The Mind-Blowing Health Benefits of Tea

Having a cup of tea can help soothe a sore throat. But research shows that the health benefits of tea extend to weight loss, lower cholesterol levels and so much more.

Next time you’re reaching for the coffee filters, consider picking up tea bags instead. The four traditional kinds of tea—green, black, oolong and white—do contain caffeine (though not as much as coffee), so you still get a burst of energy. But tea is widely recognized as more healthy than a cup o’ joe.

To maximize the health benefits of your tea, make sure to drink freshly brewed tea rather than bottled and avoid adding caloric or sugary mix-ins. Read on for the specific advantages of each type of tea!

Psst! Have you tried Thai tea? It’s tasty and good for you.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Japanese green teaNishihama/Shutterstock

Green tea reigns supreme when it comes to boosting health. It has the highest levels of EGCG, an antioxidant, and because of this, green tea is thought to have the ability to interfere with cancerous cell growth, prevent clogged arteries, burn fat, reduce stress on the brain, minimize risk of stroke and improve cholesterol levels. It’s also a well-known anti-aging remedy.

Purchase green tea here.

Health Benefits of Black Tea

Black tea in glass cup, rustic wood backgroundOleksandra Naumenko/Shutterstock

Black tea has the highest caffeine content of all teas (only about 10 milligrams less per cup than coffee), but it has a heck of a lot more perks. There is evidence that black tea might protect lungs from the damage that is caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, reduce the risk of stroke and lower cholesterol. It can also boost your metabolism.

Purchase black tea here.

Health Benefits of White Tea

white tea with leavesGuiyuan Chen/Shutterstock

White tea, the mildest in flavor of the four traditional teas, is believed to have particularly potent anti-cancer properties. It might also benefit those with diabetes by boosting glucose tolerance and reducing LDL cholesterol levels. (These other foods can help lower cholesterol, too).

Purchase white tea here.

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

oolong tea bamboo placematSakchai Jinawong/Shutterstock

Like some of the other types of tea, oolong could have an affect on negative cholesterol levels. But its most popular and commonly boasted benefit is its ability to help drinkers lose weight (just like these healthy dinner recipes). The tea aids in dissolving triglycerides, a type of dietary fat that’s stored in cells.

Purchase oolong tea here.

Health Benefits of Herbal Teas

chamomile tea with flowers blue backgroundSokor Space/Shutterstock

Herbal teas are made from steeped herbs, fruits, seeds or roots, such as chamomile, echinacea peppermint, hibiscus, etc. They have fewer antioxidants, which is where most of the previous teas’ health advantages come from; nevertheless, don’t underestimate the positive impact.

For example, chamomile potentially lessens complications of diabetes, stunts cancer cell growth and aids sleep; echinacea alleviates symptoms of the common cold; peppermint tea soothes the stomach; and hibiscus tea is thought to lower blood pressure.

Purchase herbal tea here.

Here’s what to do with the tea bags when you’re done!

Recipes You Can Make With Tea
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Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.