How to Boost the Power of your Green Tea
Although modern science has begun to show just how beneficial green tea can be for your health, many questions still remain. How beneficial is green tea exactly? How much green tea do we need to drink? How can we boost the power of our green tea to maximize its beneficial effects?
So far, numerous studies have shown that people who regularly drink green tea are more likely to live longer than people who don’t. Green tea has been proven to boost the immune system, fight heart disease, prevent cancer, help with diabetes, and more! The benefits of green tea are astounding, and its all thanks to a group of antioxidants called catechins. There’s only one problem.
The moment you swallow a mouthful of green tea, the acids in your stomach begin to break down the beneficial antioxidant compounds in tea that help support your overall health. Although scientists are still unsure why this happens, research has shown that under normal conditions, less than 20% of these compounds will ever make past the harsh environment of your digestive system to where your body needs them the most.
Food scientists at Purdue University, however, have found a solution to this problem. In a recent study, they combined green tea with a variety of different beverages and measured the body’s recovery rate of catechins – the beneficial antioxidants found in green tea. Their results were incredible.
Depending on the beverage they mixed with the green tea, they found that they could increase the body’s absorption rate of some catechins to nearly 100%. The most effective combination of all? Citrus! By combining green tea with orange or grapefruit juice, they discovered that up to 95% of these invaluable antioxidants will ultimately make it to the individual cells in your body.
Even the addition of a slice of lemon or a squirt of concentrated lemon juice can help ensure that your body will absorb up to 80% of the antioxidants in your green tea. By mixing your tea with soy or rice milk, you can boost the power of your tea by 55% to 70%. And additional preliminary research at this same university also suggests that the addition of sugar may further enhance the benefits of green tea.
As for the best way to maximize the potency of your green tea to protect these invaluable antioxidants before they reach your stomach, experts recommend steeping for 2-3 minutes in water at 180?F. To maximize the benefits you’ll receive from your tea, combine it with an equal portion of orange juice, grapefruit juice or milk. You can also enhance the power of your tea in cooking by adding it to recipes that use milk, lemon, tomatoes, and other vitamin-C rich fruits or berries. Even the slightest addition of citrus will improve the power of your tea, so remember to at least squeeze in a slice of lemon. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do.
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 2007 Sep; Vol 51, pp. 1152-62 (original research)
Vegetarian Times 2010 Jan; Issue 373, p. 17
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