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The Role of Tea in Cardio-Vascular Health

Long stressful days at work; eating foods high in fat and low on fiber; lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle; aerated drinks high on sugar and little nutrition value; and an excess consumption of tobacco and liquor can take a toll on you both physically and psychologically. With all the abuse we put our bodies through, our heart is the most susceptible. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer in America. About 910,000 Americans died last year of CVD, accounting for over 40 percent of all deaths.

The good news is that all you need are regular tea breaks to combat the damaging effects and repair your heart health. All three varieties of tea--black, red and green--have a host of benefits for maintaining cardio-vascular health. Consuming about four cups of tea a day drastically reduces your susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, drinking tea every day reduces the chances of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

The good news is that all you need are regular tea breaks to combat the damaging effects and repair your heart health. All three varieties of tea--black, red and green--have a host of benefits for maintaining cardio-vascular health. Consuming about four cups of tea a day drastically reduces your susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, drinking tea every day reduces the chances of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

Polyphenols in tea have a beneficial effect on two long established heart disease risk factors-High Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure. The study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine also showed that those who drank one or two cups a day lowered their risk of circulatory disease by 46 percent. For those who drank four cups a day, the risk dropped by 69 percent. According to researchers, adding milk, honey, lemon or sugar does not diminish the positive health effects. Although fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, tea is the best source as it does not add more calories to your diet.

Oolong tea (Taiwanese variety of Green tea) extract is believed to enhance noradrenalin-induced lipolysis in adipose tissue and inhibit pancreatic lipase activity, therefore proving an anti-obesity action of tea consumption. Tea has also been proven to express a cardiovascular-protective and lipid-lowering effect.

In another study the tea and coffee drinking habits of 680 people aged 76 and under were researched. One set of heart attack victims and the same number of healthy volunteers were studied. The men and women who drank one or more cups of tea a day had a 44 % percent reduction in heart attack risk compared to non-tea drinkers.

All the three varieties of tea - black, red and green-are made from the leaves of the plant, Camellia Sinensis. This plant is grown throughout Asia, and in parts of Africa, Indonesia and Europe. The different types of tea are based on where the tea is grown and harvested, and what part of the plant is harvested and the method in which it is processed. The variety of tea combined with the right processing procedure contributes to the medicinal value of tea.

Red tea beneficial for tension and depression.

The Chinese scholar Lu Yu in his Cha Shung, the earliest treatise on tea, says, "When feeling hot, thirsty, depressed, suffering from headache, eye ache, fatigue of the four limbs or pains in the joints, one should only drink tea. Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude, relieves fatigue, awakens thought, prevents drowsiness and refreshes the body and mind." What else would be the most effective way to help you cope with the stress of day to day living in today's competitive world?

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