Green tea is, without a doubt, one the healthiest beverages you can drink on the planet. Most of the health benefits imparted by the tea come from catechins. Catechins are flavonoids that act like antioxidants once they enter the body. The most abundant catechin in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). Just this catechin alone is thought to help ward off cancer and osteoporosis.
Let’s focus on how the catechins in green tea could help protect you from seven common heart problems. Let’s get started!
1. Green Tea Prevents Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition where your arteries harden and thicken due to the accumulation of plaque. This slows down the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body.
2. Green Tea Prevents Hypertension
Hypertension is a condition in which your blood pressure is too high. Hypertension is a risk factor for stroke, heart attacks, kidney problems and aneurisms. One in four Americans is thought to suffer from hypertension.
3. Green Tea for Endothelial Dysfunction
Endothelial dysfunction is a condition in which the inner lining (endothelium) of the blood vessels doesn’t function normally. When your endothelium isn’t working properly your body may struggle to regulate blood clotting, trigger a needed immune response, control the volume of fluid and electrolytes that pass from your blood into your tissues, and/or orchestrate dilation or constriction of your blood vessels.
4. Green Tea for Ischemic Heart Diseases
Ischemia is a condition in which there is reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Ischemic heart disease can lead to heart failure.
Cardiomyopathy is a chronic disease of the heart muscle which causes it to become enlarged, thickened or stiffened. This can lead to heart failure and needing a heart transplant.
6. Cardiac Hypertrophy
Cardiac hypertrophy is a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart become enlarged. This causes a decrease in the size of the heart chamber. It can lead to heart failure.
7. Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure happens when your body doesn’t receive enough blood and oxygen. This is usually because your heart’s pumping action has been reduced.
How does green tea help prevent these seven heart problems? Its catechins help to reduce oxidative stress. Catechins help to release antioxidant enzymes in your body while at the same time preventing pro-oxidant enzymes from being released. By reducing oxidative stress, inflammation in the heart is also lowered.
Catechins also help to reduce platelet aggregation, playing a role in the prevention of blood clots. Green tea catechins could also assist in halting the spread of vascular smooth muscle cells. Catechins may help to inhibit transcriptional factor NF-κB-mediated production of cytokines (involved in inflammatory responses in the body). And finally, catechins could protect vascular endothelial cells, enhancing the way these cells perform, while at the same time playing a role in regulating your blood pressure.
For the sake of your heart, it may be wise to make green tea part of your daily diet
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Bhardwaj, P., et al., “Green tea catechins: defensive role in cardiovascular disorders,” Chin J Nat Med. July 2013; 11(4): 345-53.
“Green tea may lower heart disease risk. Here’s what studies have revealed about this popular beverage,” Harv Heart Lett. December 2012; 23(4): 7
Ward, N.C., et al., “Effects of tea and coffee on cardiovascular disease risk,” Food Funct. June 2012; 3(6): 575-91.