How Nutritious Are Tea Leaves?
6 Reasons You Should Change the Way You Drink Tea
Written by Our Official Science Steeper: Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
Tea leaves are very nutritious. For over a millennium, leaves from the tea plant (Camellia sinesis) have been cherished as a nutritious source of powerful antioxidants. But, there’s much more nutrition in a tea leaf than just antioxidants. Fresh tea leaves are a beneficial source of plant-based protein, fibers, and more! Yet, you literally toss away half of that nutrition – it’s left in the teabag. Not to mention, teabags contain leaves that have been dried and processed, procedures scientists know affect nutritional value. Get more nutrition out of your tea leaves by changing the way you drink tea. Here’s how…
Are Tea Leaves Nutritious?
Tea is considered one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. That’s because tea leaves are extremely nutritious, containing plant-based protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, plant sterols, helpful fats, and more. Yet, you aren’t getting most of these nutrients - you throw a lot of them out (in that discarded teabag). Plus, a lot of nutrients are lost in the processing required to create that dried teabag: fresh tea leaves are dried, processed, stored on shelves, and then boiled.
Hold, on! Let’s steep on that point for a minute? If dried tea leaves are creating one of the healthiest beverages on the planet even after all of that processing, fresh tea leaves must be incredibly nutritious!
Why are Tea Leaves Dried?
Originally dried to allow for transportation around the globe on wooden sailing vessels a thousand years ago, tea leaves are still dried as a tradition, today. Researchers have found drying tea leaves decreases the nutritional value of both antioxidants and proteins.
Advancements in transportation and technology allow your freezer is host many freshly frozen plants, from mangos to dragon fruit. There’s no need to dry tea anymore.
Which Nutrients Are in Your Cup of Tea?
Any cup of tea is a healthy beverage. Even a cup of tea made by brewing dried tea leaves can offer a number of nutritious minerals, including zinc, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and calcium, according to studies. Antioxidants, such as EGCG, are also present in your brewed cup of tea. EGCG is one of the most potent antioxidants at protecting your cells from disease. But, there’s a more nutritious way – using fresh tea leaves can offer up to 5x more antioxidants.
The antioxidant in tea leaves called EGCG is 100x more effective than vitamin C and 25x more effective than vitamin E at strengthening the immune system and protecting cells from damage and disease, according to a University of Kansas study.
What’s the Most Nutritious Tea?
A cup of tea brewed with Millennia Tea’s frozen tea leaves contains significantly more antioxidants than a conventional cup made with dried tea leaves, according to third-party testing completed at a Canadian laboratory. Better yet, use your fresh tea leaves as food – that’s the most nutritious!
Nutrients in Fresh Tea Leaves
- Plant-based protein
- Plant sterols
How Nutritious are Freshly Frozen Tea Leaves?
Research has shown freezing fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to preserve its nutritious elements. Tea leaves are the same. In fact, a Canadian laboratory confirmed the fresh tea leaves, frozen in this manner, are very nutritious – maintaining more of the plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants than dried tea.
6 Reasons You Should Change the Way You Drink Tea
Conventionally dried teabags are quite different than using fresh tea leaves:
- Dried & Processed
- Fewer Antioxidants
- Lower Nutritional Value
- Lost Protein & Fiber
- Unwashed (pesticides, heavy metals)
- Bitter, Strong Flavour
Stop Throwing Away Nutrients
When you toss your steeped tea leaves, you throw away some of the nutrients. Fresh tea leaves contain plant-based protein, fiber, and impressive antioxidants. Don’t throw away the good stuff – re-steep or eat your (fresh) tea leaves. Millennia Tea can be re-steeped (with the second steeping offering more antioxidants and less caffeine, shows analysis). Better yet, use those steeped tea leaves in your next smoothie, salad dressing, soup, or stew.
7 Delicious and Easy Ways to Use Millennia Tea Leaves
- Antioxidant-rich Omelette
- Sneaky Spinach, Tea and Cheese Waffles
- Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Superfood Smoothie
- Vegan “Chicken” Noodle Soup
- Vegan Key Lime Pie
- Berry TEA-licious Popsicles
Want more ways to use your tea leaves?
Is it Important for Tea to Be Organic?
You can’t use just any tea leaves in your recipes. Chewing on dried tea leaves is definitely NOT an endorsed culinary adventure. Particularly since dried tea leaves have been left to ferment and haven’t been washed. Traditionally dried tea leaves can be contaminated with pesticide residue, mycotoxins, and heavy metals.
Millennia Tea – TEA DONE DIFFERENTLY
Organic. Washed. Third-Party Tested.
Nutrient-Rich Super Food: Freshly Frozen Tea Leaves
Frozen tea leaves are really nutritious. Use freshly frozen Millennia Tea in your next smoothie for up to 15x more antioxidants than blueberries, as well as 2 grams of plant-based protein, and fibre. Choose fresh tea leaves – it’s a nutritious choice.
Get Fresh with Your Tea
Enjoy the nutritional benefits of fresh tea leaves today.
Millennia Tea Cubes and Chopped freshly frozen tea leaves are available
in the freezer section of your favourite store,
or order online for delivery to your home.
Study of nutritional value of dried tea leaves and infusions of black, green and white teas from Chinese plantations. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2017;68(3):237-245.
Antioxidant and functional properties of tea protein as affected by the different tea processin methods. J Food Sci Technol 2015 Feb; 52(2): 742-752.
Effect of drying methods and parameters on the antioxidant properties of tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves. Food Production, Processing and Nutrition 2020;2(8).