Tea antioxidants: Does 'instant' offer same benefits as 'brewed'?

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Tea antioxidants: Does 'instant' offer same benefits as 'brewed'?

Question

I know that brewed tea contains antioxidants. What about instant tea?

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Answer

Instant tea has fewer antioxidants than brewed tea. This is because processing of tea reduces its antioxidant content, and instant tea is more highly processed than brewed tea. Decaffeinated tea also has fewer antioxidants than caffeinated teas.

Brewed tea is a rich source of antioxidants, including flavonoids and catechins. Antioxidants are natural compounds found in many foods. These compounds may protect against tissue damage from free radicals, which may lead to diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Flavonoid content in tea (8 ounces): A comparison
Antioxidant Brewed tea Instant tea
Flavonoids* 541-692 122-312

Source: USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, 2003

*Measured in micrograms per milliliter

Last Updated: 05/17/2006
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