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What’s healthier: green tea or black tea? We’ll let a nutrition expert answer that for you

While both green tea and black tea are considered to be healthy options, have you ever wondered which one is better for you? If yes, then read on.
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Both teas are loaded with goodness. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Rohini Patil Published: 7 Oct 2020, 19:16 pm IST
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Many times, when we are stressed, sleepy, anxious, or confused, a cup of tea comes in handy to relax and fix our moods. After all, it is not possible to be energetic all the time—it’s OK to feel tired or lazy. Which is why a cup of tea is the magic drink to boost your energy.

Tea not only refreshes you, but it also changes your mood. When it comes to tea, those on a path to fitness usually prefer black tea or green tea. Both the teas come from a plant called Camellia Sinensis. The harvesters pull out the uppermost bloom and leaves of the plant. Then these leaves either turn black or green, depending on how they are prepared. 

But have you wondered, which of the teas is healthier? Is green tea the only weight-loss friendly tea out there? Does the black variety pack as much antioxidant as green tea? Today, we will pit both these teas against each other to help choose the beverage for yourself. 

The way green tea and black tea is made is fairly different
To make green tea, the leaves are collected, dried up and then warmed through pan frying or steaming right away after being plucked. This prevents the leaves from oxidising, which ensures their flavour and colour is fresh. 

Green tea vs black tea
We Indians love our chai. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

For producing black tea, leaves are plucked and withered and then crumbled, curled, cracked or curved, and left to oxidize before they are dehydrated. As the enzymes in the leaves go through oxidation, the finished leaves appear darker and brownish in colour while they get a stronger essence and aroma.

So while black tea is fermented and oxidised, green tea leaves are completely natural. 

Their benefits vary too
Green tea is rich in EGCG, a well-known antioxidant that fights cardiovascular disease. While black tea contains an amino acid, L theanine, which can help you relax and concentrate better.

Green tea is known to have detoxification effects that give you glowing skin, increase metabolism, and boost immunity. It is less acidic.
Black tea, on the other hand, decreases the stress hormone in the body when consumed moderately. It is also good for your heart health, but it is more acidic in nature and its green cousin. Black tea includes theaflavins that protect the heart and blood vessels, and controls cholesterol and blood sugar. This also helps in weight loss management 

Green tea has less caffeine
Yes, green tea has less caffeine content than black tea, but this also depends on the plant, preparation, and infusing methods. A cup of green tea has one-fourth the quantity of caffeine as compared to a cup of coffee, while black tea has one-third the caffeine content. 

Green tea vs black tea
Green tea also has a calming effect. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system by obstructing inhibitory neurotransmitters adenosine. This refreshes the mood, which is why black tea is more effective in increasing reaction time and alertness

So what should you choose: green or black tea?
Both teas have similar benefits except polyphenol composition. Black tea might be a good choice for people who are looking for a caffeine boost. One the other hand, if your body is sensitive to caffeine, you can choose green tea as it includes the L thiamine (amino acid) and is calming.

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About the Author

Dr. Rohini Patil is an MBBS and a nutritionist. Over the last eight years she has passionately done intense research in the field of diet, nutrition, fitness, mental health and overall lifestyle modifications. She is the founder & CEO of Nutracy Lifestyle. ...Read More

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