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Antioxidants & Health
All tea has antioxidants, but the more processed the tea is, the less the concentration. Thus, along the continuum, white tea has the most, followed by green, oolong and black. However, most experts agree that it’s the amount of tea that you drink, not the color, that will yield the greatest health benefits. Eight cups a day is the recommend amount.
Health benefits have been attributed to tea, especially green tea, which is much of what has been drunk in China and Japan, for its 5,000-year history. However, scientific studies of the compounds in tea began less than 30 years ago; most have been conducted in the past five years. While research shows that prostate cancer, for example, is less common in countries where people drink a lot of green tea, the majority of the studies are lab studies as opposed to studies on human populations. Will drinking tea help you? At the very least, it won’t hurt.
While green tea has gotten a lot of press because it has higher levels of catechins—compounds with antioxidant activity—than black tea, and has been the focus of more research studies, experts like Dr. Hasan Mukhtar, a researcher in the field and vice chair of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, feel that black tea is at least as beneficial. See our article on antioxidant foods for more information.
Continue To Page 4: Tea Terminology & Books About Tea
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