It is pretty uncontroversial to say that the most significant health benefit from drinking Chinese green tea is heart protection. After all, the beating organ in our chest is absolutely vital to staying alive. Yet our liver is vital to life, too, and our mind. Drinking green tea seems to protect them all.
But let’s concentrate on the heart for a moment. If our heart is healthy, we are apt to have the physical constitution to battle weaknesses elsewhere in our body. So… what can Chinese green tea do for our heart?
For one thing, the antioxidants and other compounds in green tea seem to improve the function of arterial cells. When arteries get clogged, which is called atherosclerosis, blood flow to and from the heart is impeded. This leads to overworked hearts and to various kinds of dysfunction in the heart/blood system.
Research in Greece in 2008 revealed that green tea can speed the flow of blood. The controlled study showed that tea—and not a hot water placebo, nor a hot drink containing the same amount of caffeine as the tea—created better blood flow function. Only the tea accomplished it. What’s more, the improved blood flow was clinically measured just 30 minutes after the tea was consumed!
Thirty minutes! That sounds like the response to a medicine rather than to a pleasurable cup of tea. It is not an isolated example of effectiveness. Numerous studies indicate that high blood pressure is lowered, bad cholesterol is brought back into balance, and fewer heart cells are lost after a heart attack if green tea is part of a person’s diet.
We caution against anyone believing green tea can mask a diet that is detrimental to the heart or that the exercise bike can be put away. Good heart health is a fruit of more than just drinking green tea.
But the tea will help.
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