After years of being a diehard coffee girl, I made the switch to tea cold turkey. All the benefits of drinking tea – green tea in particular- were far too amazing to ignore, from the prevention of cancer to the reduction of inflammation, it seemed foolish of me to refrain from joining the legion of growing green tea fans. Initially I missed my morning brew, but after two full weeks as a tea drinker, I was a convert.
Recently while searching the internet, I came across a study that found citrus juice enables more of green tea’s unique antioxidants to remain after digestion, making the pairing even healthier than previously thought.
The study compared the effect of additives on catechins, the naturally occurring antioxidants found in tea. The results suggested that enhancing green tea with either citrus juices or vitamin C will very likely increase the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb.
Catechins (KA’-teh-kins), are said to be responsible for some of green tea’s well publicized health benefits, like reduced risk of cancer, heart attack and stroke. The problem is that catechins are relatively unstable in non-acidic environments, like the intestines.
Supercharge your green tea with lemons!
Lemons and tea not only taste amazing, but together they are a supercharged antioxidant team! The study found that lemon juice caused 80% of tea’s catechins to remain. Following lemon was orange, lime and grapefruit juices. Studies indicate that the catechins from the green tea plant, Camellia sinensis, are able to detoxify toxic chemicals, inhibit cancer cell activity, and stimulate production of immune-strengthening enzymes.
This is yet another case argument for the benefits of fresh juices. Instead of using sugar to sweeten my morning tea, I have begun adding fresh citrus juice. I gave most of them a try, beginning with lime, which I found slightly tart for my taste (secretly, I added a touch of sugar in order to balance the tartness – don’t tell anyone!)
Then I used lemon juice, which when combined with green tea, is as classic a combination as any – and I loved it. But the next level of delicious was blueberry green tea with fresh orange juice. Good lord, was it ever good as an antioxidant dream team of orange, blueberry and green tea. With free radicals running wild, this dynamite combination is too good to pass up – and delicious to boot! If I was a free radical, I would be very scared.