The Green Tea Effect
Today, the most popular drink in the world is non-alcoholic, and it isn't Coca-Cola. The technical name of this beverage is Camellia sinensis - most commonly known as Green Tea. Who would have thought that tea would be the favorite of the nations? Yet, it is - and for good reason. Green tea provides more antioxidant punch per cup that anything else out there.
Learning About the Differences
There are three main varieties of tea - black, oolong, and green. They all come from the same plant and are the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between them arises from the method of processing the leaves. Green tea is prepared from unfermented leaves whereas oolong tea is partially fermented and black tea is fully fermented. The secret to the power of green tea is this: the longer the leaves are fermented the lower the polyphenol content and the higher the caffeine content of the leaves. Since green tea is made from unfermented leaves, it contains the highest number of polyphenols - translate that into antioxidants - and less caffeine. Compare that with black tea that has three times the caffeine of green tea.
The Positive Effects of Polyphenols
Polyphenols are found in plant-based foods and are thought to be beneficial phytochemicals, since diets that are polyphenol-rich help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and now - as it happens - infertility. The polyphenols have very potent antioxidant properties, exceeding those of vitamin C. The polyphenols in green tea are called catechins, and green tea possesses six of these wonder nutrients. Among them is apigallocatechin gallate, also known as EGCG, which is considered to be the most active component in green tea and also happens to be the most researched of the green tea polyphenols.
Less Caffeine - More Antioxidants = Fertility
Since green tea has smaller amounts of caffeine than other teas or coffee, it is a viable option to caffeinated drinks. This is especially important since caffeine has a negative impact on fertility. What's more is the fact that there is research to suggest that two of the main ingredients in green tea - hypoxanthine and polyphenols, may lead to a higher percentage of viable embryos. There is additional research that suggests that these chemical compounds also aid in the maturing of eggs and may even have a positive effect upon the fertility of the egg itself.
Add these pluses to the fact that the polyphenols in green tea serve as antioxidants - fighters of free radicals in the body that help protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and numerous other illnesses - and you've got a winner.
Ladies - drink up.