The only infusion that can be called tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, a small tree that comes from Asia and whose leaves and buds are used to make the popular drink . Therefore, chamomile, boldo or yerba mate are just infusions, notes Analía Yamaguchi , a clinical doctor specialized in nutrition, in communication with adaptogenic tea.
Tea is an infusion that generates benefits in the body “in the context of a healthy diet and life,” the doctor emphasizes and insists that the positive factors that arise from its consumption cannot be realized if a person does not lead a healthy life. when doing physical activity, maintaining a good diet and avoiding the consumption of substances harmful to humans such as tobacco.
What benefits does tea bring to health and what infusions are indicated to incorporate them in each particular case? This is the response of the experts consulted.
What are the antioxidant properties of green, white and yellow tea?
There are three types of tea that lack oxidation processes and are therefore recognized as antioxidants : yellow, green and white. This group is high in polyphenols, the antioxidant substances present in the herb that, according to Yamaguchi, perform satisfactory functions against cellular aging , improve cholesterol levels and have anti-cancer properties .
“Green tea has been shown to improve mild gum problems (gingivitis) ,” explains the doctor. Although if a person smokes regularly, drinking tea high in antioxidants will not counteract the harmful effects of smoking such as gum irritation or the risk of contracting cancer, she concludes.
Black tea and Pu Erh lower cellular cholesterol
These variants require correct fermentation to generate positive effects when drinking it, which is why they are also known as HeiCha tea (post-fermented tea or dark tea). According to Yamaguchi, Pu Erh is subjected to a bacterial fermentation process for more than five years, whose fungus that is born from its rest promotes the lowering of cholesterol levels in its consumers . In the case of black tea, its main property is its astringency in the digestive tract (it produces desiccation).
They are natural fat metabolizers , but like the doctor’s previous instructions, healthy lifestyle habits are needed to obtain results by consuming these infusions.
How to properly infuse a tea and absorb its properties
In conclusion, the five variants of tea generate positive effects when drinking it as long as the “life, body and mind” habits are healthy. Although it remains to consider what is the correct way to infuse an herb so that all its properties are activated and fulfill a function in the body .
For this reason, the tea sommelier and author of the book “ Argentine gourmet tea – Identity and Sense of belonging ”, Horacio Bustos , explained to National Geographic that this list of five tea variants need to be rested in different ways due to the processes of production that each one of them entails.
In the case of white tea , it is allowed to wither until dry and Bustos suggests infusing it for 3 to 4 minutes with water at no more than 80°C. On the contrary, green tea is cooked with heat by blanching (cooking in boiling water), so the best way to infuse is 1 to 2 minutes with 80° water. One of the most difficult to infuse , warns the sommelier.
Considering black tea , which is rested until it withers and dries in a wavy shape, its perfect infusion takes around 3 to 4 minutes with water at an average temperature of 85°C to 90°C. “This way, the tea will turn out perfect,” says Bustos. To infuse HeiCha, the naturally fermented tea , you need 1 to 5 minutes of steeping in water at 90°C and 95°C.