Did you know that white, green and tea all come from the same plane – what makes them different is when the leaf is picked and the processing method that is used thereafter.
The tea plant is called the Camellia Sinensis and the white tea buds are picked just before they are fully open, when they’re covered in fine white hairs and this is where white tea gets its name. You will often see the fine white hairs on the Silver needle White Tea leaf.
White tea is the least processed of the three teas and is plucked and picked in its infancy and therefore is is wonderfully high in the level of antioxidants and has been linked to a realm of many health benefits.
It has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease, combat skin ageing and even help with weight loss.
Our blog below details 10 science-backed benefits of drinking white tea.
1. It’s Rich in Antioxidants
White tea is loaded with a type of polyphenols called catechins.
Polyphenols are plant-based molecules that act as antioxidants inside the body. Antioxidants protect the cells from damage by compounds called free radicals.
Too much free-radical damage can have harmful effects on the body. It is linked to ageing, chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system and a variety of harmful diseases.
White Tea has been found to be one of the best types of teas for fighting free radicals. In fact, studies suggest white tea has similar antioxidant benefits to green tea, which is also known for its health benefits
White Tea is packed with polyphenols, which have antioxidant benefits, helping to reduce chronic inflammation by protecting the body against damage from free radicals.
2. May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe and is linked to chronic inflammation, which has been associated with a variety of factors. These include diet, exercise and lifestyle habits like smoking for example.
Polyphenols like those found in white tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways.
For one, several studies have found that polyphenols may help relax blood vessels and boost immunity
Other studies have found that polyphenols may prevent “bad” LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which is another risk factor for heart disease
In an analysis of five studies, scientists discovered that people who drank three cups or more of tea per day had a 21% lower risk of heart disease.
That’s good, right?
While these results suggest white tea may help lower the risk of heart disease, it’s also important to make other lifestyle changes for a healthy heart. These include eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest
To summarise – Polyphenols like those found in white tea may help relax blood vessels, boost immunity and prevent bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized. These factors may help lower the risk of heart disease.
3. Could Help You Lose Weight
Green tea is often the first tea that comes to mind when you think of teas for weight loss – but white tea is just as effective when it comes to burning fat.
Both teas have similar levels of caffeine and catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound in green tea linked to burning fat. Together, these compounds seem to have a synergistic effect.
For instance, a test-tube study found that white tea extract was able to stimulate fat breakdown and prevent new fat cells from being formed and is was largely due to EGCG
A review of studies also suggests that white tea may help boost your metabolism by an extra 4–5%. This may be equal to burning an extra 70–100 calories per day.
White Teas isn’t as popular or known and more expensive than green tea and therefore there isn’t as much research on the effects of drinking white tea and long-term weight loss. It is true to say that more research in this area is needed.
4. Help Protect Your Teeth from Bacteria
White tea is a great source of fluoride, catechins and tannins and is combination of molecules could help strengthen teeth by fighting bacteria and sugar.
Fluoride can help prevent dental cavities by making the surface of teeth more resistant to acid attacks by bacteria in combination with sugar
Catechins are plant antioxidants that are abundant in white tea and have been shown to inhibit the growth of plaque bacteria
Tannins are another type of polyphenol in white tea. Studies show that the combination of tannins and fluoride could also inhibit the growth of plaque-causing bacteria.
5. Has Compounds That May Fight Cancer
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States and there have been several test-tube studies have found that white tea may have anticancer effects.
In one test-tube study, white tea extract triggered cell death in several types of lung cancers
Two more test-tube studies looked at the effects of white tea on colon cancer cells.
The studies discovered that white tea extract suppressed the growth of colon cancer cells and stopped them from spreading. The antioxidants in white tea extract also protected normal cells from damage by harmful molecules
However, it’s worth noting that these test-tube studies used large amounts of white tea. More studies in humans are needed to understand the effects of drinking white tea on cancer.
6. May Lower the Risk of Insulin Resistance
Insulin is an incredibly important hormone. It helps move nutrients from the bloodstream into the cells to be used or stored for later.
