Tea is actually one of the most popular beverages in the world. It’s been consumed for many years by many different types of people.
Studies have shown that tea can offer many health benefits as well. And some of these benefits are thought to be related to tea’s antioxidant properties. These properties are from its flavonoids known as “catechins.” Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory and have a range of health benefits that I talk about in this post.
Green tea vs. black tea – What’s the difference?
Tea is such a common beverage to drink but it’s important to know the differences between the black tea vs green tea.
What do green and black teas have in common?
First of all, they both come from the camellia sinensis shrub that’s native to China and India. Green tea contains slightly more health-promoting flavonoids than black tea. How is this?
The difference lies in how they’re processed.
If the leaves are steamed or heated, this keeps them green. The heat stops oxidation from turning them black. Then they’re dried to preserve the color and flavonoids which are the antioxidants.
Hence you have green tea.
TIP: Putting milk into your tea will reduce the antioxidant ability.
Both green and black teas contain about half of the caffeine in coffee. That translates to about 20-45 mg per 8 oz cup.
Green tea vs. black tea – Health Benefits
Tea drinking, overall, seems to be associated and in line with good health.
What are the health benefits associated with drinking tea?
Heart health – Once similarity for both black and green tea drinkers is that they seem to have high levels of antioxidants in their blood compared with non-tea drinkers. It’s also been noted that those who drink green and black tea also have lower risks of heart attacks and stroke.
Drinking green tea, in particular, is associated with reduced triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL oxidation, all of which are risk factors for heart conditions.
Cancers – Antioxidants that are found in tea can also help to reduce the risk of many cancers. There have been studies that show that both green and black teas can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men).
Also, those who drink green tea tend to have a lowered risk of breast and colorectal cancers. Black tea is being researched for its potential to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Overall, antioxidant flavonoids in tea seem to help reduce the risk of some different cancers. Green tea may have a slight edge over black tea, but both seem to be associated with lower cancer risk.
Obviously this is not medical advice and we do not recommend that you begin a regime of tea drinking due to tenuous links to cancer occurrence.
Diabetes – Drinking both green and black teas can help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s also been shown that they help to also reduce diabetes risk factors, like elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
There are some studies that have shown that both black and green teas can help reduce blood sugar levels. Other studies have shown that green tea can also improve insulin sensitivity.
Once again, green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea, but both are blood sugar friendly (just don’t overdo the sweetener).
When looking at black tea vs. green tea you will see that they are from the same plant but are processed differently. Green tea retains more of the beneficial antioxidants than black tea does, but both are associated with better health than non-tea drinkers.
Overall, both green and black teas are healthy drinks, and tea drinkers, in general, seem to have fewer health conditions than non-tea drinkers. Green tea seems to have a slight edge over drinking black tea when it comes to figuring out the risk factors of some of the common diseases.
To learn more about tea, read this article on the five types of black tea.
When you enjoy your tea, try to minimize or even cut out adding in milk and/or other sweeteners as well. When you add them, they do reduce some of the health-promoting properties of tea.
I’d love to know: Are you a tea drinker? Which tea is your favourite? How do you like to enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below.