• What to Know About Loose Leaf Tea Health Benefits

    Posted on March 3, 2014 by in The Steep Stir


    Have you walked the tea section of your favorite import, health, or supermarket lately? There are so many different types of instant, bagged and whole leaf tea! Next, look at all the different brands that have added flavor and qualities. What’s the purpose? It’s really simple. Tea is very good for humans to drink and sometimes that extra nudge of flavor is needed to get consumers to discover the delightful benefits of that beverage!

    There are a variety of loose leaf tea health benefits. Oolong, green, pu-erh, white and black tea all originate from one shrub. The Camellia sinensis, it is native to India and China. Tea has long been recognized for its positive effect on the mind, soul, and body. Much of that is due to the flavonoids, or antioxidants, found in the buds and stems. 

    The higher quality of the tea, the more impressive the healing power is said to be. Caffeine is already acknowledged to have a direct impact on mental alertness. The most potent flavonoid is epigallocatechin gallate, better known as EGCG. It is being studied to find how effective it is in fighting heart disease and cancer by attacking free radicals.

    The quality and type of the loose leaf tea you purchase affects the health benefits delivered with each cup. The flavonoids found in polyphenols are highest in white tea because of its purity. Black and Oolong lose some of those qualities because of their processing. Still, the antioxidizing benefits are impressive. Tea bags have less of these beneficial qualities, as they are the scraps of the stems with maybe a bit of the bud included.

    What various loose leaf tea health benefits are each of the above varieties credited with, and why? Below are some of the things each type might do:

    • Oolong: Believed to lower the “bad” cholesterol levels and help with weight loss
    • Green: Thought to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, and help burn fat
    • Pu-erh: May protect against weight gain and lower LDL cholesterol
    • White: Considered to have the most potent anticancer properties
    • Black: Possibly reduces the risk for stroke

    Quite frankly, the main reason I drink loose leaf tea is for the incredible taste and outstanding flavors!  Loose leaf tea is gaining popularity because consumers are learning of its health benefits. Tea has been a beverage of choice for thousands of years. Why not steep a fresh cup right now, and savor the flavor?