Not being a CHINA GREEN TEA enthusiast, I immediately w […]
Not being a CHINA GREEN TEA enthusiast, I immediately wondered whether any other foods could offer the same health boost. But it looks as though tea is distinctively rich in healthful properties. “Tea is uniquely plentiful in catechins, and especially epicatechins, which are believed to be the component responsible for many of its purported health effects,” says Dr. Howard Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The less processed tea leaves are, the more health-promoting catechins they contain, Dr. Sesso says. Green teas have the most nutritional benefit, followed by oolong and black teas.
I also had to ask whether it’s possible to capitalize on tea’s healthful properties without actually drinking the stuff—say, by popping a pill? “More studies are needed that directly compare the effects of tea drinking versus tea extracts or supplements,” Dr. Sesso says. To harness all the healthful components of tea into a pill, we’d need to know exactly what those components are, and we’re not there yet. Another reason to avoid tea pills, or even to start drinking tea for health, is that although many studies show an association between tea drinking and health, they can’t show cause and effect.