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Green Tea vs. Black Tea: Which Is Healthier?

No matter what kind of tea you are drinking, whether it be green or black tea, all come from the same plant called Camellia Sinensis. The real difference between black and green tea (and any other tea) is from the way they are made. Black tea is made from fermentation while green tea doesn’t pass through this process. During fermentation, many of the natural benefits from the tea can be reduced or damaged. This is due to the fermentation process.


Black Tea Health Benefits

Black tea originates from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Oftentimes it is blended with other plants. This creates other flavors like Earl Grey, English breakfast, or chai. It is known for its strong flavor. Black tea has a higher level of caffeine than other teas but contains less caffeine than coffee.

Black tea contains antioxidants. These have a variety of health benefits and reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, this type of tea has flavonoids, which are known to boost heart health. Other benefits that black tea may offer are improving gut health, reducing the risk of stroke, reducing blood pressure, and lowering blood sugar levels. Black tea is simple to make, requiring only a few minutes and only requires tea (either loose or in bag form) and boiling water.

Black tea contains beneficial theaflavins

Theaflavins are a group of polyphenols that are unique to black tea. They’re formed during the oxidation process and represent 3–6% of all polyphenols in black tea. Theaflavins seem to offer many health benefits — all related to their antioxidant ability. These polyphenols can protect fat cells from damage by free radicals and may support your body’s natural antioxidant production
What’s more, they may protect your heart and blood vessels.
In addition, theaflavins have been shown to significantly reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels
They may even promote fat breakdown and have been recommended as a potential aid for obesity management
In fact, the theaflavins in black tea may have the same antioxidant capacity as polyphenols in green tea

Green Tea Health Benefits

Green tea contains the antioxidant EGCG which contains medicinal properties that can be used to treat various diseases. Green tea contains caffeine, which is a known stimulant that has been shown to improve brain function including better moods and more focus. While the caffeine content isn’t as strong as coffee, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine which can also improve brain function and reduce anxiety.

Regular consumption of green tea can help burn fat and improve physical performance. Green tea is great for your teeth. The catechins in green tea can kill bacteria in your mouth and also help prevent you from catching influenza.

Besides all the health benefits, drinking tea can have a calming effect on the mind and body. The water provides hydration and the experience of drinking a hot beverage can allow you to take a moment out of your day to enjoy, reflect, and pause.

Green tea is rich in the powerful antioxidant EGCG

Green tea is an excellent source of the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Though green tea contains other polyphenols, such as catechin and gallic acid, EGCG is considered to be the most powerful and likely responsible for many of green tea’s health benefits.

Here’s a list of the possible benefits of the EGCG in green tea:

Cancer - Test-tube studies have found that the EGCG in green tea can inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells and cause cancer cell death.
Alzheimer’s disease -  EGCG may reduce the harmful effects of amyloid plaques, which accumulate in Alzheimer’s patients.
Anti-fatigue - A study found that mice consuming an EGCG-containing drink had prolonged swimming times before exhaustion, compared with those drinking water.
Liver protection - EGCG has been shown to reduce the development of fatty liver in mice on a high-fat diet.
Anti-microbial - This antioxidant can cause damage to bacterial cell walls and may even reduce the transmission of some viruses.
Calming - It may interact with receptors in your brain to exert a calming effect on your body.

Though most of the research on the EGCG in green tea has been carried out in test-tube or animal studies, the findings lend credibility to the long-reported benefits of drinking green tea

Shared benefits of green and black tea

While green and black tea differs, they may provide some of the same health benefits.

Can protect your heart
Both green and black tea are rich in a group of protective antioxidants called polyphenols. Specifically, they contain flavonoids, a subgroup of polyphenols. However, the type and amount of flavonoids they contain differ. For example, green tea contains a much higher amount of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), whereas black tea is a rich source of theaflavins. The flavonoids in green and black tea are thought to protect your heart.

The study also found that both types of tea helped reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
What’s more, two reviews examining over 10 quality studies each found that drinking green and black tea can lower your blood pressure.

Furthermore, another review of green tea studies found that people who drank 1–3 cups per day had a 19% and 36% reduced risk of heart attack and stroke respectively, compared with those who had less than 1 cup of green tea each day.
Similarly, drinking at least 3 cups of black tea could reduce your risk of heart disease by 11%.

May boost brain function
Green and black tea both contain caffeine, a known stimulant.
Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea — about 35 mg per 8-ounce (230-ml) cup, compared with 39–109 mg for the same serving of black tea.

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system by blocking the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. It also aids the release of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. As a result, caffeine can boost alertness, mood, vigilance, reaction time, and short-term recall.

Green and black teas also contain the amino acid L-theanine, which is not present in coffee. L-theanine is thought to cross the blood-brain barrier and trigger the release of an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which brings about a relaxed but alert state. At the same time, it promotes the release of the mood-enhancing hormones dopamine and serotonin.

L-theanine is thought to balance the effects of caffeine. The combination of these two substances may even be synergistic, as one study found that people who ingested L-theanine and caffeine together had better attention than when either was used alone.

In general, there is slightly more L-theanine in green tea than black tea, though the amounts can vary considerably.

Both green and black tea are great alternatives to coffee for those who want a mood lift without coffee’s telltale restlessness.

Green and black tea contain polyphenols that have strong antioxidant effects, potentially reducing your risk of heart disease. Also, they both have caffeine to increase alertness and focus and L-theanine, which releases stress and calms your body.


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