Did you know that most of the free-radical fighters in green tea never make it to your bloodstream? But there's a solution.
To get a better grasp on the healthy catechins in your green tea, flavor your cup with a squeeze of citrus juice.
Green Tea Booster
Catechins -- the antioxidants in green tea famous for lowering your risk of chronic disease -- quickly lose their power in your intestine. In fact, as much as 80% of the catechins in green tea are never absorbed. The solution to boosting absorption, researchers recently found, is as simple as flavoring your tea with freshly squeezed and strained lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit juice.
Taking Tea with C
The vitamin C in citrus may help with absorption by increasing the acidity in your small intestine. Other unidentified substances in the juice probably lend a hand, too. Researchers found a 50-50 mix had the greatest catechin-preserving effect, and lemon did it best, closely followed by orange, lime, and, in last place, grapefruit.
It's Not All Bad News
If you do take steps to boost the power of your green tea, you may even get a few added benefits.
- It may help you lose weight. At least one study shows green tea can stimulate moderate weight loss.
- It may help keep your knees young and strong -- catechins fight inflammation and arthritis.
- It can help your skin look great if used in conjunction with an antioxidant cream. Dab it on.
- It can help you stay sharp -- try 2 cups a day to see benefits.