Drinking This Popular Beverage Every Day Can Fend Off Heart Disease, New Study Says

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women, accounting for…

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women, accounting for roughly one in every five deaths in the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 800,000 Americans suffer a heart attack annually—meaning one occurs in the U.S. every 40 seconds. Whether you become part of that statistic comes down to several factors, including underlying conditions, family history, and of course your daily lifestyle choices. Now, experts are zeroing in on one particular health habit—a feature of your diet—which could help fend off heart disease. Read on to learn which popular beverage could have a positive effect on your heart health, and why even the researchers were surprised by the findings.

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Most of us are aware that our diet can impact our risk of heart disease—and that eating highly processed foods rich in salt, saturated fats, sugar, and refined carbohydrates can heighten our chances of heart trouble.

The good news? Any minor changes you make to your diet can incrementally improve your heart health. The Mayo Clinic advises adopting a healthy eating plan that favors vegetables and fruits, beans and other legumes, lean meats and fish, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats. “Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet,” they advise.

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Putting tea bag into glass cup full of hot water
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Drinking black tea may be one way to lower your heart disease risk, according to a Sept. 2022 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Using data from nearly 500,000 middle-aged individuals who contributed their information to a large scale biomedical database in the U.K., the researchers have established a connection between regularly drinking black tea and reduced mortality from heart disease.

“During a median follow-up of 11.2 years, higher tea intake was modestly associated with lower all-cause mortality risk among those who drank two or more cups per day,” the study states. “Inverse associations were seen for mortality from all CVD [cardiovascular disease], ischemic heart disease, and stroke,” the researchers wrote.

In fact, the team observed a nine to 13 percent lower risk of all-cause death among tea drinkers, compared to non-tea drinkers.

green tea
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Over the years, many studies have shed light on the benefits of green tea, but this was the first study to demonstrate the benefits—albeit somewhat modest ones—of drinking black tea. “Last year, a meta-analysis of observational studies—13 conducted in green tea drinkers and five in black tea drinkers—found that people who drank the most green tea had a 28 percent lower risk of coronary artery disease than those who drank the least green tea,” writes Harvard Health Publishing. At the time, no studies had demonstrated lower mortality rates among black tea drinkers.

The benefits of green tea have long been credited to one particular ingredient: active polyphenols known as catechins. These antioxidants appear to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, contributing to better heart health. Green tea is still believed to be more beneficial than black tea, thanks to its higher concentration of antioxidants.

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Besides drinking tea, there are several tried and true ways to lower your heart disease risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, quitting smoking, getting between 30 and 60 minutes of daily physical activity, eating a heart-healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are all important tools in the fight against heart disease. Additionally, it’s important to manage your stress levels and get adequate sleep—ideally at least seven hours per night.

Finally, getting regular heart health screenings can keep you apprised of any subtle changes that could be affecting your risk. Speak with your doctor to learn more about screening for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.