3 Reasons Why You Should Heart Green Tea More
Author: Millennia TEA’s Official Science Steeper - Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
Some TEArrific Science Shows Green Tea is Heart Healthy
Hugging a warm, comforting mug of green tea is a delicious delight, but there are more reasons to HEART green tea. Inside green tea leaves are a variety of helpful compounds that cause some really cool health benefits to your entire cardiovascular system. As such, it’s no surprise that when researchers look at the health of people who regularly drink green tea, they found an inverse association with the risk of cardiovascular disease (In less geeky words, drinking green tea as one of your healthy lifestyle habits is likely good for your heart!) Let’s pour a mug of green tea and sip the science on why there are so many reasons to heart green tea!
TEArrific Facts about Heart Disease and Green Tea
Heart disease, or as scientists call it, cardiovascular disease, can affect the heart itself, or the amazing routes of arteries and veins that help the heart deliver oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body, and then carry the waste (carbon dioxide) away to be excreted by the lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Looking fairly similar to a road map, your cardiovascular system has highways, roads, and even side streets that all need to be flowing smoothly. Yet, for many, it does not. The World Health Organization lists cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death globally, accounting for about one-third of deaths. An unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, use of alcohol, and tobacco are risk factors of cardiovascular disease, with diet being the most adjustable factor. Many foods you probably already love, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, spices, nuts, fish, and mushrooms have been noted in research studies to help prevent cardiovascular disease. Go ahead - eat more of these! As for your cup, you can feel great about filling it up with green tea more often. As in a published review paper, researchers noted several studies have shown green tea “…can prevent and treat cardiovascular disease as well as improve cardiometabolic health.” No wonder so many people say they heart green tea!
3 Reasons Why You Should HEART Green Tea More
Significant science shows green tea promotes heart health, but how does it do that? In laboratories, scientists have found that green tea contains natural compounds that can help with some major cardiovascular issues, such as high bad cholesterol, inflammation, and the health of heart cells. Here’s a closer look into 3 reasons why you should heart green tea more:
1. Heart Green Tea Because It’s Good for Blood Vessels
Famous for the amazing health-promoting catechins they contain, green tea leaves have long been seen as a beneficial plant to include in your day. In fact, green tea is one of the most consumed drinks on the planet, second only to water. You’re probably familiar with the most popular of the catechins, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG appears to improve how well the lining of blood vessels works. When blood vessels function at their best, the highways all the way to the tiny side-streets of your cardiovascular system can flow well, meaning all parts of your body can get the oxygen and nutrients they need to work.
Interestingly, EGCG from green tea leaves encourages healthy growth and formation of blood vessel cells, all while protecting the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels from homocysteine. High homocysteine levels can damage arteries, and increase the risk of blockages in blood vessels. For those curious about homocysteine, studies show you can lower your homocysteine levels by including folic acid (broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, chickpeas, kidney beans), vitamin B6 (oats, bananas, wheat germ, soya beans, poultry, pork, peanuts), and vitamin B12 (brewer’s yeast, meat, fish, eggs) in your diet.
2. Heart Green Tea if You Have High Cholesterol
High cholesterol can refer to two things: high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and high total cholesterol. In a 2020 review of research, published in the Nutrition Journal, green tea consumption lowers LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
Sometimes people call LDL cholesterol, bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can build up in the walls of arteries, a process called atherosclerosis. Plaques can build-up and restrict blood flow, cause inflammation, or even burst, triggering a blood clot. Ultimately, plaque increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Hence, it’s a good idea to lower your LDL cholesterol if it is high. Researchers say, green tea appears to slow bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) from being oxidized, a process that leads to plaque formation in blood vessels, that leads to atherosclerosis. What a great reason to heart green tea – it may help prevent plaque from forming in blood vessels. Of note, studies show plaque appears to also play a role in the development of cognitive impairment that can occur with age.
3. Heart Green Tea Because if You Have High Blood Pressure
Hypertension occurs when the cardiovascular system is working harder than it should, putting extra stress on it. It’s a major risk factor for heart disease. Several studies have found frequently drinking green tea was linked to lower blood pressure, including a group of obese hypertensive women, who saw a beneficial effect after drinking green tea for just 4 weeks. In one study, the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure significantly lowered in a randomized control study with 79 hypertensive adults (ages 20 – 55 years) attributed to the addition to their diets of the healthy compounds, called epicatechins, found in green tea.
Oh, there are so many reasons to ❤️ green tea.
Heart Health Benefits of Green Tea
- Improves function of blood vessels
- Lessens how cholesterol forms plaques
- Antioxidant activity
- Reduces inflammation
- Protects heart cells from damage
How Much Green Tea Should I Drink for Heart Health?
One of the biggest studies on green tea for heart health, involving over 40,000 adults in Japan. For 11 years researchers watched to see if drinking tea benefited heart health. The scientists found drinking over two cups daily of tea, reduced the risk of death by 22 – 33%, compared to non-tea drinkers. Looking at all of the research, in what scientists call a meta-analysis, it was concluded that drinking 1 to 3 cups of green tea per day was the best at reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, in the studies, green tea leaves with higher amounts of flavonols (healthy compounds in the leaves) had greater heart-healthy benefits.
We heart green tea leaves here at Millennia Tea. We organically grow our tea plants, carefully handpick the leaves, and wash them before quickly flash freezing them to ensure your freezer contains leaves with the most EGCG and flavonols possible. Our Millennia Tea fresh tea leaves contain 15x more antioxidants than found in a cup of steeped dried green tea. With so many heart-healthy benefits, providing you with the most nutrient-rich, pesticide-free green tea leaves is our passion.
Effect of green tea consumption on blood lipids: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition Journal 2020 Sep;19(48).
Effects and mechanisms of tea and its bioactive compounds for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases: an updated review. Antioxidants 2019; 8(6):166.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) catechines and vascular function. Br J Nutr 2009 Dec;102(12);1790-802.
Green tea catechins prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation via their accumulation in low-density lipoprotein particles in humans. Nutr Res 2016 Jan; 36(1):16-23.
Green tea catechins: defensive role in cardiovascular disease. Chin J Nat Med 2013 Jul;11(4):345-53.
Atherosclerosis and cognitive impairment are linked in the elderly. The Leiden-85 study. Atherosclerosis 2002 Dec; 165(2):353-9.
Dietary flavonoids added to pharmachological antihypertensive therapy are effective in improving blood pressure. Bas Clin Pharma Tox 2014 Dec;117(1):57-64.
Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study. JAMA. 2006;296(10):1255–65.