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Which beverages are good sources of antioxidants?

Chris Kilham
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Beverages that are good sources of antioxidants include coffee, some types of fruit juices, bitter beers, red wine, and green tea. In this video, "Medicine Hunter" Chris Kilham discusses the beverages that have the most healthy antioxidants. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
While Americans' number-one source of antioxidants is from coffee, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, says there are better hot beverages out there, like green tea.

Another great tea option is white tea. "It's not new -- it's very old -- and [has] been used for centuries for healing purposes."

White tea is from the same plant as green tea, but it's produced in a different way. While green tea is made of leaves dried to the point where the tea will be dark in color, white tea is made from an immature plant bud that isn't dried at all. Instead of steeping the leaves, white tea is steamed. Dr. Oz says the potential for medicinal benefits of white tea -- beyond a very small amount of caffeine as compared with other kinds of tea and coffee -- comes from this lack of drying.

Dr. Oz says you should drink about four cups of green tea a day.

One of the most-talked-about pieces of dietary news to arise in recent years is that red wine is good for your health. Dr. Oz says part of the reason is the alcohol and part is resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that comes from the skins of grapes. Vintners add the grape skins back to make red wine, but they don't do the same process for white wine, so white wine has no resveratrol benefit.

"Resveratrol does one other thing," Dr. Oz says. "It turns on a system in your body that prevents your cells from aging. Now think about it: Where do they grow these grapes? On trees on hillsides, right? It's not a very hospitable environment. So those grapes are sending a signal to us that life might not be so good, so why not turn on that cellular chemistry that you have that allows you to live longer and better? That's why we think this has a benefit."

If you don't want the alcohol, Dr. Oz says you can get some resveratrol from Concord grape juice or other dark grape juices, but you won't get as much benefit as you would from red wine. "Eighty percent of the benefit of the wine is actually the alcohol, and twenty percent is the resveratrol," Dr. Oz says. "It's the combination that makes red wine so valuable."

Of course, moderation is the key when drinking to your health. Dr. Oz says most people should drink about one glass of red wine a day, although some men can drink slightly more because males metabolize alcohol more effectively than females.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.