White tea protects against cancer, heart disease, and stroke
My friends and clients often ask me for a healthy alternative to water, and my answer has to be, is there anything more satisfying than a cold glass of iced tea on a hot summers day. Not only does it taste great, but iced tea has also been proven to help make our immune systems stronger, protect our teeth from plaque, and will help us to burn more calories. Tea is just as healthy for you cold as hot, and since it's summer I'm going to try and convince you just how delicious and healthy a tall glass of white peppermint ice tea can be. Unsweetened of course. For starters, white tea is full of more than 700 different chemicals, antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins C, E, and K. Remember antioxidants help protect us against cell damage from free radicals. Antioxidants in white tea are called flavonoids, and they are also in vegetables and fruits. Eight ounces of iced tea, whether it is white, green or black, contains anywhere from 145 to 200 mg of these flavonoids. While green and black tea are very healthy, white tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels, and the darker the tea the more it will stain your teeth. First a little history:
The history of green tea started in China and the origin is surrounded by myths and legends. One of the earliest stories was dated as far back as 5000 years ago. White tea became revered during China's Song Dynasty (960-1279). It was the choice of the royal court and was given as tribute to the emperor. White tea leaves and buds were ground into a silvery powder, which was then whisked in bowls during the Song Tea Ceremony. This was the inspiration for the famous Japanese Tea Ceremony. It was only after the fall of the Mongolian empire, that tea drinking spread to the whole population of China. During the time when China was dominating the sea, tea was part of the provisions given to the sailors. In time, tea made it's way to Japan. It was the Japanese that developed new variations of tea. The history of tea continued when a Portuguese missionary introduced it to European counties. After that, the Dutch East India Company launched the trade of tea by shipping it from China to Europe.
Guess what, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea, all come from the same evergreen plant Camelia Sinensis. The differences lie in how each tea is processed. The tea leaves oxidize and wilt if not dried quickly after picking. As the chlorophyll in the leaves break down, the leaves progressively darken. This process of enzymatic oxidation is called fermentation in the tea industry, even though in reality this is not fermentation. That is, no micro-organism is added to ferment the tea. It goes like this, White tea is unwilted and unoxidized by picking and air drying; Yellow tea is unwilted and unoxidized but allowed to yellow; Green tea is wilted and unoxidized, picked, then heated, by steaming or pan frying, then drying the leaves; Oolong tea is wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized; Black tea is wilted, crushed, and fully oxidized. Now, besides caffeine, white tea also contains catechin polyphenols that raise thermogenesis (rate calories are burned), that will increase your energy, endurance, and fat burning. The University of Geneva and the University of Birmingham conducted clinical trials indicating white tea raises metabolic rates, speeds up fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose balance. City College of the University of New York, found that the amino acid L-theanine, found exclusively in the tea plant, is absorbed by the small intestine and crosses the blood-brain barrier affecting the
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