The antioxidants in green tea are extremely potent. It is at the root of various claims about the benefits of green tea, ranging from reducing cancer risk to lowering blood pressure, helping to prevent weight loss and preventing diabetes.
Let's look at what these antioxidants are and how they can help us.
All the tea is jam-packed with polyphenols. These are antioxidants, compounds that attack free radicals. This is the uncontrolled production of free radicals that leads to cancer.
Free radicals are single-electron molecules. They bind to other molecules, "flying" indeed electrons. This starts a chain reaction, creating more and more free radicals, leaving cells vulnerable to damage.
Antioxidants bind to these free radicals, effectively neutralizing them. Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is one of the most potent antioxidants known to science. Green tea contains higher concentrations of this miraculous compound than spinach or broccoli!
Weight loss and diabetes
When polyphenols combine with caffeine, the result is a powerful fat burner. Studies have shown that the consumption of green tea leads to a decrease in blood levels of lipids, glucose and cholesterol. This means good news for dieters, as well as for people at risk for diabetes. Maintaining low blood glucose can prevent the onset of diabetes.
The antioxidants of green tea have become the ingredients of choice in anti-wrinkle creams and moisturizers. Applied to the skin, antioxidants act in different ways. First, they "cleanse" the free radicals that cause wrinkles and sagging. Then they bring an increased blood flow and oxygen to the skin, keeping it fresh and young.
Green tea and others
Green tea contains higher concentrations of antioxidants than black tea. This has to do with how the tea is processed. Black tea is fermented, resulting in the loss of some of these beneficial compounds.
Oolong tea is slightly processed, which means that it probably contains higher levels of antioxidants than black. Green tea is barely fermented, so the levels of EGCG are very high.
We do not yet know all the incredible health benefits of green tea's antioxidants. But what we know up to now leads us to recommend 3 to 6 cups a day for better health!