Is Rooibos Tea Better Than Green Tea? Here Is The Truth!

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In the world of warm beverages, amongst the sea of options are two strong and popular contenders, “Rooibos Tea and Green Tea”. Both these herbal concoctions offer delectable flavors, unique aromas, and a range of health benefits and thus have a loyal following.

However, recently, the internet has been flooded with a question lingering: “Is Rooibos Tea Better Than Green Tea?” The competition between health-conscious individuals and those seeking informed tea choices is ongoing. The debate goes beyond taste, and people often consider Rooibos Tea to be a superior choice. Let’s find out if it is.

Which Is Healthier, Green Tea Or Rooibos Tea? Unveiling Their Secrets

Nutritional Comparison Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea

Rooibos tea, also known as the Red Bush Tea, is a herbal infusion native to South Africa. Deeply rooted in the African landscape, it originates from Aspalathus linearis plant leaves, boasting a sweet, earthy flavor and vibrant red color. Its production commonly starts with harvesting needle-like leaves, fermenting and sun drying them, thus getting that final product. This herbal concoction has been used for centuries for its purported health benefits.

Green Tea, on the other hand, originates primarily from Japan and China and is deeply rooted in Asian culture. It is made from the same tea plant from which black and white teas are made. The leaves of Camellia sinensis are harvested, steamed/ pan-fried (to halt oxidation), and then sun-dried to get the final product.

Nutritional Comparison: Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea

NutrientRooibos Tea per 230 mlGreen Tea per 230 ml
Calories02
CaffeineCaffeine-free25 to 29 milligrams
AntioxidantsHighHigh
PolyphenolsAbundantAbundant
FlavonoidsYesYes
Minerals (like iron, etc.)PresentPresent
Vitamin CMinimalLow
TanninsLow Moderate

Caffeine Content And Flavor Profile: Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea

Rooibos Tea is an excellent hot beverage option for those looking for options without stimulants due to its caffeine-free nature. On the other hand, green tea is mildly caffeinated and may have 25 to 29 mg of caffeine per 8oz brewed cup.

Meanwhile, when it comes to flavor, the former has a naturally sweet and earthy taste but slightly nutty and fruity additional notes. It lacks bitterness and has a sweeter taste with a mild aroma. However, the latter has a grassy vegetal taste that may sometimes feel slightly astringent in general. Green Tea, although it comes in a lot of variants thus, may have a sweet to mild and even robust taste. Its aroma is fresh, herbal, and sometimes floral.

Health Benefits Of Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea

Let’s compare the health benefits of both of them:

Rooibos Tea Health Benefits

  • It is rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin, and aspalathin, both known for neutralizing free radicals in the body.
  • It is a caffeine-free herbal tea option for those seeking a calming beverage.
  • It may inhibit angiotensin-converting enzymes, thus aiding in the beneficial effects on blood pressure.
  • Some studies claim that it may help improve cholesterol levels; however, more promising evidence is needed.
  • Some studies claim it may have anti-inflammatory properties; however, more research is needed in this field.
  • Some test-tube studies claim that it may prevent tumor growth by killing cancer cells; however, no human studies support the same.

Green Tea Health Benefits

  • It is rich in high catechin content, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and thus boasts high antioxidant properties.
  • Consuming this herbal concoction may improve heart health by lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • The presence of catechins may help boost metabolism, thus aiding in weight management.
  • The presence of L-theanine, when combined with caffeine, may have positive effects on cognitive functioning.

Side Effects Of Rooibos Tea vs Green Tea

Although both these varieties of warm beverages are generally safe, when overconsumed, they may have certain side effects:

Rooibos Tea Side Effects

  • Although its allergies are rare, individuals with plant allergies might not find this beverage suitable. When just starting, it is advisable to consume the tea in small quantities and monitor its effects.
  • When consumed in extremely high quantities (8 to 10 cups per day), it might cause liver problems in some individuals.

Green Tea Side Effects

  • It may cause caffeine sensitivity in certain individuals. Some of the common symptoms may include digestive issues, anxiety, and insomnia.
  • The presence of tannins may inhibit the absorption of plant-based iron from regular food items. Individuals dealing with iron deficiency anemia should not consume green tea with meals.
  • Similarly, tannins may lead to acid reflux, and some individuals may experience stomach issues.
  • Although moderate consumption is safe, however pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid excessive consumption due to increased risk of certain complications.

So, Is Rooibos Tea Better Than Green Tea?

The answer to this question is subjective and largely depends upon individual preferences and health considerations. Rooibos Tea is undoubtedly a better choice for those seeking caffeine-free options and who want to avoid stimulants. It is also a better choice if your taste preferences are inclined towards sweet and earthy notes.

Individuals who prefer caffeine in their hot beverages can go with green tea. It has a mainly green color and may offer you numerous choices when it comes to taste profile and flavors. However, when seeking health benefits, both of them are a smart choice with a balance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. And since a cup of green tea alone cannot aid as a health assistant, going with any of them can be an option. 

Sum Up

Warm beverages are the trend of the era; thus, the comparison between herbal teas is never-ending. The question of whether Rooibos tea is better than Green tea won’t end quickly, as both have unique characteristics, flavors, and aromas. The discussion only ends with personal preference as the choice between both is a mere comparison with no ultimate winner.

The answer lies only in the individual’s cup of tea, given what satisfies you at the end of the day. However, when relying on herbal concoctions for health benefits, remember that a cup of tea alone cannot do miracles. Enjoy it as a warm or cold beverage option, but consult a medical professional for health concerns.

References

  • Villaño, D., Pecorari, M., Testa, M. F., Raguzzini, A., Stalmach, A., Crozier, A., … Serafini, M. (2010, December 1). Unfermented and fermented rooibos teas (Aspalathus linearis) increase plasma total antioxidant capacity in healthy humans [Abstract]. Food Chemistry123(3), 679–683
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814610005923
  • Breiter, T., Laue, C., Kressel, G., Gröll, S., Engelhardt, U. H., & Hahn, A. (2011, September 15). Bioavailability and antioxidant potential of rooibos flavonoids in humans following the consumption of different rooibos formulations [Abstract]. Food Chemistry128(2), 338–347
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25212140
  • Abe SK, et al. (2019). Green tea consumption and mortality in Japanese men and women: A pooled analysis of eight population-based cohort studies in Japan.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31392470/

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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