Green Tea vs. Black Tea + Matcha Energy Bites
Tea is said to be the most popular beverage in the world. It’s been consumed for thousands of years by billions of people. And how can a billion people be wrong?
Whether you drink tea for the taste, the soothing affect, or the caffeine kick – it has tons of health benefits, some of which are due to its high antioxidant properties. These properties are from its anti-inflammatory flavonoids known as “catechins.” So if you want to protect your health, adopt my moto “Tea - when it’s too early in the day to get your anti-oxidants from wine.”
GREEN TEA VS. BLACK TEA - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
What do green and black teas have in common?
First of all, they both come from the camellia sinensis shrub that’s native to China and India. Green tea contains slightly more health-promoting flavonoids than black tea. How is this?
The difference lies in how they’re processed.
If the leaves are steamed or heated, this keeps them green. The heat stops oxidation from turning them black. Then they’re dried to preserve the colour and flavonoids which are the antioxidants.
Hence you have green tea.
Black tea is not heated. Instead the leaves are crushed and rolled, then they continue to oxidize until they’re dry. This oxidation uses up some of the flavonoids’ antioxidant power, so black teas have slightly less ability to combat free radicals than green tea does.
The way you drink your tea can also affect its health benefits. Adding milk to your tea actually reduces the antioxidant bioavailability. So if the Queen ever invites you for tea, don’t let that English broad bully you into drinking it English style.
Both green and black teas contain about half of the caffeine as coffee. That translates to about 20-45 mg per 8 oz cup. So you can double up on your anti-oxidants without getting the jitters! Win-win.
GREEN TEA VS. BLACK TEA - HEALTH BENEFITS
Tea drinking, in general, seems to be associated with good health.
Heart health - For one thing, both green and black tea drinkers seem to have high levels of antioxidants in their blood compared with non-tea drinkers. Green and black tea drinkers also have lower risks of heart attacks and stroke. Drinking green tea, in particular, is associated with reduced triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL oxidation, all of which are risk factors for heart conditions.
Overall, drinkers of green seem to have even lower risk of heart problems and its risk factors than black tea drinkers.
Cancers - Antioxidants also reduce the risk of many cancers. Studies show that both green and black teas can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men). Also, green tea drinkers have a lowered risk of breast and colorectal cancers. Black tea is being researched for its potential to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Overall, antioxidant flavonoids in tea seem to help reduce the risk of some different cancers. Green tea may have a slight edge over black tea, but both seem to be associated with lower cancer risk.
Diabetes - Both green and black teas can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also reduce diabetes risk factors, like elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. For example, some studies have shown that both green and black teas can help reduce blood sugar levels. Other studies have shown that green tea can also improve insulin sensitivity.
Once again, green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea, but both are blood sugar friendly (as long as you aren’t pumping it full of sweeteners, obviously). In Morocco they lovingly call their tea “Berber Whisky”. They fill it with sugar until it stops dissolving. Delicious and terrible for you. That stuff will give you a worse hangover than actual whisky. But, then again… when in Rome.
Both green and black teas are from the same plant, but are processed differently. Green tea retains more of the beneficial antioxidants than black tea does; but both are associated with better health than non-tea drinkers.
Overall, both green and black teas are healthy drinks, and tea drinkers, in general, seem to have fewer health conditions than non-tea drinkers. Green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea when it comes to measurable risk factors of some common diseases.
When you enjoy your tea, try to minimize or even eliminate adding milk and/or sweeteners; these reduce some of the health-promoting properties of tea.
I’d love to know: Are you a tea drinker? Which tea is your favourite? How do you like to enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below.
MATCHA ENERGY BITES
Serves 6 (makes 12-18 bites)
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened 4 tbsp almond flour 1 tbsp matcha green tea
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
Add all ingredients into food processor and pulse until blended.
Shape into 1-1.5" balls.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: If you use sweetened coconut, then you can eliminate the honey/maple syrup.