To help unwind after a long day, many people turn to a nice, hot cup of tea. And no wonder – some ingredients in tea actually help fight anxiety and promote relaxation. Not only is tea a great cure for whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, but new studies have shown that it also has some benefits for your heart.
Three different medical centers performed various studies to determine the health benefits associated with green tea, and all three have shown that green tea promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol.
The University of Maryland Medical Center studied the effects of green tea in the diets of both animals and humans. The study focusing on animals revealed that the polyphenols found in green tea may be responsible for blocking cholesterol buildup in the intestines along with helping the body discard unwanted cholesterol.
The other two studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center focused on the effects of drinking green tea in adult males. In a population-based study, males who regularly drank green tea typically had lower total cholesterol, and a small study of male smokers revealed that those who drank green tea had lower blood levels of LDL, or the bad, cholesterol.
The College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences in California completed the next study, which analyzed the effect of green tea catechins on cholesterol by examining 1,415 participants.
Green tea catechins significantly reduced the levels of total and LDL cholesterol after consuming it for three to 24 weeks, either in the form of a beverage or an extract capsule. What’s even better is the fact that these catechins did not alter HDL, or the good, cholesterol levels.
Even though prescription medications are successful in lowering high cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy level, the addition of green tea to your diet could also be beneficial in lowering cholesterol.
The final study supporting this theory was conducted by the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Japan. After observing 83,269 people for 13 years, it was discovered that drinking green tea not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers the risk of stroke by 14 percent in those who drank two to three cups of green tea a day.
However, this third study did not stop there. The National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center revealed that along with lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of stroke, drinking green tea promotes heart health by encouraging exercise. Those in this particular study who regularly drank green tea had higher energy levels due to the caffeine in the tea, therefore leading them to exercise more.
Diet, exercise and lowering cholesterol are three of the most important steps you can take to promote a healthy heart, and drinking green tea or consuming green tea extracts may help cover two of those three steps. So relax, put your feet up for a bit, and enjoy some green tea to benefit your heart!