Maximize Antioxidants with This Style of Tea

Medically reviewed in January 2022

Tea sure is loaded with good-for-your-body nutrients. But to really get your fill of antioxidants from tea, choose brewed over bottled.

Research shows that most bottled teas have few antioxidants to offer, while brewed varieties can provide anywhere from 50 to 150 health-boosting milligrams per cup. So dust off that teakettle.

Teatime
Healthful antioxidants in tea, called polyphenols, are credited with everything from reducing the risk of certain types of cancer to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But you need as much as 125 to 500 milligrams of tea polyphenols per day to achieve these health benefits. And not all teas deliver the same antioxidant punch. It varies greatly by brand—and color. In general, green brewed teas deliver the most polyphenols—averaging 50 to 500 milligrams per serving. Fresh-brewed black tea hooks you up with anywhere from 10 to 360 milligrams per cup. (For more grow-younger benefits, check out this list of antioxidant all-star foods.)

Bottled vs. Brewed
And bottled teas? In the study, the majority of bottled teas contained little to no polyphenols at all. So whether you ice it down or drink it hot, you're better off reaching for the kettle and brewing your tea at home. What's more, brewed teas can cost just pennies per serving, unlike pricier bottled beverages. Aim for 2 to 3 cups per day of the brewed stuff to reach health-promoting polyphenol levels. (Supercharge the antioxidant power of your tea with this sweetener.)

Find out how much green tea you need to whittle your waist.

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