Green Tea For Your Heart Health

In: Health and Fitness

8 Jul 2011

Green tea has shown promise in enhancing our health in many ways. Inquiry into the heart health benefits of green tea are especially intriguing. In this article I’ll talk about the many ways in which green tea may benefit our hearts.

Atherosclerosis Prevention

Several studies have provided evidence that green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where the artery wall thickens because of the build up of cholesterol and other fatty substances. This thickening greatly increases the chance of a heart attack.

Cholesterol

Investigation has shown that green tea decreases total cholesterol and elevates HDL (good cholesterol). It’s also been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol). Elevated cholesterol, especially LDL, is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Coronary Artery Disease

In one Japanese study, people consuming 5 or more cups of green tea per day were 16% less likely to have coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease involves constricting of the coronary arteries due to build up of fatty materials. It’s theorized that green tea helps by preventing the creation of free radicals, which can harm the walls of the arteries, and begin the process of fat build up.

Triglycerides

After you consume a meal, the level of triglycerides in your blood increases. Very high triglyceride levels following a meal is a big risk factor for coronary artery disease. Catechins, a compound found in green tea, decreases the rate at which triglycerides move into the blood stream following a meal. This results in a lower peak level of triglycerides.

Blood Thinner

Catechins in green tea help thin the blood. They also help prevent clot formation. Catechins do this by preventing inflammation causing compounds from being created.

Decreased Damage and Faster Recuperation After A Heart Attack

During a heart attack, parts of the heart can be damaged due to limited blood flow. Green tea appears to lessen death of heart cells, and speed up their repair. This allows for faster recovery after a heart attack.

Lower Risk Of Hypertension

One study demonstrated that regular consumption of green tea substantially reduced the risk of developing hypertension. People consuming 2 1/2 cups of green tea or more were 65% less likely to develop hypertension.

Decreased Blood Pressure

A research study lasting just 14 days showed that consuming 4 cups of green tea per day reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

 

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