Legend has it that ice tea was first introduced during the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 because of an unusual heat wave that summer.
As the global trend of ice tea consumption gathers steam (it used to be a purely American phenomenon with 75% of all ice tea consumed in the US), more questions emerge regarding whether the benefits of regular tea consumption translate to drinking ice tea.
As it turns out, not all methods of making ice tea are created equal and the flavonoids content may vary widely. Most research points to freshly brewed hot tea as the best way to get the full range of benefits from the polyphenols contained in various teas.
The way to preserve most of the benefits of hot tea in your cold beverage is to chill it in the refrigerator. What does have a negative impact on the polyphenol content in ice tea is, ironically, the addition of ice. The latter causes the polyphenols to form an insoluble substance, which significantly reduces its bioavailability.
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