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Natural Awakenings

Green Tea Gets a Boost: Get Even More Antioxidants with This Drink

Jun 01, 2008 03:00AM

Green tea is rightly known as one of the healthiest beverages around, due to its rich content of unique antioxidants. A new study has now upped the ante by suggesting we add vitamin C to green tea, which significantly boosts the tea’s antioxidants by making them more available to the body.

“Although these results are preliminary, I think it’s encouraging that a big part of the puzzle comes down to simple chemistry,” says Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University.

It turns out that catechins, the green tea type of antioxidants, have many health-promoting qualities, including an anti-cancer skill set, but they’re not as readily absorbed by the body in a non-acidic environment. In fact, typically less than 20 percent remain effective after digestion.

By testing a variety of juices, creamers and other additives commonly drunk in green tea, Ferruzzi found that citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, or alternately, the ingestion of a vitamin C supplement, greatly enhanced the staying power of catechins. Ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, increased the effective levels of green tea antioxidants up to 13-fold. Taking lemon in one’s tea never has looked better.

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