Catechin Rich Foods and Beverages
What Does USDA Study Say?

Which foods and beverages contain the highest levels of tea catechins?



The most important group of chemicals in green tea is the catechins. Also known as flavan-3-ols, catechins are a simple form of flavonoid. According to scientist Graham Harold, dried tea extract can be made up of 30% to 40% of catechins. 

A 2007 report published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) compares nearly 400 foods for their flavonoid content.

Beverages

Top of the list is green tea. 100 milliliters of brewed regular green tea contains 127 milligrams of catechins. No other beverage even comes close.

Brewed oolong tea has 50 milligrams.

Brewed black tea has 28 milligrams.

Red wine has 11 milligrams.

Unsweetened apple juice from the bottle or can has only 6 milligrams.

Green Tea

So green tea has the most catechins. But not all types of green tea are equally healthy.

The USDA study shows why a regular green tea is the healthiest. It seems that the longer green tea has been processed, the more nutrients it loses.

Regular green tea contains 127 milligrams of catechins.

Decaffeinated green tea contains only 56 milligrams, less than half of the catechins found in regular tea.

Flavored green tea has 43 milligrams.

Disappointingly, instant or bottled green tea has only 12 milligrams.

Food

Here are the foods rich in catechins.

Top of the list is dark chocolate. 100 grams of dark chocolate from Netherlands contains 54 milligrams of catechins. Hooray!

The same benefit does not apply to milk chocolate – it contains only 8 milligrams.

Blueberries have 52 milligrams.

Blackberries have 42 milligrams.

Interestingly, the study shows that the best part of an apple is the skin. It has 36 milligrams of catechins.

Black plums have 33 milligrams.

Black grapes have 22 milligrams. White grapes have none.

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References

US Department of Agriculture. USDA Database for the Flavanoid Content of Selected Foods Release 2.1. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Flav/Flav02-1.pdf

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