The Potential Health Benefits Of Tea & Antioxidants

Like fruits & vegetables, regular and decaffeinated brewed tea contains natural compounds called antioxidants.  Research suggests that dietary antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, helping to maintain healthy cells and tissues in the body.  Free radicals, that occur in the environment and are naturally produced by the body can cause oxidative damage to cells that contribute to chronic conditions such as heart disease or cancer.

The best known antioxidants in our diets are vitamins C, E, and betacarotene. These are usually found in fruits and vegetables, but hundreds of other antioxidants occur naturally in foods and beverages.  The type of antioxidants found in both black and green teas are called flavonoids. According to research, tea flavonoids are powerful antioxidants against a number of harmful free radicals.  While tea is not a substitute for fruits and vegetables, promising evidence is emerging that tea can play a major role in a healthy diet, and may reduce oxidative damage that is associated with development of chronic disease.

If you are interested in consuming more antioxidants in your diet, choose a balanced diet that includes many types of antioxidant-containing foods and beverages, because different foods supply different kinds and amounts of antioxidants.  Here are some common foods high in antioxidants:

  • Red grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Red peppers
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts
  • Black or green tea

© 2010, Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDE.  Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Gretchen is an author, consultant, speaker and Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator.  She is also a Certified LEAP Therapist (Lifestyle Eating and Performance), specializing in the clinical management of food sensitivities and related conditions.  She opened her private nutrition practice in 2002 and has expanded to two office locations in New Windsor and Beacon, NY.  Gretchen’s practice provides individual nutritional counseling in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal disorders, and general wellness. To work with Gretchen Scalpi please visit

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