The (lemon) twist? Research shows that the benefits of lemon are type over-hyped and… not as life-changing as we might initially think when combined with plain filtered water. All is good. After all, hydration is key to every bodily function.
Yet another study revealed that consuming lemons — or any other citrus —Maybe more likely to promote health when combined with green tea. According to researchers at Purdue University, a little lemon juice can increase the antioxidant capacity of green tea by 5 to 10 times (!).
We chatted with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, a registered dietitian in Charleston, who shared more about why lemon should be the new staple juice in the cup. your green tea and how this combination can help you increase your calorie intake. Antioxidants.
Why drinking green tea with lemon is a healthy idea
According to Mario Ferruzzi, a professor of food science at Purdue University and lead author of the study, citrus juice helps maintain green tea’s high antioxidant levels even while it is being digested. In the study, Ferruzzi analyzed the effects of different beverage blends on catechins — also classified as flavonols (flavan-3-ols) — which are natural antioxidants found in green tea that have a beneficial effect. anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to many health benefits. -Promoting benefits.
Research shows that combining green tea with citrus juices or vitamin C can increase the amount of catechins available for the body to absorb, which could potentially help reduce the risk of low-grade chronic inflammation, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, heart attacks and strokes. Manaker says the combination helps make drinking an already antioxidant-rich beverage more effective. than effective. “Drinking green tea alone has been shown to have numerous health benefits, and just two cups provide the recommended daily intake of the plant compound flavan-3-ols that we should be consuming on a daily basis. . But according to this new data, combining green tea with citrus juice may provide even more benefits,” says Manaker.
Ferruzzi says the finding is thanks to basic nutritional science. According to their findings, catechins are relatively unstable in non-acidic environments — such as the intestines — and less than 20% of the total remains after digestion. “Right off the bat, you’re removing most of the catechins from pure green tea,” says Ferruzzi. “We have to address this fact if we want to improve absorption by the body.” That’s where lemons (and other forms of citrus) come into play.
To reveal the best catechin-stabilizing additive for green tea, Ferruzzi tested juices, creams, and other liquids commonly added to freshly brewed tea or used to make instant tea products. how to put them through a simulation model of the stomach. and digestion in the small intestine. Research shows that citrus juice increases the amount of catechins more than five times. Similarly, Ferruzzi analyzed the impact of packaged beverages: “Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, used to increase shelf life in instant products, increased the recovery of two abundant catechins. the most abundant is 6 times and 13 times, respectively.”
Ferruzzi found that lemon juice retained 80%—the highest of any liquid tested—of the catechins in green tea. In addition to lemons, he found that orange, lemon, and grapefruit juice also had a stabilizing effect. “If you want to drink more green tea, add some citrus juice to the cup after brewing or choose an instant product formulated with ascorbic acid,” says Ferruzzi.
Can other green tea blends have the same effect?
If citrus isn’t a complement to your green tea, all is well. Ferruzzi found that soy, milk, and rice milk also seem to have a moderate stabilizing effect. Even so, he notes that those results could be misleading because a chemical interaction between milk proteins and catechins in tea would likely reduce its effects when exposed to enzymes in a healthy digestive system. of human.
Furthermore, if green tea isn’t your thing, Ferruzzi suspects that black tea (made from the same plant) will provide the same results, even though it contains fewer catechins.
Finally, green tea with lemon isn’t the only way to replenish your daily catechin intake. According to Manaker, antioxidant compounds are also common in cocoa and berries. So feel free to take your picture (nic).
An RD that dives into the differences between green tea and matcha: