White tea is a true tea, meaning it is made from the buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, grown traditionally in China but now also parts of Taiwan and northern Thailand. It is uncured and unfermented. Unlike other more processed teas, the leaves and buds of white tea are left to wither in natural sunlight to prevent oxidation allowing for more pure and potent nutritional value.
Here are 11 health benefits of white tea:
Studies show white tea has the most anti-cancer potential of any variety of tea. It is a powerful antioxidant, rich with flavonoids, a class of antioxidants commonly associated with cancer prevention. Flavonoids not only inhibit the growth of cancer cells, they can help prevent new ones from developing.
A study at Oregon State University showed white tea to be as effective as sulindac, a prescription drug used to treat colon tumors. Drinking white tea in conjunction with sulindac may be even more effective. White tea is also undergoing intense cancer research in regards to a potentially powerful phytonutrient it contains called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Research is still preliminary, but EGCG shows promise as a powerful cancer fighting aid.
The antioxidant activity in white tea is extremely good. White tea provides a wide range of powerful antioxidants. It is a particularly good source of a class of flavonoids. Flavonoids are not only touted for their anti-cancer properties and their ability to reduce free radical damage in the body, but their ability to enhance the effects of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
White tea is a potent supplier of catechins, a group of antioxidants shown to help reduce cholesterol.
Lower Blood Pressure
Studies show white tea can help improve artery function by promoting strong blood vessels and helping to thin the blood.
One study suggested that drinking two cups of white tea per day helped prevent heart disease and heart attack. It’s clear that low blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and high antioxidant activity are all excellent contributors to great cardiovascular health.
A study at Kingston University found white tea to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and could potentially reduce the risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis. White tea may also help reduce the symptoms of other problems associated with chronic inflammation as well as mild aches and pain.
Antibacerial & Antiviral
A study at Pace University showed white tea extract to slow bacterial growth and reduce viral activity.
The high antioxidant activity in white tea has been linked with healthier skin. One study showed that white tea may prevent certain enzymes from breaking down elastin and collagen, a cause of wrinkles that often comes with ageing. A study at the Skin Study Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland found that white tea boosted the immune system when skin was exposed to ultra violet radiation.
A health and nutrition specialist at North Dakota State University published an article that suggested people who drink white tea are much less likely to develop insulin-resistant diabetes than those who do not. It is thought that the flavonoid and catechin content in white tea contribute to this resistance.
Healthy Teeth and Gums
White tea kills bacteria that can cause gum disease, plaque and halitosis. It also contains fluoride, a nutrient known to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Preliminary studies claim that white tea may contain fat reducing substances. More research is needed but some scientists believe that drinking white tea regularly may help prevent obesity and aid in weight loss.