The antioxidant power of tea
Over the centuries, in eastern culture, tea has been considered a social and medicinal drink. During this time, many claims have been made (some exaggerated) about the benefits it can bring to health. As the second most consumed drink after water all over the world, it is in the present day that many modern scientific studies have clarified the truth about the real benefits of regular tea consumption for health.
Tea is an infusion of hot water made from the dry ground leaves or buds of the Camellia sinensis shrub, belonging to the Theaceae family, and is used as a stimulant beverage. You can choose different types of tea, classified depending on the time of harvesting. The different types available are:
- White tea. This is harvested before the buds open. This is the simplest type of tea.
- Green tea. Immediately after harvesting, the leaves are dried rapidly through warming or using steam. This avoids fermentation and its chemical composition barely changes.
- Red tea, also known by the name “Pu-erh”. This is obtained through brief drying, first in the open air, and a second, longer, drying period in an enclosed place.
- Black tea. This is fully fermented tea. It is left for the longest time, so that its components react among themselves.
Tea is a popular social drink, due to its xanthic base content, which includes theine, and therefore has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Theine increases wakefulness and, since it also has an ergogenic effect, it increases capacity for physical effort.
There is one tea that is particularly beneficial: green tea. The importance attributed the healthy properties of this tea compared with the others stems from how it is made. The process leaves its chemical composition almost unaltered, since the green tea leaves are stabilised, avoiding enzymatic oxidation, so that they retain their catechin content and, since they are not fermented in the sun, they contain a higher number of polyphenols.
Should we drink green tea every day?
The answer is yes. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) indicates and approves the traditional use of this type of tea for the relief of fatigue and feelings of weakness. This is because green tea leaves contain xanthic bases such as caffeine (in this case theine, as mentioned) and theobromine, saponins and polyphenols such as catechins, theaflavins, flavonoids, anthocyanidins and caffeoylquinic acids. This means catechins are linked with an antioxidant and anti-obesity effect in the body.
However, its antioxidant components (polyphenols) are those that give it its healthy properties, that is, it protects the body against the harmful effect of oxidant substances and free radicals that weaken the body’s natural defence system and accelerate the ageing process.
These components provide multiple benefits for the body, such as regulating cholesterol levels, helping the body to absorb less fat and excrete more. It also prevents the formation of blood clots, since it inhibits a substance released by platelets, thromboxane, which causes the platelets to bind, forming blocks (thrombi). It also prevents the formation of caries, due to its fluoride content. It exerts a significant diuretic effect, as it helps to eliminate liquids and of course its low caloric content make it a good alternative to carbonated and sugary drinks.
However, one contraindication is that it contains a substance that hinders the organic absorption of vitamin B1. Those who drink a lot of tea may therefore become deficient in this important vitamin for the nervous system. Green tea also has the disadvantage of hindering the absorption of iron present in food, so its consumption is not indicated if experiencing anaemia.
Anastore offers you various ways to enjoy the benefits of this product. For example, our green tea extract capsules are standardised to contain 50% polyphenols, making them a powerful protective agent against free radicals. Their high EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) content guarantees the maximum effectiveness of Anastore’s green tea.
You can also enjoy our range of teas and infusions – we offer you the choice of various types of tea and green tea, all aromatic and delicious.