Risks & Benefits of Tea

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Tea contains many benefits and a few risks, the benefits being its high-antioxidant levels and the risks including teeth staining and caffeine levels. Weigh the risks and benefits of drinking various types of tea with information from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on healthy eating.

Part of the Video Series: Health & Nutrition
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness and I'm going to talk to you about the risks and benefits of tea. Now in the United States when we think the generic term tea that generally refers to black tea. That's the most common type of tea that's consumed in this country. The difference between black tea, green tea and oolong tea is actually how it's made. With green tea the leaves are un-fermented. With oolong tea they're partially fermented and with black tea they have been fermented for a long time. So that gives it that darker color. The thing to keep in mind is that when the tea leaves are actually fermented for a long period of time it increases the caffeine content. So black tea is going to have much higher levels of caffeine in it than green tea would. The other thing is that it actually lowers the polyphenol content. Polypehnols, those are the anti-oxidants in tea. So with black tea it has a lower level of anti-oxidants and a much higher level of caffeine. However in general it does still have some anti-oxidants so in that perspective that's a benefit that can be a health benefit. It may help with our overall health as far as the potential for prevention of certain types of cancer. The caffeine content even in black tea is still going to be less than in other beverages such as coffee. So for somebody who is sensitive to caffeine, maybe they get jittery if they drink too much coffee, often times tea can be a benefit. They can use tea so they still have a little bit of caffeine that may help increase their alertness to a certain extent. But no much that they actually become jittery, so that can be another benefit to drinking tea. One of the risks of drinking tea is that it can cause stains on your teeth. That's one of the primary things that you will hear your dentist tell you if you drink a lot of tea. That you probably need to cut back because it's starting to cause stains on the enamel of your teeth. So that's one of the risks and somebody who is extremely sensitive if they drink too much tea the caffeine will add up over the day and it may cause them to feel jittery at the end of the day. Could potentially interfere with their sleep and cause insomnia if they drink a lot of tea too close to bed time that has caffeine in it. Those are the primary risks and benefits of tea in general.


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