The Surprising Health Benefits of 7 Types of Tea

Tea Time: Drink Your Way to 7 Health Benefits

Black. A humble cuppa black tea can improve oral health by reducing plaque and bacteria growth. It may also help prevent heart disease and stroke-a 2009 study found drinking three or more cups of green or black tea a day can lower risk of stroke by 21%.  Black tea is also full of antioxidants that help prevent aging and protect us from free radicals. Another study found that long-term black tea drinking can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes by 70%.

Green.  Like black tea, green tea is loaded with antioxidants. Green tea also provides a different type of caffeine boost, thanks to the presence of amino acid L-Theanine. The combination of this amino acid and caffeine has been found to improve mental alertness and focus. An analysis of research studies also found green tea can reduce breast cancer risk by 22%.

Read more about reducing estrogen and breast cancer risk with food

Matcha.  Matcha is a specific type of green tea produced in Japan that comes in powdered form. Matcha is an antioxidant superpower. One study found matcha has 137 times more available polyphenols than regular green tea. Studies have found a diet rich in polyphenols contribute to longevity and cancer prevention. Matcha is also extremely high in chlorophyll, which helps neutralize acidity in the body.  

Try this DIY matcha latte recipe

White. The next time you get hit with a cold or flu, reach for a bag of white tea. A study at Pace University in New York found white tea has more immune-boosting antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties than green tea. White tea extract has also been shown to protect skin from harmful UV rays.

Read more about 6 common foods that help block UV rays

Rooibos. This caffeine-free option has numerous health benefits. It is known to increase airflow to the lungs, reduce inflammation, and promote strong hair, bones, and nails thanks to the presence of calcium, manganese, copper, and potassium.

Echinacea. Echinacea is an herbal tea commonly used to treat and prevent colds, but it can do much more. Studies have found it can help cure ear infections, UTI's, digestive issues, relieve inflammation and arthritis pain, and improve skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Oolong. Oolong tea has a light, earthy flavor that gets better with multiple steepings (unlike green and black teas which should only be steeped once). Oolong can improve mental alertness, and is also thought to prevent cancer, dental problems, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Perhaps the most well-known and studied health benefit of oolong is its fat burning ability. One study found women who drank oolong burned more fat than those who drank water alone.

Editor's note: We recommend drinking high-quality teas made from natural and organic ingredients, like those from our partner Bigelow.

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