Have you ever wondered which tea is healthier, green or black? Green tea definitely seems to get a lot of buzz in the health world, but black tea shouldn’t be completely overlooked. While they have some differences in the ways they are processed, both teas surprisingly have many similar health benefits.
Difference Between Green & Black Tea
Both teas come from the same plant, called camellia sinenis. This plant is native to India and China where it has been used for many years in traditional medicine. The main difference between the two types of tea is the way they are processed. Green tea isn’t oxidized during production. The leaves are harvested from the plant and heated to prevent withering and oxidizing. Because they are not oxidized, they retain their green colour, that’s very similar to the plant.
Black tea is made by harvesting and withering the leaves to reduce moisture. Then the leaves are rolled and spread out to expose them to air, which turns the leaves black and heightens the flavour. Lastly, the leaves are fired in ovens to stop the oxidation process.
Because green tea isn’t oxidized, it has slightly more preserved antioxidants than black tea, but black tea still has many good health benefits.
Similar Health Benefits
Oxidation versus non-oxidation gives the teas different types of antioxidants, however, both can protect your heart due to antioxidants called flavanoids. They are both effective at preventing blood vessel plaque formation and help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
Both teas contain caffeine, which helps stimulate the nervous system, improves alertness and improves mood. Most people think that green tea has less caffeine than black tea, but it depends on the leaves of the plant used to process the teas. Teas made from younger leaves tend to have higher levels of caffeine than those made from older leaves. Generally, black tea is slightly higher in caffeine amount.
Green tea and black tea contain the amino acid L-theanine, which helps bring about a relaxed, alert state and promotes the release of mood-enhancing hormones, dopamine and serotonin. It is said that ingesting L-theanine and caffeine together balances the jittery effects of caffeine, while still giving the same energy boost.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
* Green tea is rich in the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which can help to inhibit cancer cells from multiplying, boosts energy levels and protects the liver.
* Helps with weight loss by speeding up metabolism, which helps the body
burn fat faster.
* Green tea contains tannins that help boost immunity which helps combat viruses such as the common cold or influenza.
* Improves blood sugar levels, brain functions, formation of new cells, heart health and bone health.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
* Can help you lose weight, along with a healthy diet and exercise.
* Boosts energy and mental alertness without making you jittery or having a crash, like after coffee.
* Improves heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol.
* Has anti-inflammatory benefits.
So Which One to Choose?
As you can see, both green tea and black tea offer many wonderful health benefits. While green tea has slightly more antioxidants, black tea gives a bit more of a boost. As they have similar benefits in many ways, it really comes down to personal preference. Do you prefer the taste of green tea, or the stronger flavour of black? I like to mix it up and alternate between the two. Somedays I choose green, other days when I need something a little stronger, I choose black. Which tea do you prefer? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below.