Whether you drink tea socially or for the health benefits, one thing is for sure: you’re probably getting a lot more than what you bargained for.
The custom of drinking tea is a cultural phenomenon that has persisted for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And lucky for us, we benefit in so many ways.
A recent study shows that black tea supports healthy blood pressure levels when taken close to a meal. The results were published in the journal Nutrients.
Leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant are fermented to create black tea. In the process, a unique combination of flavonoids is produced, which is different from what is found in green tea.
For this study, scientists examined the effect of tea drinking on blood pressure in a group of 19 adults with hypertension. Participants were assigned a placebo or two cups of black tea for eight days, followed by a washout period of 13 days (a period in which no treatment is given). Treatments were then switched between the two groups. Each cup of tea contained 129 mg of flavonoids.
Different tests were administered to measure arterial function including digital volume pulse (measures arterial stiffness) and blood pressure measurements with or without a fatty meal. Blood pressure readings were taken each hour after tea consumption for a period of four hours.
According to the results of the study, tea drinkers showed positive results in arterial function. Arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart disease, improved. On average scientists saw a decrease of 3 points in blood pressure readings for tea drinkers.
In addition, the tea prevented rises in blood pressure after the fatty meal. Though these changes in blood pressure were small, they are significant for individuals who are at risk for developing hypertension or for those being treated for the condition.
The results of this study are very easy to apply in real life: just drink more tea. Not only will it perk up your meal, your heart may benefit as well.