All the jokes about how much we need are coffee are so much a part of culture that if a medical professional suggests we try drink tea we sometimes freak out and think we’ll never have that caffeine rush again. Nothing can be further from the truth. Read on to learn more of black tea’s health benefits for a stronger heart.
The truth is that you can get just enough caffeine to keep you happy along with the health benefits of black tea to keep your heart stronger. Most teas with caffeine will have a lower level of caffeine when compared to coffees, especially those from restaurants.
True or False: Black tea has more health benefits than a green or white tea. After all, black teas are the darkest, right?
This is one of those half-truths. All true teas (as opposed to tisanes or herbal blends) come from the same plant. The Camellia Sinensis plant produces black tea, green tea, white tea, yellow tea and dark teas. What distinguishes the different styles of tea is the processing of the raw tea leaves.
Even though black tea and green tea come from the same plant, there are differences in their tea health benefits. The antioxidant and caffeine level of teas can vary based upon everything from the climate, soil and location the tea is grown in to the processing style of the estate owner. In general, a black tea does have a higher level of caffeine that a green tea but some green teas may have a higher level than blacks. That’s part of the art and the beauty of tea; from one plant comes hundreds of different tastes.
Cardiovascular Black Tea Health Benefits
The science is in and here are two benefits of tea when it comes to heart health.
- Tea reduces LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels. A 2003 study found that by drinking 5 cups of tea a day for just 3 weeks, total cholesterol decreased 6.5% and LDL cholesterol 11.1%. That’s a big difference from 5 simple cups of tea. In a day, you could have replace morning coffee with tea, have an afternoon tea and 2 glasses of iced tea with meals to get your 5 cups.
- Adding black tea has been shown to reduce obesity without reducing calories. Further research needs to be done but an early study in 2016 found that the antioxidant levels in black tea may reduce obesity on a cellular level.
Green Tea Health Benefits for a Healthy Heart
Because of the difference in processing between a green tea (non-oxidized) and a black tea (oxidized), a green tea has slightly different health benefits. Green teas have been shown to have more of an antioxidant called catechins that promote anti-inflammation. Studies have found that in green teas 80 – 90% of the flavonoids are catechins while black teas only have 30 – 40%.
The good news is that you can drink a green tea just like a black tea, either hot or as an iced tea. Green tea won’t be the only thing that helps protect your heart and isn’t a sign to stop taking with your medicine. Instead, it’s a sign to talk with your doctor about how you can make lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.
Choose Tea over Coffee for the Best Heart Health
It’s safe to say that if you’re looking to reduce your caffeine but still need a little bit to get you through the day, reach for a cup of tea. It can be a black tea, green tea, there are even white tea and jasmine tea benefits. The benefits of tea can help you lower the caffeine and add a more heart-healthy drink. When it comes to how to drink green tea or how to make iced tea at home, let your taste be your guide.
And just a note, beware of commercially brewed iced teas. Some commercial brands you’ll find in a grocery store have more sugar and caffeine than a fresh brewed tea or even sodas like Coca-Cola Classic. That doesn’t make for a heart healthy drink at all.