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Tea – Are Tea’s Anti-oxidants Really Useable By the Body?

In recent years, tea has gained a fantastic deal of attention for its ability to protect our health and prevent disease. But, many have wondered if the anti-oxidants in tea are really absorbed by our bodies in enough quantity to really be helpful, or if we’re better off taking supplements.

Well, at least one study suggests that the anti-oxidants we consume in tea and other anti-oxidant rich foods are indeed effective. A study reported by the Journal of Nutrition studied the actual bioavailability of black tea catechins. After a 5 day period of abstaining from anti-oxidant rich tea, participants were place on a regimen of black tea 4 times per day.

During the study period, the participants abstained from other anti-oxidant rich foods, so that researchers could be certain that the anti-oxidants they found in evaluation came from the tea. In order to determine whether or not the catechins had been absorbed by the body, researchers evaluated the participants’ blood, urine and feces for traces of the tea catechins.

Results showed that traces of the tea’s anti-oxidants were found in the blood, urine and feces of the participants, meaning that the anti-oxidants had been absorbed by the body. Catechin levels appeared to peak at about 5 hours after the consumption of the dose of tea. At peak levels, the concentration of anti-oxidants in the subjects was significantly higher than at the beginning of the study.

The only downside to the results of this study was that it appeared that the amount of tea catechins absorbed by the body was relatively low compared to amount of catechins really ingested. This suggests that in order to get maximum anti-oxidant benefit, we may need to ingest honestly large quantities of anti-oxidant rich foods, like tea.

But, one aspect of anti-oxidant absorption that this study did not measure was how much was absorbed in the digestive tract. It is hypothesized that much of the anti-oxidants we consume are absorbed in the digestive tract and metabolized for use by the body.

If this is the case, our bodies are receiving the benefit of the anti-oxidants, even though traces of them are not found in our urine, blood or feces.

But, even if our bodies don’t absorb a large amount of the anti-oxidants we consume, we do know that some are available for use by the body. For this reason, it’s even more vital to ensure that your diet is especially rich in anti-oxidants.

This means that you should consume a wide variety of foods that contain anti-oxidants to help you ensure that your body absorbs enough to provide health benefits.

In addition to drinking tea at least 4 times daily, add the following foods to your diet in significant quantity to get the most “bang for your anti-oxidant buck”.

Asparagus
Blueberries
Pomegranates
Strawberries
Raspberries
Blackberries
Broccoli
Tomatoes
Red grapes (including red wine)
Garlic
Spinach
Soy
Whole grains
Carrots
Coffee
Chocolate (dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao)

All of these foods can help protect your health and slow down the aging process. If you build your daily diet around these foods, you’ll be certain to get enough anti-oxidants to ensure that your body absorbs them in an amount to be beneficial.

Experiment with new recipes and fascinating ways to use and combine the most anti-oxidant rich foods to ensure that you’re getting a excellent dose at each and every meal.

Many of these foods are simple to incorporate into your life. For example, berries and grapes make fantastic afternoon snacks, and can be used in a wide variety of desserts. Tomatoes are one of the most versatile foods around.

In fact, some doctors recommend that you eat tomato sauce regularly because it’s a more concentrated form of tomatoes’ anti-oxidants than simply eating a raw tomato. And of course, most of us have dozens of recipes that use tomato sauce.

Spinach is another versatile food that can be added to many dishes. For example, why not add some cooked spinach to your regular lasagna recipe? It’s hardly noticeable when layered with the cheeses. Don’t forget to season with garlic!

The combination of spinach, tomato sauce and garlic suddenly makes your lasagna a very anti-oxidant rich meal! Serve it with a salad containing carrots and broccoli and your meal is a powerhouse!

Another especially potent food is the pomegranate. Most of us don’t eat pomegranates on a regular basis, and they can sometimes be hard to find at the grocer. But, pomegranate juice and tea with added pomegranate is readily available.

Try having a glass of pomegranate juice each day, or drinking pomegranate tea. This gives you a double whammy of anti-oxidants in a tasty and refreshing beverage.

As you can see, once you realize the right foods to eat, it’s simple to ensure that your family gets a diet that’s especially rich in anti-oxidants. It just takes a small plotting and a excellent understanding of the best foods for your body. Wash it all down with a cup of tea and you’ll be on the road to excellent health!

Jon M. Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about goldenmoontea.com tea, goldenmoontea.com/greentea green tea and goldenmoontea.com/blacktea black tea go to goldenmoontea.com

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