July 8, 2011

The truth about bottled teas

You’ve read here and elsewhere that both black and green teas are loaded with polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant chemicals that can do wonders to protect your health. Naturally, the food industry is trying to take advantage of the news. You’ll find bottled tea beverages promoted at just about any grocery store and health food store. But are these teas as healthy for you as fresh brewed tea?

Polyphenols are rather bitter tasting compounds. That explains some of the bitterness in many vegetables, like broccoli, as they’re loaded with these plant chemicals. I drink home-brewed green tea and can tell you it has lots of bitterness. But the American Chemical Society reports that the bottled teas aren’t nearly as bitter – nor do they have as many polyphenols.

In fact, the ACS says you’ll need up to 20 bottles of green or black tea to get as many polyphenols as one cup of fresh-brewed tea. One cup of freshly brewed tea provides at least 175 mg of wondrous polyphenols.

Why? Bottled tea is no different than all processed foods. The bottlers make them for taste, not for health or physical needs. They add less tea to the bottled drink to make a less bitter, less astringent, but sweeter and smoother drink. And, unless you know this, you are duped by the advertisers into thinking you are getting something as healthy as fresh brewed tea.

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Please make your own tea. And drink it fresh, as the polyphenols will gradually degrade in the hot water. If you find it inconvenient to drink green or even black tea, consider Advanced Bionutritionals Green Tea Extract. One capsule will provide you the equivalent of about 10 cups of green tea polyphenols.

Ref: American Chemical Society, 8-22-10 online.

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