Since I’ve been in St Louis and staying with my sister, I noticed she loves herbal teas. She has lupus and so she does lots of things that are beneficial to her health and well being.

Yvette has pomegranate tea, green tea, all kinds of different decaffeinated teas in her kitchen! Of course I asked her why…and she gave me a great answer—“they’re good for you!”

That’s what I get for being the younger sister. LOL.

This is cool. But you know me, I am curious. I wanted to know what benefits are there for you, the reader. So, I looked at some really healthy teas, black tea and green tea and developed a Q&A about them.

Questions & Answers about Teas

Q. What is the difference between green tea benefits vs black tea, and how so?

A. Green tea has more health benefits than black tea and it tastes better. The most important antioxidants in tea are: #1 is Polyphenols which are prevalent in green tea; and Flavonoids which are more commonly found in black tea.

Q. What is Pu'er tea?

A. Pu'er (or Pu-erh) tea is black tea but tastes different. It's different from other tea, the older pu'er tea the better. Some very old pu'er tea, like red wine, is more expensive than gold. The people in China who drink tea are mainly Tibetan. They drink pu'er tea every day to resist cold weather and to help digest meats.

Note: All research and studies done on tea are based on brewed drinking of Loose Tea (Green Tea, Black Tea and Oolong Tea)—not tea bags. It's likely that instant powdered tea, bottled tea, decaffeinated tea, herbal teas (if not adding regular loose tea), regular tea bags, tea extracts or tea pills have fewer or none of the antioxidant properties of loose Tea. Remember: "brewed" (heated up) and "loose tea" are verified to have antioxidants (Polyphenols and Flavonoids) based on research. The power of antioxidants in the brewed tea are greater when the tea is hot or heated up.

Q. I know that coffee and alcohol produce ADH (anti-diuretic hormones) which dehydrates the body. Do any teas do this?

A. ADH is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland, NOT produced by coffee, alcohol and tea. Caffeine, alcohol or drinking a lot of water all decrease ADH thus increasing urination.

Q. How good is green tea for weight loss and is the green tea just as good from Walmart as it is from a health store?

A. The loose green tea is different from the tea bags you may get from Walmart. Loose Teas are better than Tea bags, Why? Because loose teas use the whole leaf while the tea bags use the cut, ground or "dust" tea leaf. This makes regular tea bags produce fewer Antioxidants and more Caffeine than Loose teas. Another important factor which you may consider is bleach residue, a chemical, which remains on the tea bags. Loose Tea Blocks (single wrapped for each drink) are better than regular Loose Teas and Tea bags, Why? Because most loose teas are not very clean when packaged and shipped in bulk. It's customary to rinse loose tea first before making the tea to drink.

Q. Does green tea contain tannin like other teas?

A. "Tannin" is an old term used for plant materials which caused a blue or black color. Tannin is completely different from tannic acid which is used in the leather industry. Tea contains no commercial tannins actually. Tea contains just flavonols which are the precursors of tannins. Please remember flavonols are one of the antioxidants in tea. Green tea has less "precursors of tannins" than black tea since flavonols are mainly in black tea.

Q. Does tea lose any antioxidants when you microwave it?

A. Microwave may destroy some antioxidants in tea.

Q. Can I mix milk with tea and still get all the benefits of Polyphenols and Flavonoids in my tea?

A. Milk won’t decrease antioxidants in tea, but may cause your stomach not to digest all the nutrients properly.

Q. Are the antioxidants just lost in the heating process?

A. Lower temperature will brew antioxidants out from tea leaf while high temperature will destroy it. The temperature of boiling water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit (F), or 100 degree Celsius (C), or lower. Microwaving has higher temperatures. Don't boil tea on the stove either. The tea will stay hot too long. Just ADD boiling water into tea leaves. That's the best way to make tea. Use an Automatic Boiling Water Pot, you may use low temperature boiling water (176-194F). That's even better.

Now there are lots of offers online for different weight loss teas--some are in the form of pills and some are actually tea bags. I'm thinking that pills may not be as effective as the tea leaves themselves. Try your local chinese restaurant for some real green or black tea leaves.

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