If you’re looking for the perfect excuse for some tea time, then this new study should be it.
Recently, the European Society of Cardiology published a journal that said drinking tea at least three times a week could help you live longer. It could decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality:
- They could develop heart disease or stroke almost two years later than the non-habitual drinkers.
- They also lived nearly two years longer than those who skipped teas.
- Habitual tea drinkers also lowered their risk of stroke and heart disorders by 20%. They were also 22% less likely to die of these conditions.
- Tea drinking could reduce the mortality risk by as much as 15%.
What’s with tea that makes it healthy? Answer: flavonoids.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in almost all plants, including tea, although their actual content of the compound can vary. Studies show that this substance can:
1. Protect the Brain Against Degeneration
Drinking Taiwanese tea, especially green tea, regularly can help reduce the risk or delay the symptoms of neurological disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease. This is according to a 2019 study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Flavonoids can regulate molecule signaling pathways that can trigger apoptosis or senescence (the aging and death of brain cells). It can also counter the effects of free radicals that result in inflammation and the buildup of amyloid plaques. These are proteins that can trigger the premature death of neurons.
Meanwhile, a 2020 study by Tufts University cited an association between the increased risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, and lower intake of flavonoids.
2. Decrease the Risk of Fatty Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can cause liver scarring or cirrhosis, which can potentially lead to liver cancer. It can also boost the odds of heart disorders as the body loses the ability to process fat and carbohydrates properly.
Both conditions are part of a condition known as metabolic syndromes. These are clusters of symptoms and disorders usually associated with impaired metabolism and obesity.
Fortunately, controlling fatty liver is possible with exercise and green tea extract, according to a Penn State mice research. The team believed that polyphenols in green tea helped break down carbohydrates, protein, and fat, especially when they combined with the enzymes secreted by the small intestines. The body doesn’t absorb the excess calories or the undigested fat, so it gets rid of it through excrement.
Green tea can also improve insulin resistance, which can also trigger a fatty liver. Insulin is a metabolic hormone that delivers glucose to the organs, like the liver. It needs the substance to get to work, such as breaking down fat.
When the body becomes insulin resistant, liver cells do not respond to insulin anymore and, thus, do not take up glucose. It could then hamper its vital processes and even store excess fat.
3. Preserve and Help Produce Mitochondria
In cellular function, the mitochondria are the coal that fuels the fire. Without them, the cells won’t produce energy that boosts metabolism or get them to do their jobs. The problem is, like wood or coal, they can also run out.
Studies like the Penn State research showed that green tea could increase gene expression that produces new mitochondria. Others revealed the compound could protect the cell’s energy powerhouse by mitigating the effects of reactive oxygen species or free radicals.
With these benefits, brewing a cup of green tea each day becomes more pleasing.