Green tea is possibly one of the best beverages out there for you — after water, of course. Thanks to its antioxidants, it contains a host of health benefits including improved brain function, fat loss, protecting against cancer (specifically breast, prostate and colorectal) and lowering the risk of heart disease. It’s also given us matcha (and matcha-flavoured everything). And to be fair, drinking a warm cup of tea is just a cosy and calming experience.
Well, now you can make this health beverage even healthier, according to one functional nutritionist. Dr Deanna Minich, speaking to mindbodygreen, says there’s a way to enhance the catechins and supercharge the brew — and it’s as simple as grabbing a lemon wedge.
Yep, just add a little bit of lemon to your tea. And if you’re someone whose been doing it this way for years, congrats! You’re healthier than the rest of us. The great thing is, this simple, accessible hack has a whole range of benefits — yep, on top of the ones you get from regular green tea.
As for why added lemon is so beneficial? One study found that green tea supplemented with lemon has better antioxidant activity, compared to its lemonless counterpart. Why? It’s because of the presence of the additional phenolic compound in lemon.
If you’re unsure as to what that means, essentially polyphenols are micronutrients that are packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. The most abundant polyphenol in lemons is eriocitrin (which is water-soluble and perfect for tea).
The Journal of Food Processing and Technology says that lemon improves the health benefits of the tea, bringing out the antioxidants and making them more available for absorption. Lemon juice can also increase the number of catechins (the aforementioned antioxidants, that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits) in body extracts from green tea up to six times.
So, yeah. A tiny bit of lemon juice can have a huge impact on your health.