The clouds rolled in and there is a bit of summer drizzle. I'm wearing my first sweater of the season and that means that tea season is right around the corner! But the question looms like the clouds ... green tea or herbal tea, which is better?
We have all seen online and in the news that green tea is high in antioxidants, those free-radical killing little guys that we all need to keep our bodies healthy and free from junk. Green tea is lower in caffeine than black tea, and green tea is frequently used for weight loss. But what about herbal tea? The benefits of herbal tea also consumes areas of the news and social media. Turmeric tea is great for inflammation and arthritis, elderberry for boosting the immune system, herbal teas geared for detox and weight loss abound.
That sure is a lot of options! Let's dive in and see which tea is really better and which tea has the most health benefits.
First lets see what the benefits of green tea are. Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis tea plant just as are black tea, white, tea and oolong teas. The difference in green tea comes from the oxidation process or rather lack there of. Green tea does not go through this oxidation process like the other kinds of tea. Instead many green teas are pan fried or steamed to give them thier distinct flavors. Since green tea has not been fermented it has a higher level of antioxidants.
According to Dr. Axe, green tea contains the same types of flavonoids as red wine that assist with anti-aging. Dr. Axe goes on to also list the reduction of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, reduction in inflammation as well as help with arthritis, improved bone density as well as better memory as benefits of consuming green tea.
Many of our blog readers here are women, I know, but we all have those special men in our lives and even some special ones who read our blog as well. Did you know that green tea is beneficial to them as well? According to Men's Health green tea can cut the risk of heart disease and respiratory illnesses. The high antioxidant content is thought to help regulate blood pressure as well as body fat. That means better heart health for our men!
The American Journal of Physiology found that green tea can help endurance levels clear on ou to 24% increase. No need for those chemical filled energy drinks! Not to mention all the other unhealthy drinks that get replaced when drinking green tea. Cut out the pop/soda, coffee and liquor.
Back last winter I had a bad case of bronchitis hit me hard. Unfortunately I got very dehydrated and stopped eating. Did you know dehydration makes you nauseated? It's hard to eat anything that way! Any how, that caused my body a big loss in nutrients and my hair went into rest mode- it quit growing! A few months later my hair started falling out in droves as so much of it had gone into the rest phase while I was sick. I found this wonderful green tea shampoo recipe by Dr. Axe as a help to my hair loss. Yep! I put green tea in my hair!
Green tea, according to StyleCraze.com, is great at fighting stress and depression which can cause hair to fall out faster. Green tea's anti-inflammatory nature can also help out with itchy scalp and dandruff, yet another reason for hair loss. Green tea may also kill fungal parasites in the scalp.
As we mentioned earlier green tea helps to lower cholesterol. High cholesterol can actually increase hair loss. Green tea helps to strengthen the hairs roots as well as bring more blood circulation to the scalp.
Moving beyond the hair, green tea has been found to help aging skin, protect against uv rays, and reduce acne. So don't just drink your tea, rub it in your hair and on your face. I mean it! But ya know, do it in an orderly... respectful fashion!
A report done by the Journal of American Medical Association of Dermatology suggests green teas have anti-inflammatory potential that could be helpful to some skin disorders. The tannins in green tea are beneficial to skin as well because tannins are astringent and help to shrink the pores which cuts down on oil production. Less oil, less acne? It's not just less oil but green teas anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help out too! It might be time to add a little green tea extract to that facial moisturizer or facial cleaning solution.
While Medical News Today states that there is some benefit to drinking green tea resulting in weight loss it might not be what you think. While green tea may speed up metabolism according to one Pub Med Study, energy giving caffeine may be the largest contributor to resulting weight loss.
There is another perspective though. If you weren't drinking green tea what would you be drinking? Soda? Pop? (Which ever you call it!) Adrenal crashing energy drinks? Juice? Corn syrup filled hard lemonade? Depending on your answer, just cutting out those things and replacing with green tea will go a long way in weight loss along with lifestyle and dietary changes.
Ready to try a cuppa green? Which green tea flavor to start with though? While there are 10 plus varieties of green tea I'm going to share with you the top 5 green teas to add to your daily sip.
This one is my personal favorite but it is also the most well known and well drunk green tea. The leaves of this tea are steamed and then rolled. They look needle like and have the tamest of green tea flavors in my opinion. This tea commonly comes from Japan and is often paired with strawberries such as in our Farmer's Market Strawberry Tea.
This green tea comes from China online most green teas which originate from Japan. It comes rolled in small round pellets which is where it gets its gunpowder name from. It looks similar to an oolong tea. The flavor of gunpowder green tea is more bold and smokey than sencha green tea.
Another favorite amongst our green tea stash is jasmine. Known for it's sweet fragrance and delicate flavor. This is a scented green tea flavored by jasmine flowers. Very similar in progress to the scenting of earl grey tea with bergamot oil.
Sencha and Genmaicha? What is with all the hard to say words? Well that's just because we aren't Japanese where these tea names originated from. I'm seriously going to have to get a language lesson from my Japanese aunt!
Genmaicha is a green tea that is made with toasted rice. Crafted during a time when tea was spendy and rice affordable, this now favored flavor is one that is gaining popularity in our American culture. Genmaicha has a robust flavor, more so than sencha, and has a light nutty flavor from the roasted rice. It makes a great replacement for coffee as well as aiding in digestion. Keep your eyes peeled on our green tea selection as we will be adding this to the farm shop soon.
Ah! The ever popular matcha! Green tea in its powdered form is highly popular. The benefits of matcha green tea come from ingesting the whole leaf rather than just it's steeped leaves. It requires some special care when making and comes with a flavor all it's own. Very earthy and fresh tasting. We have even used matcha in baking such as our Matcha Shamrock Shortbread. Matcha works great to get the green color to come out in baking without any added dye or chemicals... plus.... the benefits of green tea.
So wether it's Sencha, Matcha or Genmaicha... these are all great reasons to get your daily cuppa of cha cha (green tea)! Sorry my tongue got stuck with all those names.
These five are just a few to pick from with many, many others. The benefits are almost equal to the number of varieties in green tea. From green tea benefits for men's health, to green tea benefits for skin there are so many benefits to adding green tea to your daily regimen.
Do you drink green tea? Is there one that sounds enticing? Let us know in the comments below. And is green tea really better than herbal tea? We will find out in our next post when we cover the herbal tea side of this debate!
Until then we will see you next time! May your cup of tea be full and warm when you drink it.
-CeAnne, tea maker & Mother