What is an Antioxidant?

You have probably heard that Green tea contains a large amount of Antioxidants. You may have heard that these materials are good for your body.

But what exactly ARE antioxidants? What do they do?

Antioxidants stop oxidative damage to our body’s cells. Just as a slice of apple turns brown when exposed to the air, this is a chemical reaction caused by the damage (oxidation) to our cells.

Oxidation reactions produce “free radicals.” Free radicals are atoms or molecules that are missing electrons in their outer shell. These molecules attack healthy cells, stealing electrons in order to stabilize themselves.

In the process, the attacked cell subsequently loses one of its own electrons, becomes a free radical, and starts attacking other healthy cells. This represents the initiation of a chain reaction, which can damage and kill many cells.

Cells damaged by free radicals cause many problems to human body, including:

  • Malignancies
  • Heart related ailments
  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Reduced immune system capabilities
  • Unhealthy skin
  • Premature aging

Free radicals can also damage your DNA and other cell structures. 

Antioxidants can fix free radicals

When an antioxidant finds a free radical, it donates an electron without turning itself into a free radical. Once a free radical is "paired up," it can become part of a healthy cell again. This process interrupts the dangerous chain reaction.

Antioxidants protect our body from free radicals and prevent various kinds of diseases, in addition to slowing down the aging process.

Green tea - A Star antioxidant food

Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. Green tea contains large amount of antioxidants - especially when in powder form, like Matcha. 

Matcha contains a higher volume of antioxidants compared to all known antioxidant-rich foods. ORAC* test results prove that one gram of Matcha green powder contains 1384 ORAC units. This is why Matcha is labelled as a "superfood."

*ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity

Source: Journal of  Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Lipophilic and Hydrophilic Antioxidant Capacities of Common Foods in the United States  

Isn't it amazing that the antioxidants found in 1 gram of Matcha powder is equal to 500g of Broccoli or Spinach?

ECGC (epigallocatechin-3-gallate)

Green tea is approximately 20% to 45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60% to 80% are catechins. Among catechins, EGCG is most effective at eliminating free radicals.  EGCG works as a powerful antioxidant, preventing oxidative damage to healthy cells. Studies show that EGCG prevents the growth of malignant cells, improves metabolism (help you burning fat), prevents heart related ailments and improves brain function. No wonder that the Green tea extract is sold as a supplement - it has so many potential health benefits.

Bottom line

Antioxidants keep our cells healthy, helping to prevent a wide range of diseases. Green tea (Matcha powder) is one of the richest sources of powerful antioxidants, like ECGC. Green tea also contains other important antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Adding a cup of green tea to your daily diet will not only improve your mood, but will also keep you energetic and healthy. It is proven that green tea is beneficial, both physically and mentally! 

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