Soothing and aromatic, teas have earned a place on the approved foods and beverages list for their myriad benefits for the body and mind.
These days, you can’t walk down the aisles of your grocery store without seeing tons of teas. Some keep you awake and energized while others help you relax and fall asleep. Some may even be good for your heart or lower your cholesterol.
So which tea suits you best?
Here are eight teas and how they can affect your heart.
1 Black Tea: Might be good for your heart, but drink in moderation.
Black tea has cardioprotective effects that can improve blood vessel function and blood flow. This is due to polyphenols and flavonoids, antioxidants found in plants like tea leaves that research shows may help prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and improve heart rate. The results of a study testing the effects of black tea on rats, published in Lipids in Health and Disease Preventive Medicine in March 2018, indicate that rats in the test group consumed a solution of theaflavin, another antioxidant found in black tea Polyphenol, took and a 10.39% reduction in cholesterol, 10.84% in LDL cholesterol and 6.6% in triglycerides.
However, less caffeine does not mean that there are no harmful effects associated with black tea. Black tea has the highest caffeine content of all teas, with an 8 ounce cup containing 47 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, depending on steeping time. Although black tea contains less caffeine than coffee, caffeine levels vary by tea, brand, processing, and steeping time. People with heart problems, who are breastfeeding or pregnant should not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day or about four cups of black tea per day. Tannins, a class of polyphenols, can also cause stomach upset, among other potential side effects. The tannins found in black tea can also decrease the absorption of iron from plant foods. That’s why it’s tea time. There’s a reason you shouldn’t drink tea with your meals. Finally, black tea can interfere with mental health medications, and you should speak to your doctor before taking any medication or trying a new tea.
2 Green Tea: May lower your cholesterol if you are a heavy tea drinker.
For heart health, green tea is a winning choice. The powerful antioxidants in green tea, particularly EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), may help prevent atherosclerosis and plaque buildup in the arteries. Because green tea is steamed tea leaf and isn’t processed in the same way as black tea or oolong tea, you’ll get a little more of the tea leaf’s benefits. Steamed tea leaves have a higher concentration of EGCG, an antioxidant that helps prevent plaque from forming in our arteries. Green tea consumption is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly among habitual tea drinkers, according to a review published in Food Science and Human Wellness in May 2022.
The benefits of green tea led researchers to conclude that “tea drinkers live longer” in a January 2020 study published in the European Society of Cardiology. After surveying 101,000 participants in China, scientists found that drinking green tea was associated with about a 25% reduction in the risk of living with heart disease or after a stroke, the likelihood of dying from heart disease or stroke, and general mortality. The participants were divided into two groups: habitual tea drinkers (three times or more per week) or not. However, it should be noted that these benefits are greatest among habitual tea drinkers and even more so among those who drink more than one cup of green tea per day. This may not be within everyone’s reach. As with black tea, people who are sensitive to caffeine should watch the amount of green tea they consume. A 30 cl cup of green tea contains 28 mg of caffeine, depending on how long it has been brewed.
3 White Tea: Protects against cancer, but not against the heart
White tea is harvested from the young buds of the tea plant and only processed for a short time. White tea has the most potent anti-cancer properties compared to some more processed teas like black or oolong tea. It also contains catechins, a polyphenol that can protect us from cell damage, whether from aging or chronic diseases. A study published in Food Chemistry found that white tea can protect the DNA of normal cells from cellular damage caused by colon cancer by acting as a potential chemotherapy drug by inhibiting colon cancer cells. When it comes to heart health, research is limited. Although white tea has antioxidant effects, there are no specific studies examining the link between the two.
Also, check with your doctor if you’re taking a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin) or are sensitive to caffeine. White tea contains caffeine, which can speed up your heart rate or increase your risk of high blood pressure.
4 Oolong tea: Lowers cholesterol, but more research is needed.
Oolong tea is made from crushed tea leaves that have been oxidized for a period of time and then heated to stop the process. A clinical study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that oolong tea may help lower cholesterol in the study population in Shantou, China. Although the results showed that oolong tea could increase HDL cholesterol, they contradicted previous studies. Oolong tea has a laxative effect and you need to be wary of the effects it can have on the body. If you are unsure about the effects of oolong tea on you, talk to a doctor. Like other teas, it may conflict with medications such as blood thinners.
5. Chamomile Tea: Gets you sleepy, but be careful
This herbal tea is known to help people fall asleep at night because of its flavonoid content, according to research. Flavanoids help us relax and sleep, and they may also help relieve menstrual cramps and pain. Sleep is also one of the best tools for dealing with inflammation or healing from injuries. Sleep is also crucial for heart health. Restful sleep is also necessary. A study published in March 2021 in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that poor sleep quality was associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular disease.
Sometimes the tea works so well that doctors tell patients not to drink chamomile before surgery because it makes them too relaxed and can negatively affect anesthesia.
Patients with coronary artery stents or those taking aspirin or warfarin as blood thinners should consult their doctor before drinking chamomile, as it may increase the risk of internal bleeding. Just like with black tea, pharmacists and doctors want to know which herbal teas you are drinking. Just so they know if your medication isn’t working.
6 Ginseng Tea: Safer to drink than taking in capsule form
Consumption can potentially give your heart a boost. An analysis in the Journal of Ginseng Research found that ginseng may help with cardiovascular function, e.g. e.g. increased blood flow, but ultimately more studies need to be done. Ginseng is more difficult because it comes in tea or capsule form. But ginseng is known to improve overall health by boosting our immune system. While ginseng is more popular in Asian countries, it is used as a dietary supplement for everything from general health to erectile dysfunction. According to a systemic review published in March 2019 in the EPMA Journal, ginseng supplements may be associated with increased bleeding. However, the results are not consistent, nor does it exhibit the same properties as an anticoagulant drug. If you want ginseng, it is best consumed in tea form. As with most teas, let your doctor know if you’re taking blood thinners like warfarin or antiplatelet drugs.
7 St. John’s Wort: Risky in combination with heart medicine
You may have heard that St. John’s Wort can help treat depression, but be careful drinking this tea if you have heart problems. Although there has been extensive research on St. John’s wort for depression, interactions with certain medications can be life-threatening. If you are looking for an herbal tea, prefer ginseng tea instead. Black tea and green tea also remain the best options for heart health.
8 Rooibos (red tea): Has potential, but evidence is still unclear.
Red tea is a South African herb that is fermented. If, like chamomile tea, it contains plant-based flavonoids with anti-cancer properties, medical studies are limited. A clinical study of 40 people published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that drinking six cups of rooibos tea daily for six weeks lowered LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol. However, the same effects have not been observed in healthy people. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t drink it;
We’re talking about eating a rainbow of colors with fruits and veggies and getting a little color out of everything because there’s a wide variety of nutrients you get. The same goes for tea. We should have red, black, white and green tea because you will have different benefits.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of a physician.
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