What Makes Tea So Beneficial for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention?
In one of the largest studies ever conducted on tea, published recently in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers have looked at the effect of tea consumption on cardiovascular health over the course of over 7 years. The study was conducted in China, and 100,902 participants with no history of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular disease were recruited in the study.
Participants were divided into two groups: those who drank tea more than 3 times a week, and those who didn’t. It needs to be noted that the research didn't discriminate against black tea per se, but because black tea is a lot less popular in China than green tea and only 8% of the participants favored black tea, the results of the study are more representative of green tea consumption.
The results of the study showed an impressive 20% reduction in stroke and heart disease risk, as well as an even more impressive 56% lowered risk of mortality as a result of cardiovascular issues and a 17% reduction in overall mortality risk. This means that regularly drinking tea can help you lower your risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack and decreases the likelihood of complications and fatalities associated with cardiovascular disease.
But how is this possible? Is there a specific ingredient in tea that maintains cardiovascular health? The researchers think so, suggesting that compounds called polyphenols, abundant in tea, but especially green tea, can be responsible for the positive health outcomes.
Polyphenols are a group of plant antioxidants, which have been associated with positive cardiovascular health previously, as they are capable of dilating the blood vessels, making them beneficial for hypertension. Apart from that, these antioxidants can also increase the levels of "good" cholesterol in the bloodstream, which is known to fight "bad" cholesterol and protect the heart and blood vessels from atherosclerosis.
Finally, polyphenols can lower the levels of inflammation in the body and lower blood clotting. All these effects combined explain why these compounds are so beneficial for cardiovascular health. Keep in mind, however, that regular consumption is key when it comes to these antioxidants, as they don't stay in the body for too long and must be topped up regularly.
This is exactly why green tea is so beneficial - it's essentially an antioxidant drink that provides both hydration and the benefits characteristic of antioxidants. So, if you'd like to reap the benefits of green tea, drink it several times a week, and also don't forget to avoid sweeteners, as these can harm your heart and blood vessels.