Green vs Regular Tea: Which is Better?

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Last Updated on June 10, 2022

Green Tea vs Regular Tea: Which Is The Best?

Green Tea vs. Regular Tea

Think all tea is the same? You’re in for a surprise! Green tea and regular tea come from different plants, have different flavor profiles, and offer very different benefits.

Tea can have a marked effect on your digestive system, and this is particularly true for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

Though there are many different varieties of tea, green tea and regular tea are two of the most common. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves, while regular tea is made from fermented leaves. Green tea is known as one of the healthiest beverages in the world [1], and while both types of tea offer health benefits, green tea may be a better choice for those with digestive issues like IBS or SIBO. Because each type of tea comes with different perks, by enjoying both regular and green teas, you get the best of both worlds.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the research on green tea and regular tea to see if there’s a difference in the benefits they offer. Spoiler alert: there is! Keep reading to learn more.

Green Tea vs. Regular Tea at a Glance

In a hurry? Here are the main advantages and disadvantages at a glance.

Green Tea Advantages:

  • Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and help with weight loss
  • Green tea is a natural detoxifier and helps the body eliminate toxins
  • Green tea is rich in antioxidants which can help protect cells from damage
  • Green tea has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health: it has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions
  • Green tea improves brain function
  • Lightly caffeinated (this can be a pro or a con depending on your goals!)

Green Tea Disadvantages:

  • Can taste bitter when it is over-brewed
  • Contains tannins which can reduce iron absorption
  • Contains oxalic acid which increases your risk of kidney stones
  • Contains caffeine (this can be a pro or a con depending on your goals)

Regular Tea Advantages:

  • Regular tea drinkers have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Drinking regular tea lowers cholesterol levels and helps to keep arteries clear
  • Polyphenols found in regular tea can improve cognitive function and memory
  • Regular tea drinkers have a lower incidence of some types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer

Regular Tea Disadvantages:

  • Contains tannins which can reduce iron absorption
  • Can taste bitter when it is over-brewed
  • Contains oxalic acid which increases your risk of kidney stones
  • Contains caffeine (this can be a pro or a con depending on your goals)

Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is green tea!

set of beautiful black teapot and a cup

Properties of both green tea and regular tea:

  • Digestive Support

You’ve probably heard that herbal teas like ginger tea or peppermint tea are a great way to settle a troubled tummy.

But green tea is no slouch when it comes to digestion, either. This 2014 study [2] showed that green tea was very effective in reducing diarrhea and vomiting in pelvic radiotherapy patients with abdominal and pelvic malignancy. However, due to its higher caffeine levels, drinking a lot of green tea can actually cause digestive distress, so stick to just one or two cups a day.

There are no great studies demonstrating the effectiveness of regular tea on digestion, making green tea the better choice.

Verdict: For digestive support, green tea is your best bet over regular tea.

  • Antioxidants

In the last few years, antioxidants have become a hot topic. These bioactive compounds fight oxidative stress in our bodies which leads to numerous diseases like cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, different types of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders. Antioxidants are considered health superheroes because they fight free radicals in the body, preventing cancer and reducing inflammation.

The polyphenols in teas are known antioxidants [1]. So when it comes to the health benefits and differences between green tea and regular tea, it in large part comes down to antioxidants. While both green tea and regular tea contain antioxidants, the amounts and types of antioxidants differ.

Green tea contains more antioxidants than any other type of tea. It has high levels of active catechins and epigallocatechin gallate, which act as powerful antioxidants that fight cancer and inflammation.

Regular, or black tea is also rich in flavonoids, another type of antioxidant. Flavonoids have been shown to offer a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and protecting against heart disease and cancer.

Verdict: Both green tea and regular tea contains healthy antioxidants. However, green tea’s higher levels make it the clear winner here!

  • Cardiovascular Support

Green tea can reduce some of the risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart disease. It can lower LDL levels (harmful cholesterol) and reduce the overall risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. [3]

In addition, in recent years a number of studies have shown that consuming regular tea can help to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. One of the key ways in which tea protects the heart is by promoting healthy blood vessel function. The bioactive compounds in tea help to keep arteries clear and prevent the formation of damaging plaque deposits.

Regular tea also helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation throughout the body. In addition, regular tea drinking has been linked with a decreased risk of stroke. [4]

Verdict: It’s a tie! Both green tea and regular tea are great for your heart health.

Brain Function

When it comes to brain function, when enjoyed in moderation, caffeine’s superpowers come to the rescue. Caffeine from green tea and regular tea can improve your memory, reaction time, mood, and overall brain function.

Plus, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which further boosts your brainpower. It even prevents aging in the brain which can lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Verdict: While both types of tea help brain function, green tea is the winner due to its age-fighting powers.

Conclusion

So, what’s the verdict? Green tea or regular tea? The answer is both! But if you want to focus on one for digestive support, go with green tea. Both teas have great heart health benefits and help brain function, but green tea takes the lead due to its age-fighting properties. We recommend mixing it up and regularly consuming both green tea and regular tea so you get the benefits from both.

So next time you reach for your morning cup of tea, remember that you may be doing your health a favor as well!

References:

Written by Stephanie Moore

Stephanie is a professional writer who is a ‘SIBO survivor’ herself with broad experience writing in the health field. She is a regular writer for SIBO Survivor and calls Berlin, Germany home.

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