The Best Teas for Your Health

Tea is one of the most popular beverages around the globe. True teas, such as black tea, green tea, and oolong, are made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Herbal teas, or tisanes, are made from a variety of plants. Both true teas and herbal teas are rich in health-promoting phytochemicals—and calorie-free—so don’t hesitate to brew up a cup.

  • teapot-pouring-tea
    Black Tea
    To make black tea, the leaves of the tea plant are bruised and allowed to wilt. As the leaves oxidize, they darken and become fragrant. Black tea contains a variety of disease-fighting antioxidants, including theaflavins, thearubigins, and catechins. A recent study found that drinking black tea may reduce the risk for developing diabetes.

  • Green tea
    Green Tea
    Green tea is made by steaming and drying tea leaves without allowing them to oxidize. This tea is rich in catechin antioxidants. It boosts mental alertness, probably because of its caffeine content, and may help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Although some studies suggest that green tea lowers cancer risk, the National Cancer Institute says the research is inconclusive.

  • cup of tea, tea, herbal tea
    To make oolong tea, tea leaves are partially oxidized. Oolong contains a mix of polyphenols, including catechins, which act as antioxidants.

  • white tea, tea, herbal tea
    White Tea
    White tea is made by steaming and drying young tea leaves and buds. The catechin content of white tea is similar to that of green tea, making it an especially healthy beverage choice.  

  • matcha tea, tea, herbal tea
    Japanese Matcha
    Matcha is powdered green tea. Like regular green tea, it contains high levels of antioxidant compounds. To make a beverage, whisk a small amount of matcha into very hot water. Matcha is also used in candies, lattes, and smoothies, but watch out for the sometimes high sugar content of these treats.

  • hibiscus tea, tea, herbal tea
    Hibiscus flowers add a tangy, sour flavor to many herbal tea blends. The tropical flowers contain flavonoids and anthocyanins, compounds with antioxidant properties. In a study of adults with mild hypertension, drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily led to a healthy drop in blood pressure.

  • tea, red tea, herbal tea
    Rooibos (pronounced “roy-boss”) is a legume-family plant grown in South Africa. Also known as “red tea,” rooibos is caffeine-free and rich in flavonoid antioxidants. A clinical study found that drinking rooibos tea regularly increased the level of antioxidants in the blood and lowered LDL-cholesterol.

  • Chamomile Herbal Tea
    Traditionally used as a folk remedy for anxiety and sleep troubles, chamomile tea is brewed from the small, daisy-like flowers of the chamomile plant. When used with other herbs, chamomile also may help an upset stomach and diarrhea in children.

  • peppermint tea, herbal tea, tea
    Warm up in the winter and cool down in the summer with peppermint tea, a refreshing infusion served hot or iced. The oil in peppermint leaves may improve nausea, indigestion, and the distressing gastrointestinal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

The Best Teas for Your Health

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