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The Tea Plant Blog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day

On the holiday all about showing our devotion to others, it’s important to remember to love ourselves too. To show your own heart a good time, why not try a cup of tea? Many scientists are saying that that warm cup does more than just warm your spirit, it can do your heart good too.

According to NPR, flavanols found in tea have an influence on blood vessel health, by regulating blood pressure.  The Mayo Clinic has also said that your favorite morning cup has health benefits such as the prevention of cancer, thanks to antioxidant polyphenols, called catechins, found in tea.

Tea has actually been found to keep your blood vessels “unclogged and flexible”, after a double-blind, randomized study, in which two kinds of blood pressure were found to be reduced. According to Washington Post, the study showed that “the blood-pressure-lowering effect was maintained even after a large intake of fatty, sugary food, which usually constricts blood vessels…” Better blood vessels means better blood flow, which allows all your organs to get more blood, oxygen, and nutrients, thus allowing your body to fight heart disease.

One hot topic is whether milk actually diminishes tea’s effects when added. Though preliminary studies seem to say so, not all scientists are convinced that the effect of milk is strong enough to diminish tea’s health benefits."There's no convincing evidence that milk is a problem," says Alan Crozier of the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Tea is full of flavanols (beneficial plant compounds), he says that can’t be overpowered by the little amount of milk that the average person adds to their cup. "The amount of milk is not going to greatly interfere with the way they're [the catechins] absorbed.”

Though research is still needed to prove whether tea can actually cure you of any disease, tea does have the potential to improve your health. "There are pearls of real promise here, but they have yet to be strung,” said Dr. David Katz, a HuffPost blogger and director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center. 

So keep sipping, whether you’re drinking it for your heart or your soul.

-India K. 

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