The Antioxidant Power of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)

The wonderful thing about Green Tea is how the leaves retain their biologically active nutrients from the time of harvesting to the moment you brew and then sip this liquid elixir. Green Tea contains plant nutrients (polyphenols), such as catechins and flavonoids, which function as antioxidants, helping the body to clear out free radicals, molecules that cause oxidative damage to cells. This damage creates inflammation and can lead to disease.

One of the potent compounds in Green Tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Studies conducted on the health-protective benefits of EGCG show that people who frequently drink Green Tea have lower rates of illness, including many types of cancer. While additional research is needed to understand the mechanisms that contribute to the medicinal properties of Green Tea, EGCG supplements have been used in clinical trials to help treat certain cancers, inflammatory diseases, and diabetes.

There are many ways to enjoy Green Tea. The best varieties of tea will be loose leaf, organically harvested from GMO-free crops. To maintain the potency of the antioxidants in your tea, do not add milk, which alters the tea’s health-boosting properties. Be sure to follow the steeping directions. Steeping longer than directed can make the tea bitter. As a general rule, if you prefer a stronger tea, add more tea for the same steeping time. To sweeten, add locally sourced honey or a splash of fresh squeezed lemon, orange, or even watermelon juice.

 

References

  • “In vivo Antioxidant Effects of Green and Black Tea in Man.” European Jl of Clin Nutr (01 Jan 1996) 50(1):28-32. Accessed 15 Jan 2018: http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/8617188
  • Forester, S.C., and Lambert, J.D. “Antioxidant Effects of Green Tea.” Molecular nutrition & food research 55.6 (2011): 844–854. PMC. Accessed 15 Jan 2018: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679539/
  • MedicalNewsToday.com “Green Tea: Health Benefits, Side Effects & Research.” Accessed 15 Jan 2018: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538.php