White Tea – The Healthiest Brew

I got this in a forward from a very close friend, a few days ago, and I feel it’s important that more and more people start drinking white and green tea, as opposed to black tea and coffee.

So, below is some really good information about the benefits of white tea. I, myself, have never tried white tea as I am a green teaholic (literally! I drink like 5-6 cups a day! Absolutely LOVE it!). But, I hope to start drinking white tea, as well.

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White tea is the tea that is made from new buds and very young, very gently dried tea leaves. Because of the careful and light processing, the leaves retain all their contents of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are compounds that have been shown to have a very beneficial effect on our health. Alle teas contain a lot of antioxidants, and white tea is the tea with the highest concentration of them. The antioxidants in white tea may help prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, and may even help slow down the aging process.

White tea is grown in Asia, predominantly China, and is harvested from the same tea plant that also gives us green tea and black tea.

As the name suggests, white tea is a clear brew with a slight golden tinge, not unlike white wine. It has a mild, delicious taste.

Green tea has become popular with a lot of people, and the additional health benefits and superb taste that white tea can provide are sure to make it the next “hot” thing. This site is dedicated to the enjoyment and health benefits of white tea.

White tea is a fascinating topic in itself, and we explore all there is to know about our favorite brew, with the barely hidden hope that it will become yours, too.

More About White Tea

For centuries, white tea was the utmost luxury, reserved only for the Emperor of China. The history of white tea is fascinating and worthy of a thick book, but we have boiled it down to the main incidents.

There are many varieties of white tea, from different parts of China, from India, and other regions of the world, and we break all the choices down for you.

We also show you how to buy white tea. There are many things to keep in mind, but the most important part is to have fun while you do it. White tea is a luxury, after all.

Once you have your white tea, you will of course want to prepare it properly. White tea is unusually delicate, and too rough a treatment may scald and ruin it. We show you how to brew white tea to be served.

There aren’t many luxuries that are very beneficial to your health, but drinking white tea is one of them. To convince you further, we tell you what the health benefits of white tea are. You may be surprised.

You have probably heard of green tea, which is rapidly becoming both famous and popular. We explore the differences between white tea and green tea, and why they’re both excellent teas (but one is better than the other).

In the same vein, how about the most famous tea of them all, the black tea? See how it compares to white tea in the article White Tea vs. Black Tea.

Tea promotes weight loss, but how much? And is white tea effective against body fat? Find the answers by reading about white tea and weight loss.

Tea has been used medicinally for centuries. Find out more about the antibacterial effects of white tea.

The highest quality variety of white tea is Silver Needle. Here is all you need to know about Silver Needle white tea.

Like all teas, white tea contains caffeine, but white tea is special. Learn more about caffeine in white tea.

It may seem strange that drinking tea can also be a way of preserving good dental and oral health. But studies show that it is true, and we explore it in the article White Tea and Oral Health.

There is a good reason why white tea is so good for you. It is because of the antioxidants in white tea.

To sum up exactly why white tea is so great, we compiled this list of nine reasons why white tea is good for you.

Many tea lovers love to drink white tea, but sometimes find the taste too subtle. The solution is flavored white tea.

There is a chemical substance in white tea that may help fight depression and anxiety. Read more about white tea and depression.

You can buy white tea in tea bags, or a loose leaf. Find out why tea lovers prefer loose leaf white tea to tea bags.

Did you ever wonder what it was like to be a king, a queen or an emperor? Now, you too can eat like a king.

If you are new to the world of white tea, your first port of call might be the page where we discuss the basics of white tea: What is white tea?

Important: A great reason for drinking white tea is its high concentration of antioxidants, which are believed to have a beneficial effect on our health. We refer to it frequently here on White Tea Central. Please read the medical disclaimer before you proceed.

Latest entry in the White Tea Blog: Sweetening White Tea

Lots of people don’t like the bitter taste of some teas, and prefer to sweeten it with sugar or artificial sweeteners. The result is that the bitterness is reduced, and the sweetening may bring out more of the flavor. In my experience, that is often the case with black teas.

Many drinkers of green tea also flavor their tea with natural substances like honey or stevia, subduing both the somewhat vegetal taste and any bitterness.

White tea is usually not bitter if it has been correctly prepared, but the flavor can be too subtle for many, expecially those who are used to stronger-tasting teas and sodas. Compared to other teas, white tea is naturally sweeter, and after a few tries, most will find that unsweetened white tea is a complex drink that doesn’t really need sweetening.

Sweetening white tea with sugar may not be the best idea, since adds calories and may overpower the natural sweetness of the tea. But honey and stevia are other options that are much healthier, and some tea lovers praise agave nectar, which is a little bit pricier. All three may bring out more of the flavor of the white tea.

Of course, the main thing is that you enjoy the tea the way you like it, sweetened or not.

The Health Benefits Of White Tea

The main reason white tea and green tea have become popular is the health benefits associated with these two products of the tea bush Camellia sinensis.

