White tea is a special, precious drink with a delicate aroma. White tea is obtained from the Camellia sinensis plant, just the same as green tea, oolong tea and black tea. How then does white tea differ from these types of tea? The answer is in the harvesting and manufacturing process. In fact, to obtain white tea, only the youngest shoots and leaves of the plant are selected by hand, while the more mature leaves are used to make the other types of tea. The buds are then left to dry in the sun and the resulting tea is covered in a silvery down, hence the name of white tea. This process allows white tea to develop unique characteristics and properties, which we are talking about today.
White tea with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power
Among all types of tea, white tea is the one with the greatest amount of antioxidants (Olcha et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2022). Green tea is also rich in antioxidants but, according to studies, white tea has flavonoids and polyphenols with a more effective antioxidant action than green tea (Misra et al, J Food Biochem, 2022). Precisely for this characteristic, white tea is more powerful than green tea when it comes to counteracting cellular degeneration, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (Misra et al, J Food Biochem, 2022 - Almajano et al, Neurotox Res, 2011).
White tea and diabetes
Diabetes not only causes an increase in blood sugar but can also trigger other effects, such as an increase in free radicals, which can cause alterations at the level of the mitochondria, the organelles responsible for producing energy within the cell, which in turn trigger the processes of aging and loss of cellular functionality. Well, regular intake of white tea in case of blood sugar alterations has been shown to increase the level of antioxidants and to reverse the process of alteration of the mitochondria (Olcha et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2022). Not only that, the intake of white tea helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance and protects the brain from free radicals caused by blood sugar fluctuations (Nunes et al, Br J Nutr, 2015).
White tea and heavy metals
Cadmium and lead are two heavy metals that, due to human activity, are very widespread and can contaminate food and water. These two pollutants are carcinogenic and can cause serious damage to the heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidneys. Regularly drinking white tea has been shown to counteract the accumulation of these heavy metals in all the indicated organs and to increase the body's natural defenses. Other types of tea, such as green tea or black tea, have also shown a similar but less effective protective action than that of white tea (Winiarska-Mieczan et al, Regul Toxicol Pharmacol, 2015).
White tea, obesity and a diet rich in fats
White tea also offers its beneficial contribution when it comes to combating obesity deriving from a diet too rich in fats and sugars. Well, white tea has been shown to increase an enzyme called carnitine palmitoyl transferase-I, which is essential for producing energy from fat. A reduction of this enzyme is instead associated with an increased risk of fat accumulation, overweight and obesity (Wang et al, Comput Math Methods Med, 2022). Not only that, white tea also protects the liver from damage deriving from an excess of fats and sugars introduced with the diet and reduces the risk of fatty liver (Wang et al, Comput Math Methods Med, 2022). Finally, white tea also restores the intestinal microbiota damaged by an unbalanced diet (Wang et al, Comput Math Methods Med, 2022).
White tea and dental health
White tea provides fluoride, which is easily assimilated. This feature makes white tea an extra help to counteract tooth decay. Not only that, thanks to its tannin content, white tea is able to reduce the cariogenicity of food starches and help reduce the action of some bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, one of the major causes of dental plaque ( Vanka et al, Dent Res J, 2012).
White tea, how to prepare it and warnings
Heat a liter of water until it reaches 75-80 °C. Remove from the heat and add 5 teaspoons of white tea leaves, one per cup plus one for the teapot, it says so. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter and drink. The intake of white tea, even for long periods of time, is considered safe and beneficial (Espinosa Ruiz et al, J Physiol Biochem, 2018). In any case, avoid drinking white tea in the evening due to the presence of caffeine.
White tea, the synergy with mint
You can also add a few mint leaves to the white tea infusion. In this way you are creating a powerful synergy in which the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are maximized and become stronger than the properties that white tea and mint would have individually (Xia et al, J Sci Food Agric, 2021).