Instant tea offers convenience and taste. Yet does it offer comparable healthy tea benefits as the brewed variety? Natural compounds found in tea called antioxidants, comprised of flavonoids and catechins, enhance the body’s defense system and protect against a wide range of health-related concerns.
Some scientific studies have even shown a link between tea consumption and the ability to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer, though more research needs to be done further substantiate these findings.
The amount of antioxidants found in tea is directly linked to the extent that tea leaves are processed and packaged. And that’s a key distinction between loose, bagged and instant tea choices for health-conscious consumers.
Loose tea leaves, which are the closest to the leaves’ natural state, provide the richest concentration of antioxidants because they undergo less processing before they get to store shelves. On the other hand, instant tea goes through extensive production, handling and packaging, which compromises the level of flavonoids and catechins that promote good health.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture database of flavonoid content of selected foods, brewed tea has more than double the disease-fighting flavonoids that of instant tea.
Analysis revealed that eight ounces of brewed tea contains a flavanoid content ranging between 541 and 692 micrograms. That compares to between 122 and 312 micrograms for instant tea. Therefore, if you want more than good flavor and aroma, brew your own blend to maximize tea benefits.
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