It’s February, and we’re well into the new year and American Heart Month. Are you holding strong with your resolutions to get healthier by drinking tea, or do you need a little nudge? We’ve got some good information to aid your motivation; in addition to being a low calorie replacement for soda, some of the chemicals in tea can have lasting heart health benefits when used properly.
If you’re a regular tea drinker, mention this to your doctor during your regular visits. Remember to consult a physician before you make any big changes to your diet. Stimulants like caffeine can trigger heart arrhythmias in some people; if you notice palpitations or a rapid heartbeat, stop drinking the beverage and contact your doctor.
Let’s talk about how six teas can affect your heart.
Black Tea: The Good and the Bad
Black tea contains polyphenols (micronutrients packed with antioxidants) which may improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases. It also contains flavonoids. “Flavonoids, like other antioxidants, corral cell-damaging free radicals and metallic ions… Scientists have found that certain flavonoids have antihistamine, antimicrobial, memory- and even mood-enhancing properties,” Erik Strand says in Psychology Today.
If you’re a coffee drinker trying to cut down on the amount of caffeine you consume, black is the tea for you. It has strong flavors but roughly only a third as much caffeine as coffee. You should also use caution when taking commonly prescribed blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), since black tea may decrease blood clotting and increase your chances of bruising and bleeding.
Recommended Tea: Keemun 1st Grade Black Tea
Green Tea: Get Rid of Plaque and Maintain Your Weight
Green tea has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in clinical studies. In a Japanese study, scientists found it might also lower your risk of heart disease and death from heart attacks or strokes.
Green tea also contains the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which can help prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries. “The EGCG can [also] help boost metabolism, helping to make it easier to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, and author of Belly Fat for Dummies.
Recommended Tea: Sencha Fukamushi Green Tea
White Tea: Increase Your Circulation
White tea has similar health benefits to green tea, and may even boost your immune system. It contains flavonoids which dilate arteries and thin the blood, lowering blood pressure, and reducing bad cholesterol. Because of this, white tea might not only help protect your heart, it might benefit your entire circulatory system.
Recommended Tea: Fujian Silver Needles White Tea
Oolong Tea: Lower Your Blood Pressure
Because oolong tea is oxidized more than green tea, but less than black tea, it shares some of the health benefits. It also may decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
Recommended Tea: Milk Oolong Tea
Chamomile Tea: Relax and Stay Alive
According to researchers at The University of Texas, chamomile tea may reduce the risk of death from all causes, including heart disease and cancer. This difference was especially prominent among women, whose death rate dropped by 29%!
In addition, chamomile has been known to reduce menstrual pain, lower blood sugar, prevent osteoporosis, and many more benefits. Be sure to mention it to your doctor if you interested in starting or continuing to drink chamomile, since it can interact with some medications.
Recommended tea: Eastern Chamomile Herbal Tea
Ginseng Tea: Help with Heart Disease and Everything else.
Like teas and chamomile, ginseng has been known to treat a wide variety of symptoms: cancer, heart disease, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, hepatitis C, high blood pressure. Taking an extract of ginseng common cold
Recommended tea: Ginseng Oolong Tea
Let us know what you drink and why in the comments below.