🍋Lemon and Green Tea, The Perfect Partners this Season
Green tea is already known for plenty of health-promoting properties - now it has a new ally.
Lemon juice may actually be able to boost the effects of green tea, according to a highly-honoured associate professor of food science. Mario Ferruzzi from Purdue Agriculture in the U.S., conducted a study on the matter.
Ferruzzi’s study revealed that citrus juice gave more power to green tea by allowing the antioxidants contained in the tea to remain in the system for longer, post simulated digestion. He found that just like a good crime-fighting duo, green tea and citrus juice work better together.
The study focused on the effect of dispersing various beverage additives on catechins, which are naturally-occurring antioxidants found in green tea. The results demonstrated that the number of these catechins seemed to increase when green tea was complimented with citrus juice or vitamin C. This relationship meant that there is a likely ability that citrus promotes better absorption of catechins into the body.
Noted that the results are preliminary, Ferruzzi says that it is encouraging that the newfound relationship of products comes down to basic chemistry.
For those novices of the chemistry he talks about – green tea is abundant of catechins. Catechins are the main reason why green tea is said to produce its plethora of health-promoting properties. According to the Victoria State Government Better Health Channel, some of these properties include a potential to reduce the risk of diseases like heart and liver disease. They say there are also positive links with cancer prevention and drinking a regular cup of green tea.
Better Health mention that green tea might also benefit the immune system, help to balance blood pressure, assist with proper gut functioning, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help to prevent dental decay.
Now, that’s one whopping introduction for our little catechin friends.
Linking back to Ferruzzi’s study. He believes the problem with catechins in green tea is that the instability of these little guys in non-acidic environments like our intestines. Less than 20 percent of catechins remain in our system after digestion.
So, what does an associate professor of food science do? You work out ways to address the situation and improve absorption of course!
In the study, Ferruzzi explored different juices, creamers and other additives which are usually added to green tea freshly brewed, or used in ready-made green tea products. He used a simulation method of gastric and small intestinal digestion.
- It was found that citrus juice boosted the catechins by more than five times
- Ascorbic acid or vitamin C that is introduced to extend ready-made mixes’ shelf life, boosted levels of the two most plentiful catechins sixfold for ascorbic acid and 13-fold for the vitamin C
- Soy, dairy and rice milk also demonstrated a moderate stabilising effect
Ferruzzi himself believes these results are misleading. He says that a chemical interaction of the milk proteins and catechins in the tea are likely to help guard the complex from degradation, a force most probable to be overridden by enzymes in the digestive system of a healthy human.
Lemons, on the other hand, work even better with green tea. The lemon juice added to Ferruzzi’s experiment caused 80 percent of the catechins in the tea to stay put. The next best stabilisers he found were orange juice, lime juice and grapefruit juice.
These findings meant that both vitamin C and citrus juices need to interact with the catechins to harbour them being squandered in the intestines. The study data highlighted that citrus juice has stabilising effects on the catechins.
To get this potential benefit from green tea, simply just squeeze some lemon juice into your freshly brewed cup of Bondi Beach Tea Co. Organic Matcha Green Tea or Spring Harvest Sencha Green Tea. Freshly brewed green tea generally offers more benefits than ready-made teas. Often, these ready-made drinks do not have the sufficient levels of tea extract in them.
It should be noted that Ferruzzi’s study only looked at green tea. Some of the results of the study could apply to black tea as it is made by fermenting green tea. However black tea contains less of the super-beneficial catechins.
Ferruzzi’s research is ongoing. He says that “human digestion is a lot more complicated and raises more questions that are yet to be answered”.
He believes the researchers need to document more thoroughly the effects on catechin metabolism in order to determine that increased levels of catechins absorbed into the body are not affected by metabolic factors.
Lemon alone has a lot of beneficial properties, and as well as being a natural antibacterial (see more about this below), lemon may help with your beauty regime too.
It has traditionally been linked with helping to fight off wrinkles and acne. Other beauty bonuses linked with the wrinkly, yellow wonder are teeth whitening (mixed with baking soda), ridding blackheads, a skin brightener and lip exfoliator, a hair lightener, and aid for strengthening your nails. Women’s Health magazine covered these tips off in an article online here.
Flavonoids are found in lemons and have a degree of biological activity that includes antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, anticancer and antiviral activities .
Lemon is awesome to use when you are getting your Sadie the Cleaning Lady skills on. Making good use of lemon’s antibacterial properties, wipe down your chopping boards with lemon after you have washed and cleaned them. Benches and table tops will also benefit from this and come up smelling clean and fresh. Use lemon mixed with vinegar to wipe over your shower screens and glass.
Lemon is also perfect for washing your hands in after handling smelly seafood. It will help to rid the odour.
For a refreshing blend packed with antioxidants - grab some Bondi Beach Tea Co. Sencha Green Tea and mix yourself up a blend of tasty iced green tea with lemon.
Shop our full range of Bondi Beach Tea Co. tasty herbal tea blends online here.
- Maxwell Scientific Organization, 2011: British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 2: 119-122, 2011 (Burt, 2004; Ortuno et al., 2006)