Everyone knows that antioxidants are good for the body. But what do they actually do? In short, they protect the cell walls from changes! Every chronic medical condition and even aging can bring on small changes in the cell wall. This can reduce the efficiency of a mineral exchange and lead to a hardening or physical change of the cell wall (think of hardening of the arteries or even physical cell changes as is the case in cancers). In short: Antioxidants can be seen as essential compounds to reduce these negative changes - they is no cure, but there are preventative measure you can take.
The compounds in tea are different from antioxidants in vegetables and fruits (which are Vitamin A, C & E). Teas are high in polyphenol antioxidants which are quite powerful in smaller doses compared to Vitamin A, C & E.
The amount of polyphenol antioxidants in tea vary widely with the quality of the tea. Whole-Leaf tea varieties are substantially higher in antioxidants. When analysing standard supermarket green teas in bags (containing dust & fannings) versus Whole Leaf Teas, the result is quite staggering: 27 cups of supermarket tea bag tea equals the antioxidant levels of 1 cup of 1st flush Whole Leaf Tea. Wow!
So if you’re drinking green tea for health reasons, good quality teas are actually cheaper for the amount of polyphenol antioxidant content you get.