Green Tea May Help Live Longer with a Healthy Heart

A new study shored up beliefs that green tea can aid health. Scientists say that people who drink green tea three or more times a week have longer lifespans and decreased rates of heart disease and strokes. Unfortunately, people who drink black tea experience some, but not all, of the same health benefits.  
The fans of green tea lived, on average, 15 months longer and were 20 percent less likely to have a stroke or heart disease. There were, overall, 15 percent less likely to die from other problems over the time of the research. The study looked at data from over 100,000 people. When they checked in with the same group five years after the original research, the tea drinkers were 15 percent less likely to have died. They were also 39 percent less likely to have had a stroke or developed heart disease and 56 percent less likely to die from a heart problem. They also saw better brain function in the tea drinkers. Milk and sugar decreased the impact of tea.
This is a big boon for green tea drinkers. Green and black tea come from the same plant, it’s just that black tea is exposed to air and oxidized while green tea is not. Green tea is higher in antioxidants, which may explain the difference in health results. It also has more caffeine. Green tea has a more astringent and grassy flavor compared to black tea’s nutty taste. If you haven’t been a big tea drinker in the past, you might want to try it again!
The study was performed in China. Along with understanding that people have different physiological reactions to things, it’s also important to recognize different cultural practices and lifestyle factors. “In China drinking tea is not only about quenching thirst or staying hydrated – the act of drinking tea involves taking time out of your day to brew the tea and drink it whilst taking time to slow down and bring calmness and serenity to your day,” said Jodie Relf, spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association. “This time of calm alongside the health-promoting properties of the tea may be what improves their health by reducing stress levels.”
Compounds in tea have been found to have significant heart benefits in earlier studies. If it is true that this study is skewed by lifestyle differences, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily write it off. If the benefit comes from the calming ritual of making tea, embrace it. Take time to brew your own tea, and have a real tea break: put aside your tasks and focus on enjoying your tea.
January 16, 2020

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