Choosing the Right Tea for You
[Zhi Tea: 6th April, 2009]
The verdict is in: Tea is good for you.
Now, researchers continue to study tea and its healthy constituents such as polyphenols, tannin, catechins and other antioxidants. The science is progressing on parallel tracks in research institutes and universities around the world, quantifying and qualifying the effects of tea on cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular health, microcirculation and even weight loss.
Beyond the health benefits, there are purely personal (and pleasurable) reasons to drink tea, and choosing the right one (or two, or three) for your particular life goals and wellness plan is something you should consider carefully. This is not because there is any risk involved with picking the “wrong” tea. The fact is, however, that choosing the right tea(s) will ensure that you are experiencing the maximum possible health benefits from the beverage and its ingredients.
Reading the tea leaves for health There are several different factors to consider when choosing the right tea for your life and health profile. Although most teas have some range and amount of various beneficial elements, particular teas contain certain substances that may not suit certain individuals. The primary one to watch out for, of course, is caffeine. Some people are surprised to discover that tea can be very high in caffeine, as if it were not itself a “natural” product.
Caffeine is a natural product that occurs in many foods, including the renowned kola (cola) nut, from which a famous soft drink with about 100mg of caffeine is made. Ordinary teas contain beneficial properties such as alkaloids and catechins that help refresh the mind, strengthen the heart, eliminate toxins in the system and relieve inflammation and its associated discomfort.
Polyphenols can actually protect people from radioactive material, counter the ravages of arteriosclerosis and actively assist the blood flow through the capillaries (called microcirculation). In fact, the anecdotal evidence that tea is a good hangover cure has been backed by scientific studies showing how improved blood flow and other effects of tea’s ingredients are important in restoring normal functioning following the ingestion of alcohol. Any tea is good for these tasks, and you can choose from among a great variety of simple or complex teas, both herbal and standard types.
Studies on the antibacterial properties of tea have shown conclusively that it disrupts a key step in the replication of the bacterium’s DNA chain. Therefore it can be considered a safe and effective antibiotic that can fight infections and tooth decay. That it also contains vitamins and fluoride makes tea an even better bet for an addition to your program of dental hygiene and general health. A good, strong green tea would be an excellent choice for general antibiotic and hygienic purposes.
Choosing teas for taste Choosing the right tea for you may be as simple as the change of seasons. Spring is considered the season for flower teas, summer is for green teas and autumn is a season of changes, perfect for a Oolong tea (between black and green). Cold winters are perfect for any of them! You can also choose to drink certain teas according to the time of day. Morning time can be great for green tea because it does contain an average amount (60-70mg per cup) of caffeine.
Chrysanthemum tea can be a good tea for the afternoon because it helps relieve and counter depression, stress and anxiety. In the evening it’s nice to relax with a tasty Medlar tea, as it is rich in B-1, vitamin C, calcium and iron and can also help relax the body after a long day. There are so many types of teas too choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ones are right for you. Although not based on any scientific findings, anecdotal evidence over centuries has helped some health practitioners to develop a list of teas associated with different people.
At the very least, it is an interesting exercise, trying to match people and their unique needs to the vast range of teas in the world, and the vast number of properties and effects that have been observed in their use.
Just for fun, try picking a tea from the following list and trying it out. In fact, try a variety of teas, at different times of day and in different settings. Chances are you will quickly discover which are best for your needs.
Office workers: Green tea
Sports lovers: Oolong tea and black tea
Those averse to sports: Green tea and flower teas
Those exposed to heavy air pollution: Green tea
Smokers and drinkers: Green tea
Meat lovers: Oolong tea & Pu-Erh
Those suffering constipation: Honey in your tea
Those wanting to lose fat: Oolong tea, Pu'er tea and green tea
Those with a weak spleen and stomach: Oolong tea and flower teas
Those hoping for longevity: Oolong tea and black tea
Remember, this is not medical advice of any kind. However, you are ultimately responsible for your own health and wellbeing, so stay educated on the subjects that impact your life and diet, and remember the importance of getting a good balance of scientific facts, anecdotal evidence and educated opinions (the last from your primary healthcare provider). There is a place for tea in your wellness plan, without a doubt, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find the one that tastes the best to you, and gives you the effects, both pleasurable and medical, that you want.
About The Author: Zhi Tea is a leading retailer of top-grade Oolong teas online. They provide a full line of organic and Fair Trade teas teas and organic tea gift baskets from around the world for you to enjoy.