What Is An Antioxidant?

by Matthew Burgess on December 5, 2009

Antioxidant is a word that is used more often than it’s understood.

L-ascorbic-acid-3D-ballsNutritionists, health gurus, and marketers alike constantly tell us about the great benefits of antioxidants, such as preventing or slowing cancer and promting a youthful appearance, but rarely do we receive an explanation of what antioxidants are, what they do, and where they come from.

Well, we’re going to change that right now.

An antioxidant is a chemical compound that prevents or slows the oxidation of molecules in any living thing. Oxidation occurs when a molecule loses electrons, thereby changing its structure and causing the creation of highly reactive free radicals.

For example, a fresh piece of raw meat has a certain texture, smell, and flavor due to its molecular structure. When these molecules are altered through oxidation, the meat goes rancid.

Needless to say, excessive oxidation isn’t a great thing for your body. While some oxidation is necessary for survival, an inordinate amount is just plain bad for you and can ultimately damage otherwise healthy cells if left unchecked.

This is why the consumption of antioxidants is so important for your health.

There are several different types of antioxidants, which are rated based on their potency. Antioxidants have been scientifically proven to avert aging, lower the risk of heart disease, prevent the development of cancerous cells, and reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels. These naturally occurring compounds are present in a whole host of fruits and vegetables, as well as fun foods like dark chocolate.

What to Watch Out For

Many unrelated products, like face cream, also boast inclusion of antioxidants as a selling point. However, you should always be wary of marketing slogans like these. You simply can’t get the level of antioxidants you need by smearing them on your face; you need to consume them with your food.
So…to Bring It Back To Green Tea

matcha-green-tea-cup-wisk-powder-on-bamboo-tray-sAnd there is only one foodstuff that is exponentially high in the most potent type of antioxidant (EGCg) in comparison to all other so-called “super foods” – matcha green tea.

How is Matcha Different from Regular Green Tea?

While all green tea is good for you and contains varying levels of antioxidants, matcha green tea is particularly advantageous to your health. Regular green tea is made by brewing the tea leaves in water, resulting in a beverage that, while healthy, is mostly water.

Matcha green tea is produced by grinding a large amount of high quality tea leaves into a fine powder that can then be mixed into water for a huge dose of the healthy compounds in one go. Super concentrated matcha is teeming with antioxidants that you simply cannot get from drinking regular green tea.

One gram of matcha contains 61% EGCg, so just imagine how many effective antioxidants you can consume by drinking a single cup a day.  It’s almost like eating the raw tea leave whole!

To Sum It All Up

So, what you need to know is that antioxidants are an essential part of a healthy diet that will prevent cancer, slow oxidation, and promote youthful appearance well into old age. While you can buy any product that lists antioxidants in their ingredients, for the best results you need to seek out the most highly concentrated source – and that’s matcha.

Just ask the Japanese. They’ve been drinking it for over 800 years!

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