The Beverage Guidance Panel, including Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at Harvard University School of Public Health, provided recommendations on the benefits and risks of different beverages. The experts ranked beverage categories on a six-tier scale from best to worst. Soda ranked last, and whole milk, which was grouped with beer, was given a recommendation for zero ounces a day. Tea and coffee—preferably without creamer or sweetener—tied as the number-two healthiest beverages, second only to water, the top-ranked drink.
Black, green, and white teas are all made from the leaves of the same evergreen shrub. Herbal tea, on the other hand, involves pouring hot water over any plant in the world other than the tea plant.
Phytonutrients exclusive to the tea plant appear so powerful they can reverse disease even when merely applied to the skin. Green tea may play a role in breast cancer prevention, and drinking tea may also protect against gynecological malignancies, such as ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer, as well as lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and body fat. It may protect the brain from both cognitive decline and stroke, and is also associated with decreased risk of diabetes, tooth loss, and up to half the risk of dying from pneumonia.
Both white and green teas are less processed than black tea and are probably preferable. White tea is made from young leaves and is named after the silvery-white hairs on the immature buds; green tea is made from more mature leaves.
In terms of cancer prevention potential, both green and white teas have been shown to protect against DNA damage in vitro against PhIP, the cooked-meat carcinogen. White tea blocked upward of 100 percent of DNA damage compared to green tea, which at the same concentration only blocked about half.
Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Tea
All Videos for Tea
What Are the Best Foods?
A review of reviews on the health effects of animal foods versus plant foods.
What Are the Best Beverages?
A review of reviews on the health effects of tea, coffee, milk, wine, and soda.
Foods that Help Headache & Migraine Relief
Plant-based diets are put to the test for treating migraine headaches.
The 5-2 Diet and the Fasting-Mimicking Diet Put to the Test
The effects of eating only 5 days a week or a fasting-mimicking diet 5 days a month.
Kidney Stones and Spinach, Chard, and Beet Greens: Don’t Eat Too Much
Given their oxalate content, how much is too much spinach, chard, beet greens, chaga mushroom powder, almonds, cashews, star fruit, and instant tea?
Is Ginger Beneficial in a Diabetic Diet?
Ground ginger and ginger tea are put to the test for blood sugar control.
Benefits of Blueberries for Heart Disease
Blueberry tea is put to the test for cholesterol lowering.
Are There Benefits of Energy Drinks?
The effects of Red Bull and Monster brand energy drinks on artery function and athletic performance.
Does Adding Milk Block the Benefits of Coffee?
How to choose the healthiest coffee, and the effects of adding milk vs. soymilk.
Benefits of Blueberries for Blood Pressure May Be Blocked by Yogurt
Researchers try to tease out what’s in dairy that interferes with the health benefits of berries and tea.
Oil Pulling for Teeth Whitening & Bad Breath Tested
When oil pulling was put to the test for teeth whitening, halitosis, and dental enamel erosion, the results were no better than rinsing with water—or even worse.
Exclusion Diets for Eczema
Infants of mothers randomized to cut out eggs, milk, and fish were significantly less likely to have eczema even years later.