Heart disease is a big deal in my family. I’ve watched the people I care about go through open heart surgery, I’ve lost loved ones to heart attacks and I worry that I could be next.
At 49, I know that it’s vital to take every step I can to prevent heart problems before they start.
I eat super healthy, get plenty of exercise and make sure that every day I have some of the most important drink for heart health (although I don’t actually drink it — I’ll tell you more about that in a bit).
That drink that I’m talking about is green tea… and while you’ve probably heard about how important it is for your brain, attention, memory and more, most people don’t know how much it can do to protect the heart and blood vessels from disease.
Let’s take a look at what studies show about green tea and heart health…
Mountains of support for green tea
One study of 40,530 Japanese adults found that participants who drank more than five cups of green tea a day had a 26 percent lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke and a 16 percent lower risk of death from all causes than people who drank less than one cup of green tea a day.
Another meta-analysis of observational studies — 13 conducted in green tea drinkers and five in black tea drinkers — found that people who drank the most green tea had a 28 percent lower risk of coronary artery disease than those who drank the least green tea. Black tea, on the other hand, had no effect on heart risk.
And, a 2011 meta-analysis of 14 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials found that green tea significantly lowered LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Researchers have also found that people who drink green tea have better blood vessel function just 30 minutes later. Specifically, green tea improves the function of the endothelial cells that line the inside of our arteries. Endothelial cell dysfunction plays a key role in the development of clogged arteries, a process called atherosclerosis.
In fact, the drink was found to widen the artery which runs from your shoulder to the elbow by 4 percent within 30 minutes — which also reduces your risk of blood clots.
Green tea is also loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants.
These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in your body, protecting your cells and molecules from damage. This also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of your blood, which protects your LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one of the pathways toward heart disease.
Getting your daily green tea
To lower your risk of heart disease, you can get your daily green tea two ways: drink it or take a green tea extract supplement.
If you choose to drink it, you want to look for an organic variety to avoid any pesticide contamination and choose a loose leaf tea to boost the amount of those vital catechins.
To brew your tea, just add 1 teaspoon of loose green tea to one 8-ounce cup. It’s easiest to just put it in a French press with scalding water and brew for 2-3 minutes.
And remember, green tea doesn’t stay fresh for long periods of time. It has a shelf life of about six months and then its freshness begins to diminish. You can extend its shelf life by refrigerating it for a few extra months.
However, if you’re like me and just don’t like the taste of green tea, you can choose to take a supplement of green tea extract instead. Peak BP Platinum™ offers the exact dose of green tea extract found to be most effective in human clinical trials.
However you choose to get your daily green tea, you heart is sure to thank you.