Drink to Your Health

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Drink to Your Health

White tea is even better for your skin than green tea, but perhaps less interesting in photographs.

©iStockphoto.com/Lilli Day

Some beverages are known for their antioxidant appeal. Among them are coffee, cocoa and tea. Recent studies show that green and white tea are superior in delivering antioxidants and hold potential for reducing wrinkles.

The antioxidants involved are catechins and epicatechins. These compounds are found in the leaves of all tea varieties. However, they're diminished by oxidation, which is part of the fermentation process used to make black tea. Green tea is not fermented and undergoes less oxidation. White tea, brewed from the youngest leaves of the plant, undergoes the least oxidation of all. As a result, both white and green varieties of tea retain more catechins and epicatechins. Moreover, white tea has been shown to stop enzymatic reactions that break down collagen and elastin [source: Thring et al.

For the most antioxidants, choose freshly brewed tea over instant or iced. And note that these findings apply only to true tea, Camellia sinensis, and not to herbal infusions like chamomile or mint.

Next: You may know this little legume in its dried, wrinkled state. Getting to know it better could save you from sharing its appearance.

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