You can brew green tea simply by plopping a tea bag in a cup and pouring hot water over it. Or you can make it into a complex ritual as a Japanese tea ceremony. When it comes to getting the most phytonutrients from green tea, however, an Australian scientist has ruffled some British feathers.
Getting the Most Phytonutrients into Your Cup:
When Quon Vuong measured polyphenols, caffeine and theanine in tea, he found that traditional brewing techniques only yielded 60 percent. To get all the benefits, tea must be brewed for 20 minutes at 80 degrees C. Most tea lovers would not embrace that approach.
A Better Way to Brew Green Tea:
Vuong, of the University of Newcastle (in New South Wales). found a practical method using the microwave. Add water and teabag to the cup, heat at half power for 30 seconds, and let steep for one minute. The result, he claims, is a good-tasting cup of green tea containing 80 percent of the possible phytonutrients.
Green Tea Polyphenols:
Some scientists are looking at the compounds in green tea as medicinal compounds. Women who drink green tea regularly might reduce their chance of breast cancer (Sinha et al, Seminars in Cancer Biology, April 7, 2017). Men are encouraged to consume green tea for prostate cancer prevention (Naponelli et al, Antioxidants, April 5, 2017). Certain tea polyphenols may also be active against liver cancer (Darvesh & Bishayee, Nutrition and Cancer, 2013).
One green tea compound, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), reduces insulin resistance in liver cells (Ma et al, Molecular Medicine Reports, April 7, 2017). EGCG might help keep people with pre-diabetic metabolism from developing diabetes (Pournourmohammadi et al, International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, Jan. 27, 2017).
Green tea extract has even been used topically to treat dry eyes (Nejabat et al, Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, Feb. 2017). Do not try this at home, though. It needs further testing and refinement.
With such benefits, aren’t you glad to have an easy way to brew green tea for maximum phytonutrient concentration?