The white tea comes from the plant Camellia sinesis, from which green tea and black tea also originate. This drink is known for its strong antioxidant action, mainly because it has large amounts of catechins, a type of polyphenol.
The difference between teas, white, green and black, is at the stage where the plant is harvested and the way it is prepared.
White tea is produced from the new leaves and buds, which are harvested before the flowers open. The silver coloration of these shoots and leaves caused the drink to be called white tea. The plant does not pass through fermentation and, therefore, has less caffeine and a stronger antioxidant action.
The processes for preparing the plant are partial vaporization and air-drying in natural light.
In addition to catechins (a type of polyphenols that are potent antioxidants), another substance in white tea is L-theanine. This is an amino acid that promotes the increase of the levels of gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters related to the sensation of relaxation and well being.
This tea also has caffeine in smaller amounts than green tea and black tea. Caffeine has a stimulating effect, increasing mood and decreasing
drowsiness and fatigue. It also helps in weight loss by having a thermogenic action, which increases the energy expenditure of the body
Among all teas, white tea has the highest concentration of polyphenols, among other antioxidants. These substances help neutralize the free radicals
responsible for cell aging.
White tea also contributes to the reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) and, consequently, to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, it provides a feeling of relaxation, avoiding excessive oxidation of the retina (the layer of inner tissue in the back of the eye that transforms light and images into nerve signals that are sent to the brain), cause of macular disease degenerative condition that compromises vision.
Although white tea contains lower levels of caffeine, it should not be consumed by pregnant or lactating women or by people with problems such as high blood pressure, gastric ulcers, diabetes and insomnia?