As a result of several factors, including high sugar consumption, some people stop responding to insulin ad this process is called insulin resistance.
Sadly, insulin resistance is very common and is linked to many chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome
Interestingly, studies have found that polyphenols like the ones in white tea may lower your risk of insulin resistance
Animal studies have found that EGCG and other polyphenols found in white tea may enhance the effects of insulin and prevent high blood sugar levels
In an analysis of 17 studies with over 1,100 people, scientists found that the molecules inside teas, like polyphenols, significantly reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
While the research seems promising, more human-based studies specifically on white tea will help clarify whether it can reduce the risk of insulin resistance.
7. Compounds in White Tea May Protect Against Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a health condition in which the bones become hollow and porous.
It affects as many as 44 million Americans over the age of 50, and may lead to fractures and a lower quality of life.
Studies have shown that free radicals and chronic inflammation may accelerate osteoporosis. These two factors may suppress cells that aid bone growth and promote cells that break down bones..
Conversely, catechins that are found in white tea have been shown to fight these risk factors. They’re thought to suppress cells that break down bones and these catechins are abundant in white tea compared to other types of teas.
8. May Help Combat Skin Ageing
As people grow older, it’s normal for their skin to wrinkle and become looser.
Skin ageing happens in two main ways — internal ageing and external ageing.
External ageing occurs when environmental factors damage skin and promote ageing. For example, the sun’s UV rays can damage skin over time through inflammation.
Internal ageing is also known as natural ageing. It is caused by damage from a variety of factors inside your body, like free radicals and certain enzymes.
Enzymes called elastase and ageing may damage the skin’s fibre network, which normally helps it stay tight and firm.
The compounds in white tea may help protect your skin from the effects of both internal and external ageing.
In one study, scientists discovered that applying white tea extract to the skin helped protect against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.
Many studies have found that polyphenols, which are found in white tea, can suppress several cellular components that may damage the fibre network that helps the skin stay tight and firm.
9. May Help Protect Against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases
Compounds in white tea, like the polyphenol EGCG, may lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Test-tube and animal studies have shown that EGCG can suppress free radicals, reduce inflammation and reduce other risk factors for both diseases.
For example, several test-tube studies have shown that EGCG can prevent proteins from inappropriately folding and clumping together
This is a risk factor for both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Misfolded and clumped proteins can promote inflammation and damage nerves in the brain
There are also several human studies that have linked drinking tea with a lower risk of both diseases.
For example, a review of eight studies with over 5,600 people found that people who drank tea had a 15% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than people who did not drink tea.
Another analysis of 26 studies and more than 52,500 people found that drinking tea daily was linked with a 35% lower risk of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease,
10. It Is Easy to Prepare
White tea is not only healthy — it is also very easy to prepare.
Simply add loose white tea to a pot and pour hot water over the tea leaves. Let the leaves steep for five to eight minutes, then strain and serve the tea.
Ideally, the water should be 170–185°F (75–85°C). Avoid using boiling water because it can ruin the delicate flavour of white tea.
Instead, bring the water to a rolling boil, then let it sit for a minute or two to cool down.
White tea has a subtle yet refreshing taste. It can be enjoyed both hot or as a cold brew.
If you prefer a stronger tea, then you can add more dry leaves if you’d like. It’s best to experiment until you create the right flavour balance for your taste preferences.
You can purchase white tea leaves online or from your local health food store.
Alternatively, you can purchase pre-made bags of white tea from your local grocery store. These bags can be steeped in hot water for two to three minutes and then removed, leaving you with delicious tea.
White tea is packed with antioxidants, which makes it an incredibly healthy tea.
Studies have linked white tea and its components to a variety of impressive health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. It may also help you lose weight.
Sadly, white tea has not been studied as much as other teas, like green tea, because it’s not as popular. More human studies on white tea would help clarify its health benefits.
All told, white tea is a great addition to your diet and it is easy to prepare. It has a subtle yet refreshing taste and can be enjoyed both hot and as a cold brew.
Content and Research from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/white-tea-benefits