Green tea is widely associated with a number of health benefits. Produced from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea, unlike black or oolong tea, is not fermented during the production process. The naturally occurring antioxidants in green tea can also be boosted with the addition of lemon, which is chock-full of important nutrients.
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Antioxidant Benefits of Green Tea
Antioxidants are naturally occurring elements that protect your body’s cells from damage from environmental toxins and free radicals. Green tea is naturally high in flavonoid antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG. According to Harvard Health Publications, EGCG has been associated with a variety of potential health benefits, including helping prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. Harvard Health states that green tea may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, although the available data is still limited.
Benefits of Combining Green Tea With Lemon
According to Purdue University, lemon boosts the health benefits of green tea, as citrus juice makes green tea’s antioxidants more readily available for your body. Catechins prefer an acidic rather than alkaline environment. As the tea passes from your stomach — acidic — to the increasingly alkaline environment of your small intestine, the catechins are broken down. Your body can absorb up to six times more catechins that it would otherwise by combining lemon juice with your green tea. Lemon juice also reduces the effect of certain compounds in green tea that can restrict your ability to absorb iron from foods.
Lemons are naturally rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C is vital for the development and repair of your body’s tissues, including skin, ligaments, blood vessels, bones, cartilage and teeth. Vitamin C is also important for helping heal wounds and produce scar tissue. The juice from one lemon contains 18.6 milligrams of vitamin C per serving. The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.
Green tea has been associated with weight loss benefits, as it has the potential to help burn fat and provide a boost to your metabolism. As green tea naturally contains caffeine, the extra degree of energy and alertness provided by the tea may be useful for maintaining energy levels throughout the day. As well, EGCG extracts derived from green tea have, according to MedlinePlus, been shown to help those who are slightly overweight lose weight. However, green tea is not known to help maintain weight loss or prevent weight gain.
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C
- Purdue University: Citrus Juice, Vitamin C Gives Staying Power to Green Tea's Nutrients
- Harvard Health Publications: Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
- Harvard Health Benefits: Green Tea May Lower Heart Risk Disease
- United States Department of Agriculture: Lemon Juice, Raw
- MedlinePlus: Green Tea
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
- MedlinePlus: Antioxidants