Sipping on tea is a powerful activity. It can soothe a sore throat, boost your metabolism, and even reduce the risk of heart attacks.
If you're not drinking tea yet, you should start.
Medical communities widely recognize the health benefits of tea. Tea's stimulant, diuretic and antioxidant powers have been studied in relation to cancer prevention and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
Tea was first discovered in China and is one of the most popular beverages in the world, as well as the healthiest, according to Teavana, the largest tea retailer in North America and the Middle East.
The Dutch first brought it to North America in the 17th century and would later play an iconic a role in a political protest that would eventually lead to the American Revolution.
The name "tea" is given to many different brews. There are four main types: green, black, white and oolong. Here's a guide to the four different types of teas and their health benefits.
Green tea made with steamed leaves contains epigallocathechin gallate (EGEC), which may help raise metabolism and accelerate fat oxidation. The combination can burn about 70 calories per day. says that
Green tea is the "best food source of catechins, which are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties," according to the Harvard Health Publications.
Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers including skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder.
Black tea is the most common tea in the west (think Chai Tea Latte). Made with fermented tea leaves, it has the highest caffeine content of the four primary blends at about 2 to 4 percent.
Black tea is used for improving mental alertness as well as learning, memory and information processing skills, according the National Institute of Health. It also has been used to treat headaches, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks and Parkinson's disease, and lessen the risk of several types of cancers.
More: Cancer-Preventing Foods