The Truth About Green Tea

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Years ago, I reviewed research findings that green tea protects against heart disease, and I’ve been a staunch green tea drinker ever since.

Animal and human studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea reduce your heart risk factors by helping to prevent plaque rupture and by helping to maintain healthy blood pressure.

In a 25-year study, tea drinkers consuming more than 8.5 ounces a day had a much lower risk of dying and a lower rate of first heart attacks than those who drank less tea. Similarly, a Japanese study conducted at the Nippon Medical School concluded that “the more green tea patients consume, the less likely they are to have coronary artery disease.”

Green tea is rich in natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. One of them, epigallocatechin gallate, has been found to reduce multiple heart health risks in animal studies.

Green tea is also a good source of the flavonoid quercetin—a compound that prevents plaque build-up in the arteries. And if that’s not enough, a soothing cup of green tea is also a natural COX-2 inhibitor—the enzyme involved in inflammation.

I recommend green tea to all my patients with cardiovascular problems and concerns, even those with advanced heart disease. I encourage them to drink only the organic variety. Non-organic blends may contain pesticides and lead—ingredients you certainly don’t want in your body.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine (even though regular tea has half the caffeine of coffee), buy the decaf variety. For an ongoing medicinal effect, drink at least three cups a day.

For more information on cardiovascular nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.


 

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