When it comes to natural antioxidants, there are only two that are the most widely used in the world--acai berry and green tea. Both acai berry and green tea have high levels of antioxidants. But can drinking green tea alone supplement for the antioxidants needed by the body? We already heard it--the foods we eat might just contribute to our death. Cholesterol-rich food clogs our heart arteries, salt-rich food increases our hypertension, and even anything that is too much can threaten our health. Due to these threats people are very concerned about the nutrition they get in their diet. In fact, many people are now considering the nutrition in their diet whenever they eat.
There are ready-to-drink supplements that claim to balance the nutrition in the body and people have a wrong misconception that taking supplements can suffice to achieve enough vitamins and better health. Most people continue to eat unhealthy foods while taking supplements with the hope of still having good health.
Fortunately, the bad effects of unhealthy foods can be fiercely combated with antioxidants. Green tea, like acai berry, is known to have a high level of antioxidants. But actually, the antioxidant level in green tea may vary depending on different situations.
Usually, the antioxidant levels in green tea depend upon its amount of antioxidants. Some of the known antioxidants in green tea are vitamin C, E, and some minerals. But the most helpful antioxidant in green tea is called polyphenols. These polyphenols have four types: epicatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, and epicatechin gallate. These are collectively called catechins.
Polyphenols are natural compounds in green tea. These are believed to give the distinct flavor of green tea as well as its antioxidant potential. These natural compounds are also present in other teas, especially black tea. However, the polyphenols in green tea are far and away better than those in black tea. The color of the tea is produced because of the polyphenols and the chlorophyll. Tea leaves undergo enzymatic process, which exposes them to oxygen. The more the leaves are exposed to oxygen, the darker the tea color becomes and the lesser the polyphenol levels. Thus, there is a lesser antioxidant level on teas with darker colors. This is why black tea is generally considered to be of lesser antioxidant level than green tea. However, there are some studies saying that black teas have better antioxidant level. Actually, it's not only oxidation that determines the antioxidant level in a tea.
Aside from oxidation, antioxidant levels in green tea may also differ depending on the brand. As you see, there are now a lot of green tea brands in the market. Unfortunately, not all of these green tea brands have the same antioxidant levels.
One study was conducted to determine the antioxidant levels of different green tea brands in the market. These brands were brewed for about three minutes and these were their catechin contents:
- Celestial Seasonings Green Tea - 217mg
- Lipton Green Tea - 201mg
- Uncle Lee's Green Tea - 157mg
- Stash Premium Green Tea Decaf - 53mg
Iced green tea mixes, the Snapple Peach Iced Tea and Lipton Lemon Ice Tea have no content of antioxidant catechin at all. The verdict? Drinking a lot of green tea does not actually promise that you will get the best antioxidant level. It is important that you consider factors such as the oxidation level and the brand when making your choice.