The Amazing Health Benefits of White Tea
Dr. Kristie Leong
Move over green tea. There's a new tea in town and itís loaded with potential health benefits. White tea is not only sweet and delicious itís also the least processed of all teas giving it high levels of healthy antioxidants and catechins that can prevent disease. Preliminary research studies support the considerable health benefits of white tea.
How it white tea different from green tea and black tea? White tea is made from very young tea leaves or buds that are steamed immediately after picking to stop the oxidation or fermentation process that appears to inactivate some of the healthy catechins. Black tea, by contrast, is derived from mature tea leaves and is allowed to undergo the full fermentation process which lowers the levels of active catechins. Green tea is also derived from the mature leaves and is allowed air dry before steaming. This appears to slightly reduce the concentration of active catechins when compared to white tea.
Since it appears that white tea has the highest levels of catechins of any of the teas derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, the health benefits of white tea aren't surprising. Here are some of the most compelling potential health benefits of white tea:
White tea may help protect against cancer
Several studies in animals have shown that white tea appears to block the mutations associated with cancer better than even green tea. It appears to be particularly effective at inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells according to studies carried out in 2007 at Southern Ohio University. It also appears to help prevent the early changes in colon cells that may eventually lead to cancer.
White tea may lower the risk of infection
White tea appears to have both antibacterial and antiviral properties. Studies have shown that an extract of white tea not only can prevent the growth of some bacteria and viruses, it also may increase the ability of the immune system to fight off viral and bacterial infections. All the more reason to sip a cup of white tea during flu season.
White tea helps promote healthy teeth and gums
Because of white teaís antibacterial properties, it may also help to kill mouth bacteria that may lead to gum disease and dental caries. Sipping a cup of white tea may be an easy way to promote better dental hygiene and maintain a cavity free mouth.
White tea may promote healthier skin
Because white tea has been shown to enhance the power of the immune system, it also can exert its immune enhancing effects on the skin cells resulting in increased protection from sun damage. Although white tea may never replace the need for sunscreen, it may offer additional sun protection that won't wash off when you get into the pool.
Now that you know about the health benefits of white tea, what about the taste? White tea is relatively mild in taste when compared to green and black teas. If you like a lighter, slightly sweeter drink, you'll enjoy the unique taste of this highly prized tea. Why not discover the amazing benefits of this remarkable tea?
Copyright ©2008-2012. Published with permission. Dr. Kristie Leong is a freelance writer and is not affiliated with avivahealth.com.