When it comes to beauty treatments, you probably own your fair share of cleansers, moisturizers, serums, creams, and lotions. Yet, what if we told you that rather than topically applying a beauty product, you could ingest it? It’s true! By simply drinking a mug of white tea each day, you can reap some pretty cool beauty benefits while enjoying some Zen-like “tea time” to yourself.
Intrigued? Behold the Bodacious Beauty Benefits of White Tea…
We’re having a little fun with you with that subheader, but in fact, white tea offers a range of beauty benefits. For one thing, it’s been shown to help prevent fine lines and sagging skin.
To explain why that is, let’s briefly discuss the 2 structural proteins in the skin that help us keep a youthful appearance, elastin and collagen. Elastin helps the skin retain its shape after stretching or contracting. Collagen, on the other hand, is responsible for skin firmness and suppleness.
As we age, these 2 proteins break down and unfortunately, the result of this breakdown is sagging, lined skin. Yet researchers who studied the effects of white tea discovered that just a small amount of white tea helps to prevent this breakdown from occurring. And while it’s amazing to imagine that just a cup of tea might stave off wrinkles (!!!), the beauty benefits don’t stop there.
White tea has also been shown to stimulate hair growth. Because it provides a rich source of antioxidants, white tea can prevent free radicals from damaging hair cells. What does this mean for tea drinkers? Nutrient-rich white tea nourishes their hair cells, resulting in longer, stronger hair.
But white tea doesn’t just improve skin and make hair more beautiful, it may also help to reduce your waistline. Say what? Yes! Initial research has shown that white tea can help to reduce fat.
Before we get into the research, let’s think about fat for a minute. You probably imagine that for each slice of cheesecake or pizza that you wolf down, your body creates more fat cells. However, that’s not really how it works. As people gain or lose weight, fat cells don’t grow in number—instead, they shrink or expand.
To return to that research we mentioned, scientists took human fat cells and discovered that those treated with white tea extract accumulated as much as 70% less fat i.e. the fat cells didn’t grow very much! The tea even appeared to cause fat in mature cells to break down.
But Wait, There’s More…
White tea isn’t just great for our looks, it’s also great for our overall physical health. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are 3 of the leading causes of death in the United States. White tea can actually help to prevent or improve all of these conditions.
For example, one study showed that white tea inhibited DNA mutations. In layman’s terms, this means that a healthy cell was less likely to mutate, or become cancerous because of the effects of white tea. White tea extract has also been shown to increase the death of specific types of cancer cells.
White tea is also rich in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Flavonoids help to decrease blood pressure and are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Finally, white tea has even been shown to help diabetics. A research study found that white tea can provide relief to diabetics by aiding with symptoms like excessive thirst, elevated glucose levels, and insulin secretion.
White Tea 101
Now that we’ve sold you on the benefits of white tea, you probably want to know more about it.
To get you started, here’s a fun fact for you: all tea—white, green, oolong, and black—comes from the Camellia sinensis plant.
The variations you find in tea are due to oxidation, or how long the tea leaves are exposed to air once they are harvested.
White tea is minimally processed, meaning that much less oxidation occurs. It is believed that this is the reason that white tea has more antioxidants than black and green teas. While white tea is an antioxidant-packed powerhouse, it actually has a smooth, delicate flavor and almost sweet taste. Oftentimes, flavors in the white tea category are described as subtle, floral, honey, fruity, apricot, vanilla, chocolate, citrus, and peach.
If you’re a tea drinker already, than you might be wondering how white tea compares to green and black teas. For one thing, white tea isn’t as strong as black tea and it lacks the “grassy” taste of green tea, so the flavor profile is quite different from the teas that you’re probably already familiar with. Additionally, white tea has less caffeine than black and white teas, making it preferable for those who become jittery from too much caffeine.
The Wrap-Up on White Tea
White tea is pretty amazing. While it can’t go to the gym for you or style your hair, it can help you to reduce fat, grow stronger, more beautiful hair, and have younger-looking skin. Additionally, it can reduce your risk of cancer, minimize your likelihood of developing heart disease, and help you manage the symptoms of diabetes.
At this time, the research on white tea is still in its infancy. Maybe 5 years from now, white tea will be able to change your next flat tire. We’re kidding. While white tea isn’t a cure-all for everything, evidence continues to mount that it offers many significant health and beauty benefits. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest you fire up your tea kettle!