This Morning: Dr Chris discusses heart disease
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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a stepping stone to heart disease. Fortunately, your risk of both of these conditions is modifiable. While putting the kettle on to keep your heart disease risk at bay might sound too good to be true, an expert has shared it might just work.
Health benefits or not, you probably already enjoy a warming cup of tea on a daily basis.
If your go-to choice is the beloved classic – black tea – you might be on to something.
According to Researcher and Chemist, Dr Tim Bond from the Tea Advisory Panel, sipping on a humble cuppa could protect your heart health.
However, you might also want to consider going for the green option, as research, published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, makes a strong case for adding these two tea types to your regimen.
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Apart from the punchy flavour, green and black tea are also packed with plant compounds called flavonols.
These plant goodies can benefit your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, inflammation, cholesterol levels, as well as heart.
Dr Bond said: “Flavonols improve the performance of blood vessels – called ‘endothelial function’ – which helps to control blood pressure and hence reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Flavonols are also antioxidants, an action which also helps to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and reduces the oxidation of blood fats which can cause damage to the heart.”
What’s more, all you have to do to reap these effects is to enjoy a few cups of tea a day.
Based on the latest research, consuming between 400 to 600 milligrams of flavonols daily should do the trick.
According to the expert, this translates to approximately three to four cups of black or green tea a day.
While you might not see the effects straight away, sticking to this habit is guaranteed to work.
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Dr Bond said: “Heart disease and its risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure and blood vessel function develop over many years.
“No drink or food will likely act immediately. Reducing the risk of heart disease is a ‘slow burn’ so it’s important to develop beverage and dietary patterns over days, weeks, months and years.
“In terms of boosting flavonol intakes, benefits should be seen in the long term.”
With the beginning of a new year, this is the perfect time to switch up your habits and tea could be a simple way to start.
Dr Bond added: “Tea is good for heart health, metabolic health, bone and oral health to detail just some of the many health and wellness needs [met] in a cup of tea.
“Tea also helps maintain hydration and is a warm, comforting drink.
“Plus, it is a healthier drink than drinks high in sugar and alcohol.
“People who drink no or little tea will benefit from increasing their intake to at least four cups of tea daily to enjoy the many health and wellness benefits of a cuppa.”
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