Creating a daily ‘tea time’ ritual could do your heart a lot of good. Whether your brew of choice is green or black, one medical expert explains how tea contains compounds called catechins and epicatechins that help reduce inflammation and plaque buildup in the arteries, while other studies suggest that drinking tea lowers unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels and vascular reactivity—an indicator of how your blood vessels respond to physical or emotional stress.
But before you start guzzling tea by the gallon, experts caution going overboard (although your heart may be taken care of, too much of the beverage could lead to kidney problems). "Drink tea if you enjoy it, in moderation, and not because you're taking it as a medicine," says Dr. Howard Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.
Sesso also adds that adding sugar is fine as long as it’s in moderation. Too much sugar could cancel out the benefits of drinking tea. Also, opt for fresh-brewed over bottled teas, which often contain excess sugar and even high amounts of sodium.
That said, drinking a cup or two a day seems to be the best solution, offering the aforementioned health benefits while keeping caffeine intake at a modest level. What are some of your favorite teas that you'd recommend trying?