Brew for Your Heart: Tea Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Is tea the superhero of beverages?

Studies have shown that tea provides numerous health benefits, and now a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests it may help lower blood pressure.

Researchers looked at 25 randomized controlled trials to learn more about the link between tea and blood pressure. They found that people who drank tea for more than 12 weeks experienced a reduction of systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.2 mmHg.

Lowering your blood pressure by even that small amount benefits your health.

“High blood pressure, or hypertension, can damage arteries, the heart, kidneys, eyes and other organs. Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, atherosclerosis (a hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to buildup of fats), stroke, kidney damage and vision loss,” says Anandh Babu Pon Velayutham, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Utah.

That high blood pressure can wreak such havoc on the body is made even more dangerous as most of the time it displays no symptoms.

Researchers also found that the kind of tea matters. For this study, green tea showed the most significant effects. Black tea came in second place. Previous research suggests that three to four cups of tea daily is optimal. As for caffeinated or decaf, it’s all the same!

Velayutham, who has studied green tea, says this wonder brew helps to lower blood pressure because it is rich in flavonoid compounds called catechins, which improve endothelial function, or the health of the inner lining of blood vessels.

Green tea has also been shown to have other health benefits, such as encouraging weight loss, lowering cholesterol, improving memory and helping people with diabetes maintain stable blood sugar.

Are you brewing that tea yet?

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