Green and white teas as health-promoting foods
Tea is one of the most consumed beverages around the world and as such, it is constantly the object of novel research. This review focuses on the research performed during the last five years to provide an updated view of the current position of tea regarding human health. According to most authors, tea health benefits can be traced back to its bioactive components, mostly phenolic compounds. Among them, catechins are the most abundant. Tea has an important antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory properties, which make this beverage (or its extracts) a potential aid in the fight against several chronic diseases. On the other hand, some studies report the possibility of toxic effects and it is advisable to reduce tea consumption, such as in the last trimester of pregnancy. Additionally, new technologies are increasing researchers’ possibilities to study the effect of tea on human gut microbiota and even against SARS CoV-2. This beverage favours some beneficial gut microbes, which could have important repercussions due to the influence of gut microbiota on human health.