according to the study of a small group of individuals. .
Green tea shows promise as an allergy fighter
"The wonder cup just got even more wonderful. Green tea, rich in antioxidant treasures that protect against heart disease and cancer, now shows promise as an allergy fighter. In laboratory tests, Japanese researchers have found that the antioxidants in green tea, block the biochemical process involved in producing an allergic response. Green tea may be useful against a wide range of sneeze-starting allergens, including pollen, pet dander, and dust."
Green tea extract may prevent breast cancer cells from manufacturing the new blood vessels necessary to promote cancer cell growth
Writing in a recent issue of the International Journal of Cancer, the USC researchers noted that the reduction in breast cancer risk among the green tea drinkers held true even among women who had a family history of breast cancer as well as among women who smoked or ate processed foods. Exercise habits - either good or bad - also did not play a role in the outcome for green tea drinkers.
The conclusions of this study support the important results of a 2002 laboratory study. According to a report in Science News, researchers at the University of California and the University of Texas found that green tea extract may prevent breast cancer cells from manufacturing the new blood vessels necessary to promote cancer cell growth. If further research confirms these findings, it may help explain why the green tea drinkers in the USC study were at lower risk of breast cancer, regardless of other health, diet, and family history factors.
Tea is one of the single best cancer fighters you can put in your body
"Tea is one of the single best cancer fighters you can put in your body," according to Mitchell Gaynor, MD, director of medical oncology at the. world-renowned Strong Cancer Prevention Center in New York City and co-author of Dr. Gaynor's Cancer Prevention Program..
The latest tea discovery?
Strong evidence that both green and black tea can fight cancer-at least in the test tube-though green tea holds a slight edge. In a new study, both teas kept healthy cells from turning malignant after exposure to cancer-causing compounds.
Drinking black tea may help blood pressure
Drinking black tea may lower the risk of heart disease because it prevents blood from clumping and forming clots. In a recent study, researchers found that while drinking black tea, the participants had lower levels of the blood protein associated with coagulation.
Convenience iced teas still retain spectacular antioxidant levels
Even convenience iced teas contained at least as many antioxidants as fruits and veggies such as strawberries and spinach. .
Rooibos Tea: Caffeine Free and Healthy
From the Himalayas to the Cliffs of Dover, people drink tea with faithful ritual. In Tibet they take it with butter, in England with cream. And now there's good reason for Americans to take it seriously. The tea plant, Camellia sinensis, comes in many forms--black, green, oolong. What makes Camellia so healthful is its polyphenols, antioxidants that protect against cell damage and help prevent diseases like age-related decline, cancer and heart disease. But herbal teas like chamomile don't have the same benefits. That is, all except one. The South African "rooibos," meaning red bush in Afrikaans, has the benefits of Camellia without the caffeine.
Daneel Ferreira, M.D., of the University of Mississippi, studied and compared rooibos with Camellia and found that both contain a similar amount of polyphenols. And a study at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom bears out the benefits. Researchers found that tea drinking is associated with higher bone-mineral density. Among the 1,256 women studied, tea drinkers were up to 20% less likely to suffer bone fractures. And at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, tea polyphenols helped prevent the development of arthritis in lab mice.
With rooibos's many benefits, Americans should consider incorporating England's afternoon tea ritual--for both its soothing and healing potential.
Washington (Reuters), October 2003.
Prevention Magazine, April 2003.
Department of Preventive Medicine at USC, October 2003.
Gaynor, Mitchell. Kensington Books, 1999.
Prevention, May 2000.
Better Nutrition, Jan 2002.
Prevention, Jun 2002.
Psychology Today, Mar/Apr 2001.