Drinking tea can help put your mind at ease—but did you know that drinking properly steeped tea is the best way to reap antioxidants from this beverage?
Football fans, as well as those who couldn’t care less about the sport, came together on Super Bowl Sunday to eat plenty of unhealthy, fatty food and share a few cold beverages with their friends. And even if you’re not feeling the effects today, you’re probably aware that your cholesterol might be a little high after all that indulgence…which can be worrisome. Thankfully, whether you’re looking for a short-term pick me up or some long-term health benefits, tea is a great choice—but you have to steep it the right way. Let me explain.
The Best Way to Reap Antioxidants From Steeped Tea
Drinking tea can help put your mind at ease. Tea has a number of health benefits, including the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce stroke risk, battle cancer, burn fat, and prevent arterial blockages. Green, black, and white tea all feature healthy antioxidants that contribute to good health.
But what is the best way to get those antioxidants from tea? There has been much debate over steeping temperatures and times, but what is the most beneficial for your health? Most teas suggest you steep for anywhere from one minute to 10 minutes, but that’s usually just for flavor (I always go longer). And we all know that just because something tastes good, it isn’t necessarily good for you…remember the Super Bowl party?
Study Shows the Health Benefits of Steeped Tea
New research is showing that steeping times and temperatures play a key role in the antioxidant make-up of different types of tea. The type of tea—green, black, or white—determines steeping temperature and time, so to get the most from your tea you’ll want to keep reading.
With white tea, which is uncured and unfermented, antioxidant-properties remain the highest at longer steeping times, but are not affected by temperature. Steeping for two hours in hot or cold water will maximize antioxidant properties, which may help with cancer prevention. Research has shown that white tea has the most anticancer properties.
Antioxidant compounds in black tea, however, are influenced heavily by both steeping time and temperature. Levels are highest when infused in hot water for a short period of time; no more than five minutes. If it’s steeped longer, the antioxidant quality diminishes. Black tea has the highest caffeine content in tea, which can lead to improved attention and alertness. One of the other health benefits of black tea is a reduced risk of stroke.
Green tea is likely the most healthful tea, and that’s largely because of its unique, potent antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Drinking green tea can help protect against certain cancers, including bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. Studies show that drinking green tea might prevent atherosclerosis, improve cholesterol levels, and even reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s! To take advantage of these benefits, make sure you’re steeping your tea properly. You get the most antioxidant compounds in green tea when it’s steeped for a long time—two hours—in cold water.
In order to make sure you’re getting the most from your tea, you have to pay attention to steeping temperature and timing.
Source for Today’s Article:
Hajiaghaalipour, F., et al., “Temperature and Time of Steeping Affect the Antioxidant Properties of White, Green, and Black Tea Infusions,” Journal of Food Science, 2015; doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13149.