Tea’s Effect on Artery Health

Switching from morning coffee to morning tea might be the key to heart health.

This video was originally published on NutritionFacts.org and republished with permission. NutritionFacts.org

The endothelium, which is the interior surface of the blood vessels, is an extremely important tissue to keep in good health. Vascular diseases, heart diseases, kidney disease and diabetes are just a few of a series of disorders that can be linked back to endothelium problems. Protecting our hearts and blood vessels is clearly important and one of the easiest ways to do so is to drink more tea, whether you like your tea black or green. According to research, tea’s effect on the endothelium is incredibly beneficial.

It used to be simply accepted that endothelial function declines with age, but studies examining Chinese populations show that even the elderly had strong endothelial tissue. When the reasons why this would be were further studied, it appeared that the consumption of tea was the root cause. Of course, other countries are known for their tea drinkers but don’t see the same results in their own elderly populations. So what’s the deal? It turns out it’s because of how we take our tea. In the Western world, black teas are the most common variety and we tend to add milk, whereas the Chinese tend to drink their green tea varieties straight. The Netherlanders, however, also tend to favor black tea, but like the Chinese, tend to drink it straight. In these populations, elderly black tea drinkers saw a parallel with the Chinese in how their arteries function. Directly testing the addition of milk to tea confirmed the theory that dairy inhibits tea’s effect on the heart.

In short, taking care of our hearts helps us take care of the rest of our bodies, and we can help make that happen by enjoying more tea dairy free.

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