Drinking tea is one of the oldest ways to live a healthy lifestyle. While drinking green and black tea are good options, white tea benefits your health in so many important ways.
White tea is made from the buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant right before they fully open. It’s called “white tea” because the buds are covered in tiny white hairs when thy are picked.
White tea undergoes minimal processing (it’s actually the least processed of the three teas), which means that it retains many of its plant compounds called polyphenols. These polyphenols are responsible for many of the benefits of white tea.
White tea is rich in health-promoting antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect our cells from free-radical damage. This damage can cause chronic inflammation, which happens when the body’s immune system starts to attack otherwise healthy cells. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a host of adverse conditions including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Luckily, several studies have shown that white tea has some serious antioxidant capabilities.
Those antioxidant properties may be why white tea is also great for skin aging. Free radicals are also bad for our skin cells. In fact, it’s been suggested that free-radicals may be responsible for many signs of aging like wrinkles, dark circles (or general, uneven skin tone), and dry skin. Compounds in white tea, however, could potentially combat this. Research shows that polyphenols in white tea help protect the fibers that help skin stay firm. Interestingly enough, white tea extract has also been found to protect the skin from UV rays when applied topically.
White tea may also be something you want to add to your routine if you’re trying to manage conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. That’s because polyphenols, like those in white tea, have shown to have protective effects on the body. More specifically, test tube studies have shown that white tea extract effectively killed and/or stopped the spread of lung and colon cancer cells. Other research has also shown that white tea may improve insulin resistance (a key marker of diabetes), and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Thankfully, incorporating white tea into your daily routine is easy. It’s easy to prepare, and it has a very mild taste. You can purchase loose white tea leaves and steep them in boiling water, or purchase ready-made white tea bags like these from Twinnings (Buy on Amazon, $10 for two boxes). Be sure to steep your tea for at least five minutes to get the maximum antioxidants, and sweeten to your liking.