Different types of tea and their benefits

  • 1 Minute Read
Martha M. Henze
Martha M. Henze, MPH, MS, RDN - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Global Public Health Epidemiologist

Warming up with a cup of hot tea can soothe the soul. Are there also slimming tea side effects? Yes, when used to replace a sugary beverage, tea can decrease calories and help you lose weight. Drink tea often to keep your antioxidant levels high throughout the day.

Different types of tea and their benefits

Even though the name tea is given to a lot of brews, purists only consider black, green, oolong and white tea as the real thing because they all originate from the same plant called Camellia sinensis, which is native to China and India. The Emperor in China supposedly drank the first tea in 2737 B.C. when a leaf from that plant floated down into his cup of boiling water. Whenever I order a "Té" in Spain, I always receive a black tea. If I want to order a chamomile, peppermint, or rooibos tea, I need to order an "infusion". An "infusion" or herbal tea is made from the leaves, buds, flowers, seed and roots of other plants. The language in Spain truly reflects the way purists define tea.

Health Benefits of Tea

Promote health

Tea is a calorie saving replacement for a sugary beverage. All teas contain a group of antioxidants called polyphenols that can help promote health. The research available is actually "hot and cold" (sorry for the pun!) regarding whether drinking tea can help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, increasing your antioxidant intake can help promote good health.

Teas contain more antioxidants than infusions. Since white and green teas are less processed, they contain more antioxidants than oolong and black teas. Herbal teas have lower amounts of antioxidants because the chemical composition varies greatly among different plants.


If one of your goals is to increase fluids, drinking a cup of tea is a tasteful way to do that. Squeeze a lemon to your tea to add another health boost of vitamin C during the winter months!

Prevent fatigue

One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue. If you are having a 3:00 afternoon slump at work, brew up a little tea bag or use a teaspoon of loose leaves to help increase your energy level. Maybe, you were just dehydrated!

Pause, decrease stress, and benefit from slimming tea side effects

One of my clients who was prone to emotional eating when she returned home after a long day of work, started to make a tea as the first activity when she entered her home. Pausing these 5 minutes, helped her become mindful and evaluate if she was actually hungry or just stressed. She then made better food choices.

How much tea should I drink each day?

The key is to drink tea frequently. I used to just drink a large cup of tea every morning. After reading this research, I started to drink tea three times a day. This Greek study found that people had better blood vessel function just 30 minutes after drinking tea. Consequently, since tea drinking can provide such an acute and immediate effect on your blood vessels, keeping those levels high throughout the day can possibly help decrease your risk of heart disease.

Originally published on Feb 10, 2015,
Updated: January 24, 2020

Alcohol & Other Beverages->Coffee & Tea
Jan 24, 2020

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