Catechins are natural polyphenols, up to 100 times more effective than vitamin C in the battle to neutralize free radicals. Catechins belong to the group of flavonoids. No doubt, catechins are among the most potent antioxidants, having a plethora of health benefits, while consumption of foods and drinks with catechins works true miracles.
Benefits of Catechins
The primary role of catechins is to strengthen the capillary walls and make vitamin C absorption easier at the same time. They link up to free radicals in the body - toxic compounds, heavy metals, other toxins.
According to some of the latest studies, catechins can effectively suppress the development of certain types of breast cancer, the growth of tumors and their recurrence.
Catechins also protect against skin, pancreatic, lung and colon cancer. They prevent DNA damage and slow the process of atherosclerosis.
Catechins suppress the growth of antibiotic resistant staphylococcal bacteria which can cause a dangerous and even life-threatening infection.
Catechins are powerful antibacterial and antiviral agents, making them effective against numerous diseases.
Catechins are beneficial for people who consume foods high in cholesterol because they keep cholesterol levels within the normal range. They protect against cavities and gum problems.
The best source of catechins is green tea. It contains significantly high quantities of the valued substances, with the more well-known among them being epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate.
The last of these is in the highest amounts. It's important to note that green tea has 25 - 100 times greater antioxidant activity in comparison to vitamins E and C.
It is exceptionally important to human health due to the extraordinary high quantities of catechins in it. Green tea cools the body during the summer heat waves and adapts body temperature to the temperatures outside.
Just 9 min. after a person finishes drinking the tea, their skin pores open up, body temperature drops by 1–2 °C (1.8–3.6 °F) and the person starts to feel more comfortable in hot weather.
Green tea reduces the risk of heart attack and in combination with a piece of lemon the percentage of catechins absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract increases by up to 4 times.
Green tea speeds up metabolism and fat burning, improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Research shows that the regular consumption of great tea with a high content of catechins for a period of 3 months leads to significant weight loss, a slimmer waistline and less internal fatty tissue, which is extremely dangerous.
The epicatechin found in apples has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system; boosts longevity and rejuvenates the body; cleanses the body of harmful substances; improves digestion; improves blood circulation.
Sources of Catechins
As has become clear, the greatest amounts of catechins are found in green tea. They are also present in grapes, grape juice, wine, apples.
Dark chocolate is among the tastiest sources of valuable catechins. The catechin concentration in it is 4 times higher than that in black tea.
Dangers of Catechins
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people suffering from arrhythmia should not consume more than 2 cups of green tea per day. Excessive use of catechins can have a toxic effect.