If you turn to tea for a healthy dose of antioxidants, keep in mind that the healthy antioxidants, or polyphenols, found in commercially bottled tea is up to 20 times less than you'll find in homebrewed tea.
Photo by Shandi-lee Cox.
Research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society points out:
"Consumers understand very well the concept of the health benefits from drinking tea or consuming other tea products," said Shiming Li, Ph.D., who reported on the new study with Professor Chi-Tang Ho and his colleagues. "However, there is a huge gap between the perception that tea consumption is healthy and the actual amount of the healthful nutrients - polyphenols - found in bottled tea beverages. Our analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low."
Li pointed out that in addition to the low polyphenol content, bottled commercial tea contains other substances, including large amounts of sugar and the accompanying calories that health-conscious consumers may be trying to avoid.
Keep in mind that some bottled teas did contain more significant levels of polyphenols than others, but they still "probably would carry little health benefit" due to the high sugar content of some of the brands, according to Li. Hit up the full article at the American Chemical Society's site for more details. The plus side: You're likely to save a lot of money and enjoy healthier drinks if you stick with doing it yourself.