From the first time tea was discovered and started being commonly known, it was treasured first and foremost for its health benefits. Tea was used as medicine against many ailments.

Of course, the ancient Chinese didn’t know that the reason that certain types of tea have a number of very healthy effects on the body is that they contain antioxidants in strong concentrations.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that absorb and destroy other compounds known as free radicals. Free radicals break down the cells of the body, and are among the underlying source of many serious diseases and ailments, including heart disease and cancer. Even physical aging has been linked to the activities of free radicals. These substances form in the body and are unavoidable results of the metabolism in the cells.

Free radicals

Free radicals are created when the cells convert nutrients into energy. They are also made by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Tobacco smoke and poisons in the environment are also major sources of free radicals. Free radicals can’t be avoided entirely, but the negative effect they have on the body can be limited.

Antioxidants absorb, weaken and neutralize free radicals continuously. Maintaining a steady supply of strong antioxidants into the body is a long step in the direction of keeping in good health and slowing down or preventing physical aging.

In the Western world, our diet does not give us remotely the supply of antioxidants the body needs. The epidemies of heart disease and cancer can to a large extent be blamed on free radicals running wild and unchecked in our bodies. The human body can only manufacture a small number of its own antioxidants to a very limited extent.

Plants to the rescue

Plants do not have this problem. In order for a plant to survive, it must neutralize the harmful effects of the free radicals that arise because of the large quantities of direct sunlight any plant absorbs. They make their own antioxidants – and lots of them. If they didn’t, no plant would survive more than a few minutes in the sun before it would wither and die.

Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but in varying concentrations. The tea plant is among the plants with the highest concentrations of antioxidants, especially in the leaves. These are the leaves from which tea is made. White tea is the least processed variety of tea, and the leaves are harvested when very young. The concentration of antioxidants in these young buds and leaves is practically the same as in fresh tea leaves that are still on the bush.

In fact, there is no tea with a stronger concentration of antioxidants than white tea.

There are many antioxidants, and the antioxidants in white tea are known as catechins. About 25 to 30 percent of the dry weight of a tea leaf is due to catechins, sometimes known as polyphenols. They are present in many plants and foodstuffs, such as vegetables, red wine, chocolate, and coffee. The largest source of catechins in the human diet is tea and coffee.

Because so many people drink coffee, which also contains some catechins, it is probably the greatest source of antioxidants in many societies. That does not mean that it is the strongest, as most kinds of tea contain a lot more antioxidants per cup than coffee does.

 Health benefits

Catechins have been called super-antioxidants. They neutralize harmful fats and oils, which lowers the cholesterol and blood pressure. They block cancer-triggering mechanisms, inhibit bacteria and viruses, improve digestion and protect against ulcers, strokes and diabetes. The health benefits of catechins have been studied extensively.

Inhibit disease

Many studies have focused on the way catechins seem to inhibit and prevent the growth of cancer cells. Many of these studies were conducted with green tea, and since white tea contains even more antioxidants than green tea, white tea would be even more effective.

Some studies seem to suggest that tea speeds up the rate of metabolism, meaning that the calories are burned more quickly.

Both green and white tea have antibacterial and antivirical properties. It has been observed that both types of tea may inhibit tooth decay and gum diseases. They may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

The Asian paradox

An interesting effect of tea consumption is is the observation that the population in Eastern Asia smoke a lot, and often have diets high in calories, but that their rates of heart disease and many forms of cancer are much lower than in the West.

This effect has been attributed to the great consumption of green tea in the area. In fact, even though it is being drunk in very limited quantities outside of Asia, green tea is the second most popular drink in the world, beaten only by water.

The phenomenon is so clear and pronounced that it is widely known as the Asian Paradox.

Prevent aging

Free radicals in general have been associated with physical aging. The theory is that free radicals attack the cells, specifically the nucleus, which contains the DNA of the organism. If the DNA is damaged, the cell commits suicide or may become cancerous. If one cell dies, the consequences for the organism are not very large. If thousands of cells in the same part of the body die over time, such as in the skin, the result is visible as damage, such as wrinkles.

When we know that every cell in the body is attacked by free radicals thousands of times every day, the importance of giving the body enough antioxidants to defend itself with becomes obvious.

Many of the studies of the beneficial effects of drinking tea were done using green tea, not white tea. However, since white tea contains significantly more antioxidants than green tea, and is in a way closer to its natural state, we can safely assume that the beneficial health effects of white tea are even stronger.

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2 responses to “White Tea – The Healthiest Brew

  1. I’m such a tea person you’d think i’m abnormal! I could down gallons of all sorts of tea a day! Not much of a coffee drinker but I love the smell of fresh coffee.

    • Me too! I LOOOOOOVE tea! I drink a LOT of shne chai, kho lately I’ve gotten into black tea; milky, with alaichee! I guess we call ’em Kashmiri chai. It’s so yum! I don’t drink coffee either, but I, too, LOVE the smell of it! 😉

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