Soothing and aromatic teas have earned a place on the list of approved foods and beverages for their myriad benefits for body and mind.
These days, you can’t walk down the aisles of your grocery store without seeing tons of teas. Some will keep you awake and energized, while others will help you relax and fall asleep. A few may even be good for your heart or lower your cholesterol.
So which tea is best for you?
Here are eight teas and how they can affect your heart.
1 Black tea: Could be good for your heart, but drink in moderation.
Black tea has cardio-protective effects that can improve blood vessel function and blood flow. This is due to polyphenols and flavonoids, antioxidants found in plants like tea leaves, which research shows can help prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and improve heart rate. of cholesterol. Results of a study testing the effects of black tea on rats, published March 2018 in Lipids in Health and Disease Preventive Medicine, indicate that rats in the test group who ingested a solution of theaflavin, another antioxidant polyphenol present in black tea, and saw 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 tea types, with a 220g cup containing 47 milligrams (mg) of caffeine depending on steeping time. Although black tea contains less caffeine than coffee, the level of caffeine varies by tea, brand, processing, and steeping time. People with heart problems and those 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 present in black tea can also decrease the absorption of iron from plant foods. That’s why there’s tea time. There’s a reason you’re not supposed to have tea with your meals. Finally, black tea can interfere with mental health medications, and you should talk to your doctor if you’re taking any medications or trying a new tea.
2 Green tea: May lower your cholesterol levels if you are a heavy tea drinker.
For the health of your heart, green tea is a profitable choice. The powerful antioxidants in green tea, especially EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), can help prevent atherosclerosis and plaque buildup in the arteries. Since green tea is steamed tea leaf and isn’t as processed as black tea or oolong tea, you’re going to get a bit more of the benefits of the tea leaf. Steamed tea leaves have a higher concentration of EGCG, an antioxidant that helps prevent plaque buildup in our arteries. And green tea consumption is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, especially among habitual tea drinkers, according to a review published in May 2022 in Food Science and Human Wellness.
The benefits of green tea led researchers to state that “tea drinkers live longer” in a study published in January 2020 in the European Society of Cardiology. After surveying 101,000 participants in China, scientists found that drinking green tea was linked to around a 25% decrease 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 or more times a week) or not. It should be noted, however, that these benefits are greatest in habitual tea drinkers, and even more so in those who drink more than one cup of green tea per day. This may not be within everyone’s reach. People sensitive to caffeine should watch the amount of green tea they consume, just like black tea. A 30 cl cup of green tea contains 28 mg of caffeine, depending on the duration of the infusion.
3 White tea: Protective against cancer, but not against the heart
White tea is harvested from the young buds of the tea plant and is only briefly processed. White tea has the strongest 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 it’s aging or chronic disease. A study published in Food Chemistry found that white tea can protect the DNA of normal cells against cell damage caused by colon cancer, acting as a potential chemotherapeutic agent 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 exploring the link between the two.
Also check with your doctor if you are taking a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin) or if you 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 levels, 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 levels in the study population in Shantou, China. Although the results showed that oolong tea was able to raise HDL cholesterol, they contradicted previous studies. Oolong tea has a laxative effect and you have to be wary of the effects it can have on the body. If you are unsure about the effect of oolong tea on you, speak with a doctor. Like other teas, it can contradict medications like blood thinners.
5 Chamomile tea: Lets you sleep, but be careful
This herbal tea is known to help people sleep at night because it contains flavanoids, according to research. Flavanoids help us relax and sleep, and it can also help reduce menstrual cramps and pain. Sleep is also one of the best tools for dealing with inflammation or healing from injury. Sleep is also vital 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 major cardiovascular disease.
Sometimes the tea works so well that doctors tell patients not to drink chamomile before surgery because it can make them too relaxed and negatively affect anesthesia.
Patients with coronary artery stents or 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 drink. Just so they know in case your medicine doesn’t work.
6 Ginseng tea: Safer to drink than to take in capsule form
Consuming it can potentially give your heart a boost. An analysis in the Journal of Ginseng Research found that ginseng may help with cardiovascular function, such as increased blood circulation, but ultimately more studies need to be done. Ginseng is trickier because it can come in tea or capsule form. But ginseng is known to help improve overall health by boosting our immune system. While ginseng is more popular in Asian countries, it’s used as a dietary supplement for everything from overall health to erectile dysfunction. According to a systemic review published in March 2019 in the EPMA Journal, ginseng supplements may be linked to increased bleeding. However, the results are not consistent with each other, nor does it exhibit the same qualities as an anticoagulant drug. If you want ginseng, it is best to consume it in tea form. As with most teas, tell your doctor if you’re taking blood thinners like warfarin or antiplatelet medications.
7 St. John’s Wort: Risky Combined With Heart Medicine
You may have heard that St. John’s Wort can help treat symptoms of depression, but be wary of drinking this tea if you have heart problems. Although extensive research has been done on St. John’s wort for depression, interactions with certain medications can be life-threatening. Instead, prefer ginseng tea if you are looking for an herbal tea. Black tea and green tea also remain the best option for heart health.
8 Rooibos (red tea): Has potential but the evidence is still hazy.
Red tea is a South African herb that is fermented. If, like chamomile tea, it contains plant flavonoids with anticancer 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 seen 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 variety of nutrition you’ll get. The same goes with tea. We should have red, black, white and green tea because you will get different benefits.