Everything about tea is oddly relaxing. From boiling the water to waiting for the tea to cool down so one can finally take a few sips, all these little things have a calming effect that can put us in the right mood. But the benefits of tea are not limited to its soothing effect.
There are thousands of different varieties of tea with different taste, aroma, and composition. They can be divided into six main categories: green tea, black tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, dark tea, and white tea. In this article, we will focus on the latter and discuss all the amazing benefits of white tea. But first, let’s get to know this tea category better.
What is white tea made of?
White tea is the term used to describe the different types of tea derived from minimally processed leaves of a plant native from Asia called Camellia sinensis. It is worth mentioning that all the major varieties of teas produced today (and that we have mentioned above) derive from this exact plant.
That’s why it is known as the tea plant. What differs from each other is exactly how the leaves are processed and their level of oxidation. White tea is not oxidized and uses young tea leaves. That’s the reason why people consider its flavor to be lighter than green and black teas. It’s also much sweet.
Contrary to what people who are not familiar with teas might think, white tea leaves are yellow. Its name comes from the silvery-white strings present in the buds of the plant. If you are looking for a few good reasons why you should drink white tea, here are some.
Please note that some of these health benefits are not scientifically proven in humans to a significant extent – although preliminary results are promising, more comprehensive studies are needed.
Health benefits of drinking white tea
1. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
There are plenty of antioxidants in white tea. They are called catechins, a type of polyphenols that protect the cells from the damage done by free radicals. These antioxidants may help prevent heart disease – the leading cause of death in most developed countries. And they do it on several fronts.
Catechins help relax blood vessels, increase the effectiveness of the immune system, and prevent LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized. This antioxidant can be so great for your heart health that a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 concluded that people who regularly drank high amounts of tea had a 20% lower risk of developing heart disease.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
White tea can also help you to lose weight in several different ways. For starters, if you drink tea throughout the day, you probably won’t drink any other sweetened beverages that contribute to weight gain and deteriorate your health fast. But that’s not all. The properties of white tea can help your body get rid of fat in other ways.
Green tea and white tea have similar levels of both caffeine and catechin antioxidants, which means they have very similar benefits.
With that being said, we can argue that white tea may inhibit the formation of adipocytes (fat cells), helps eliminate excess fat, and limits dietary fiber absorption. All these things are capable of stimulating weight loss.
Being high in antioxidants, white tea also stimulates the metabolism and may increase its rate by about 4%. This means that you will burn an extra 100 calories per day. It may not seem like much, but in a weight-loss battle, every calorie counts.
3. Improves Dental Health
There are three components in white tea that together can do amazing things for your dental hygiene and give you healthy teeth: catechins (once again), fluoride, and tannins.
The catechins and tannins prevent the build-up of plaque bacteria. Fluoride improves the surface of the teeth and makes it more resistant to bacteria, thus reducing the risk of caries. These components are so effective that some manufacturers of toothpaste added white tea extracts to their products.
4. Lowers The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone with a relevant body function. It is responsible for regulating the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein by promoting the absorption of sugar from the bloodstream.
People with type 2 diabetes develop insulin resistance (mainly due to high sugar consumption, lack of exercise, and obesity), which means that their body produces an insufficient amount of insulin.
That’s why patients with diabetes have high blood sugar levels. According to an animal study, the catechins present in white tea may lower the risk of insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels.
5. Improves Skin Health
As we get older, the skin wrinkles and loses what once was its natural glow. The skin aging process is intensified by environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight. That is why we must take preventive measures to maintain our skin’s health.
White tea’s antioxidants can help protect your skin against the effects of UV radiation by suppressing the damage these rays make on the fiber network – responsible for keeping the skin tight and firm.
If you want to maintain a wrinkle-free skin as you age, take good care of it. Use sunscreen all year round, moisturizing cream to hydrate it… and drink plenty of white tea.
6. Decreases The Risk Of Developing Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s Disease
Unfortunately, these health problems are not yet fully comprehended. We know that these degenerative diseases start very slowly and end up being extremely cruel for both those who suffer from them and their families.
Some studies have been made to try to understand the impact of tea consumption on the development of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Two particular studies stand out. One of them analyzed over 5 thousand people and found that those who drank tea regularly had a 15% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
The other one analyzed over 52 thousand people and found that those who drank tea regularly had a 35% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This may be because the antioxidants in tea can prevent proteins from golding and clumping together. However, as we have said, further research is needed.