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Black or green? Which tea is best for health

Black or green? Which tea is best for health Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Many people love tea, whether it's hot or cold. But with so many varieties to choose from, is it worth favoring one? And when it comes to black tea versus green tea, does one offer more health benefits?

Green or black tea?

Both types of tea are grown in the same way, but that's where the similarities end. Green tea leaves are picked in the morning and ready for processing and brewing that same night. During processing, the leaves are heated to dry. This removes almost all moisture from the tea leaves and stops the natural oxidation process, preventing further chemical changes or color changes.

Green tea retains most of its color and nutrients, including amino acids and vitamin C, making its taste fresher than black tea. The caffeine content is about 20-30 mg per cup.

On the other hand, black tea undergoes a longer oxidation process. This means that the tea leaves do not dry out and they darken longer than green tea leaves. Black tea has a stronger flavor and a higher caffeine content - about 40-50 mg per cup.

Both types of tea contain numerous antioxidants that are beneficial for your brain and body. But if you are looking for a higher share of antioxidants, then your choice is green tea.

Benefits of green tea

Protects heart

Green tea has powerful antioxidant properties, including a compound called EGCG - epigallocatechin gallate. This can help prevent cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and help prevent heart disease.

Researchers have also found that green tea compounds protect the heart well. They help prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) and inflammation, as well as reduce blood fat levels that clog arteries.

Protects smile

Drinking green tea is very beneficial for your oral cavity. Scientists have proven that it inhibits the process by which cariogenic bacteria create glucan, thus inhibiting the formation of plaque on the teeth and preventing caries. Essentially, it keeps your gums healthy by reducing the formation of harmful plaque.

This drink also reduces inflammation and prevents bone tissue resorption or destruction of bone tissue in the gums, which leads to loose teeth over time.

Boosts metabolism

Green tea is great for the gut microbiome - the microorganisms in your digestive tract.

It promotes the production of more beneficial gut bacteria. As a result, this can help ease inflammation and speed up your metabolism. In fact, many green tea compounds (such as EGCG, mentioned above) can support a healthy metabolism.

Benefits of black tea

Improves memory

Black tea is rich in antioxidants that stimulate brain function. And since black tea leaves are allowed to fully ferment before drying, most black teas are especially rich in these polyphenols. They are so beneficial that research shows that regular consumption of black tea can even reduce the risk of dementia.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels

According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, polyphenols in black tea, such as tannins and theaflavins, increase insulin activity. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which can prevent debilitating spikes and drops in glucose.

Boosts energy

Black tea is known to relieve fatigue, stimulate mental activity, and increase energy levels. This is partly due to the higher caffeine content. Start with a cup on an empty stomach in the morning and drink more cups throughout the day if needed.