Why Cancer Hates Tea: Insights from Believe Big’s Food for Thought Session

In this “Food for Thought” session, Stacey Fritz, a patient advocate for Believe Big, and Paula Weinberg, an oncology nutritionist, delved into the remarkable benefits of tea, particularly in the context of cancer. The session provided an enlightening overview, emphasizing the different types of tea, their unique properties, and how they can support overall health and cancer prevention. Here’s a summary of the key takeaways:

Types of Tea and Their Processing

Paula highlighted that there are only four true types of tea, all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant:

  • White Tea: The least processed, retaining the most antioxidants.
  • Green Tea: Known for its high antioxidant content and numerous health benefits.
  • Oolong Tea: Partially oxidized, offering a balance between green and black tea properties.
  • Black Tea: Fully oxidized, rich in flavor and health benefits, particularly for cardiovascular health.

Health Benefits of Tea

Tea is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that provide various health benefits:

  • Cancer Prevention: Green tea, in particular, is rich in EGCG, a compound known for its anti-cancer properties.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Black tea improves vascular function and reduces cholesterol levels.
  • Weight Management: Tea boosts metabolism, inhibits fat formation, and acts as a natural appetite suppressant.

Special Mention: Matcha and Mistletoe Therapy

  • Matcha: This powdered form of green tea is potent, offering higher concentrations of caffeine and antioxidants. However, Paula noted that it can accumulate aluminum, a potential concern for long-term drinkers.
  • Mistletoe Therapy: Though not discussed in detail in this session, mistletoe therapy is another complementary treatment often explored by cancer patients. It’s essential to discuss such therapies with a healthcare provider.

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea

Making tea is an art that involves the right proportions and temperatures:

  • White Tea: 170-185°F, steep for 1-3 minutes.
  • Green Tea: 175-185°F, steep for 2-3 minutes.
  • Oolong Tea: 185-205°F, steep for 3-5 minutes.
  • Black Tea: Boiling water, steep for 3-5 minutes.

Tea is more than just a comforting beverage. It’s a powerhouse of health benefits, especially for those on a cancer journey. Incorporating a variety of teas into your daily routine can offer diverse health benefits, from boosting metabolism to protecting against cancer. Remember, as Stacey and Paula emphasized, always opt for high-quality, preferably organic, tea leaves to maximize these benefits.


Watch the full episode below: