Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors linked to heart disease, but if you drink several cups of tea a day, you may cut that risk significantly. This is what researchers at the Yale School of Medicine are saying in their latest study. They found that Asian people tended to have a lower risk of heart disease than Caucasians in North America.
If you’ve ever been to any part of Asia, you probably know that smoking is extremely common there and people indulge in this bad habit in excess. Technically, this should put them at a higher risk for heart disease. So, what’s contributing to their good heart health?
Researchers believe it’s the copious amounts of green tea they consume with their meals and throughout the day. This non-fermented tea is packed with antioxidants that are known to help fight off everything from cancer to the common cold. If their effects in the Asian population are of any indication, they may also help protect against heart disease — even in those individuals who are at the highest risk.
This latest study is a review of over 100 previous trials. Researchers found that the mass amount of green tea consumed (1.2 liters daily, on average) reduces blood clotting, regulates blood fat levels, and helps the development of cells in smooth muscle found in the cardiovascular system. All this leads to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis and other coronary blockages. The overall result is that heart disease risk goes down.
While we have known about green tea’s positive benefits for the heart for some time now, it’s surprising to learn that these effects can be seen in smokers as well. This means that green tea may be an even more potent heart protector than previously thought. The researchers in this study even say that green tea is healthy way to protect against and treat many chronic diseases.
However, while you are gulping down your six or more cups of green tea every day, remember that you’ll really increase your heart’s protection if you give up smoking. This is still the best way to protect your body from lung and heart diseases.