Snack Wars: Tea

We’ve all heard the hype about how drinking tea is good for our health.  You’ve likely seen it too.  Scan the refrigerated drinks section at your local deli and odds are you’ll find half a dozen brands of tea touting their rich antioxidant content. 

Antioxidants, as you know, are believed to do everything from preventing cancer to slowing down the aging process.  Naturally, we’re suckers for anything that claims to help us live longer and so tea sales in the U-S are about seven billion dollars annually.

But you know what?  If you’re looking for high doses of antioxidants grab the tea bags instead of the bottled tea.

A new study by WellGen, Inc. — a biotechnology company — found bottled teas contain an average of 30 milligrams of polyphenols (the good stuff) per 16 ounce bottle.  A cup of tea you make at home has about 50-150 milligrams.  (DISCLAIMER: WellGen is working on a black tea product it says will help reduce inflammation.)

In other words…you would have to drink 20 bottles of tea to get the same benefits found in one cup of home-brewed black or green tea. 

Let’s also not forget that many popular brands of bottled tea contain a lot of sugar, i.e. empty calories.

Another advantage of home-brewed tea…it’s a lot more economical.  We’re talking pennies for a bag, versus the couple of bucks you’ll drop on a 16 ounce bottle.

So it the war of tea versus tea…opt for the home-brewed kind on a daily basis and leave the bottled beverage as a once-in-a-while treat.  And while I’m at it, the same can be said for diet and regular soda.

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