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Catechins and White Tea

Today I want to share with you about something called catechins. If you’re a regular on my blog or newsletter, you’ve heard me talk about catechins before. I’m on the topic again today because of a new study that is literally hot off the press. I’ll talk about the study some more in a few minutes. But first, why should you care about catechins.

Catechins are a polyphenol found in many plants. Studies have found catechins to have a number of health benefits. Catechins are believed to be potent anti-cancer agenta. A Chinese study found that men who drink green tea have a 50% lower incidence of stomach cancer. That’s a biggy for me personally because my mother was taken by stomach cancer when she was just in her late forties. She was a heavy smoker and had other bad health habits so we’ll never know if this information would have helped her. But I hope it can help others.

Catechins are also shown to be strong anti-aging compounds, they may help lower bad cholesterol and they may act as an appetite suppressant.

So by now, I hope your saying, “Where can I get me some?” Fortunately, catechins are present in some of our favorite foods, for example, chocolate and red wine. But the most catechin rich common food is tea.

Which brings me to the new study I mentioned. I got a look an early copy of the February edition of Food Chemistry. In it Italian researchers report on a study of the bio-availability of catechins (and other polyphenols) from tea during the digestive process. Two results from the study are particularly interesting. First, they studied each stage of digestion and they found that the stage of digestion that releases the highest percentage of catechins is the first, when it’s actually in your mouth and interacting with saliva. So, if you want to maximize your health benefit from drinking tea, do as many traditional Chinese do, and savor your tea. You’ll enjoy it more and you’ll get a better health boost.

Second, the study compared the amounts of bioavailable catechins in black, green and white teas. The hands down winner was….White tea. White tea has an average of 457 mg of healthy catechins per 8 ounce cup vs. just 55 mg. for black tea, with green tea coming in somewhere in the middle. So, if you are interested in the potential health benefits from catechins like, helping fight cancer and aging, lowering cholesterol, and reducing your appetite, white tea is the way to go.

When you are ready to add white teas to your home health routine, try our white peony tea. We harvest our white peony tea in the Spring in Fujian province in China. We pick the top bud and the first two leaves. Most white teas are bud only. By adding the top two leaves we produce a more robust flavor and a much more affordable tea. We keep the processing to a minimum. The tea is sun dried and then lightly fermented and it’s ready to go. That minimal processing is one of the reasons white tea is richer in catechins. Our white peony is a great tasting tea, a little bit of the nutty taste typical of white teas with a very mild aroma of peonies. The color is a beautiful apricot color. And because we pick the top two leaves and do almost no processing, this tea is super-affordable. I’ve put a button below this video for when you’re ready to purchase.

That’s it today. I hope you found it interesting. If you have thoughts you’d like to share or questions, please do leave me a comment below. I’ll do my best to answer. Have a healthy and joyful day.

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