Contributing Monkie GreenChef Staff Monkies
Published on February 2, 2009
Green Tea has been hailed as the holy grail superfood –- getting credit for everything from making you slim, gorgeous, smart, relaxed and cancer free. So, what’s the bad news? Well, aside from concerns over the fluoride and caffeine in teas, what good are all the antioxidants if they’re never even absorbed?
Recent studies have shown that most of the free-radical fighting catechins in green tea — the ones credited for most of these wondrous effects — never even make it to your bloodstream. In fact, only 20% of the antioxidant catechins survive after digestion because they’re unstable in non-acidic environments.
There is hope, though. A study led by Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University, compared the effect of various tea additives on catechins. The study found that squeezing a little fresh lemon, lime, orange or other citrus juice into your tea boosts the survival of the catechins, increasing the absorption of antioxidants. Lemon juice had the highest stabilizing effect, causing 80% of tea’s catechins to remain. The next best is orange, followed by lime and grapefruit juice.
But if you’re thinking the stabilizing effect is based purely on the vitamin C content, think again — there are other unknown substances in the citrus juices that give a catechin-preserving boost.
“If you want more out of your green tea, add some citrus juice to your cup after brewing or pick a ready-to-drink product formulated with ascorbic acid,” said Ferruzzi.
So, the next time you brew your favorite cup of green, skip the sugar and add some C with a dash of lemon or orange.