Tea is the World’s Most Popular Superfood
In the category of caffeinated drinks, the United States is generally a coffee nation. But worldwide, it’s a different story; tea reigns supreme. And that may be some great health news for much of the world.
While many people have at least heard about the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of green tea – the unfermented variety made from fresh tea leaves – black tea also has a lot to offer.
All forms, green, black, and oolong (partially fermented tea) provide beneficial plant compounds, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The plant compounds, primarily polyphenols, fight tumor formation, cognitive decline, and heart disease – to name just a few health concerns. While green tea is currently the most studied, tea nutrients in general, including the caffeine present in the beverage, can provide a powerful boost for good health.
Khan N, Mukhtar H. Tea Polyphenols in Promotion of Human Health. Nutrients. 2018;11(1):39. Published 2018 Dec 25. doi:10.3390/nu11010039
Tea is the most widely used beverage worldwide. Japanese and Chinese people have been drinking tea for centuries and in Asia, it is the most consumed beverage besides water. It is a rich source of pharmacologically active molecules which have been implicated to provide diverse health benefits. The three major forms of tea are green, black and oolong tea based on the degree of fermentation. The composition of tea differs with the species, season, leaves, climate, and horticultural practices. Polyphenols are the major active compounds present in teas. The catechins are the major polyphenolic compounds in green tea, which include epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate and epicatechin, gallocatechins and gallocatechin gallate. EGCG is the predominant and most studied catechin in green tea. There are numerous evidences from cell culture and animal studies that tea polyphenols have beneficial effects against several pathological diseases including cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The polyphenolic compounds present in black tea include theaflavins and thearubigins. In this review article, we will summarize recent studies documenting the role of tea polyphenols in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.