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Originally published March 11 2014

The process used to make black and oolong tea destroys many of the antioxidants found in green and white tea

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Although green and white tea leaves are harvested at different times, they share an important characteristic: they are pan- or oven-dried immediately after harvesting.

In contrast, both black and oolong tea are allowed to sit out in the air for varying lengths of time before being dried. While sitting out, they undergo a process called oxidation, in which free radicals in the air (primarily oxygen molecules) react with the molecules inside the tea leaves and change chemical structures. It is this process that produces the characteristic, deeper flavor of black and oolong teas.

This means that, by definition, black tea can never have as high an antioxidant content as green tea.

Not surprisingly, oxidation destroys many of the antioxidants that naturally occur inside tea leaves. Antioxidants are molecules so prone to react with free radicals that they grab them up before other molecules can do so.

This same process happens inside your body when antioxidants from your diet react with (and thus "remove") free radicals before they can react with the molecules in your cells. Both antioxidants and free radicals are "destroyed" by this process (in actuality, they form new, chemically neutral molecules).


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