All teas contain a high level of antioxidants; however white tea antioxidants are higher than in other types of teas. The high antioxidant level in the tea is caused by sunlight. Green plants get energy to grow from sunlight and chlorophyll, but sunlight can also be damaging to them. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can be especially harmful to plants and antioxidants basically help protect plants from this possible damage.

Where do antioxidants come from? Living cells of plants can be destroyed as the plants are trying to protect themselves from the harmful sunlight rays. Free radicals are created in leaf cells by the UV radiation in direct sunlight. Animals are born with advanced immune systems that protect them from these free radicals, but plants are not. Plants instead produce chemicals (called phytonutrients) to protect themselves, antioxidants being the most important ones.

There is more to the process of antioxidant activity, such as searching for free radicals (chemicals created by sunlight hitting the plant leaves). The antioxidants attack the free radical cells and may kill them, causing the plants to age and sometimes catch diseases. Free radical activity is limited by the antioxidants. Since antioxidants are present in high amounts in white tea plants, it takes a lot of balance to keep the plants alive as this battle is ongoing.

There are many antioxidants contain in this tea, most from the catechin family, including epicatechin, epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin. EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, is the most prominent antioxidant. Nearly half of the antioxidant is comprised of EGCG and it is a very potent ingredient. Laboratory tests have determined that EGCG is able to be 100 times more active than vitamins A & C. A cup of white tea is believed to have more antioxidants in it than a serving of broccoli, spinach, strawberries and other healthy vegetables and fruits. This is a perfect example of white tea antioxidants at work.

White tea antioxidants are mostly present in strong quantities because of the EGCG contained in it. EGCG has been proven to reduce several health ailments and diseases such as skin, lung and breast cancers. It also reduces the risk of serious conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. EGCG can also slow the aging process, prolonging youthfulness and health in the consumer.

White tea is the least processed of all teas so during the harvesting process the healthy antioxidants remain in stronger quantities than in other types of teas. The leaves are comprised of more than 30 percent of healthy antioxidants.
The antioxidants present in white tea help fight off many diseases and conditions, making it one of the healthiest teas to consume. Its preventative qualities are just an added benefit to this delicious choice of beverage. White tea antioxidants are important to maintain good health and reducing health risks.

For more information on white tea or for other information on tea tips, please go to Tea Gift Baskets website.

Written by David Sutikno
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