The difference between green, black, and oolong tea is in the processing. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and contains the highest concentration of polyphenols, such as cathecin. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants. They neutralize free radicals in the body that contribute to the aging process, as well as the development of cancer and heart disease.
Now, a study has looked at the process of brewing green tea to get the best antioxidant effect.
The first and second brewing of green tea infusion inhibited the formation of cancer causing nitrosomorpholine, while the third to eighth brews accelerated its formation.
Green tea infusions brewed from 5 grams of leaves per 200 mL of hot (80Â°C; 176Â°F) water (strong tea infusion) inhibited the formation of nitrosomopholone, while that brewed from 2.5 grams or less (weak tea infusion) accelerated its formation.
The bottom line, use lots of green tea leaves when preparing tea, but discard the leaves after the second brewing.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.