High blood pressure is a major health problem that is believed to affect one in three Americans. Not only does it directly damage your blood vessels and vital organs but it also significantly increases your chances of suffering from heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and many other serious health disorders.
Fortunately, lifestyle factors can have a big impact on this disease and drinking green tea is one lifestyle choice that has been recommended for lowering high blood pressure. In this article I will be taking a deeper look at the effect green tea has on high blood pressure and discussing exactly how effective it really is.
How Green Tea Reduces Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can be grouped up into the three main categories below:
- Normal Blood Pressure:- Blood pressure readings of up to 120/80mmHg,
- Normal High Blood Pressure:- Blood pressure readings higher than 120/80mmHg but lower than 140/90mmHg. Although this isn’t officially classed as high blood pressure, your risk of developing high blood pressure with readings in this range is much greater than someone who has readings in the normal blood pressure range.
- High Blood Pressure:- Blood pressure readings higher than 140/90mmHg.
The good news is that if you have blood pressure readings above the normal range, research has shown that drinking green tea can help you get them back down. In a study published in Endocrine Abstracts, researchers asked the participants to drink four cups of green tea per day for 14 days while also maintaining their current diet. Over the 14 day period their blood pressure reduced by an average of 7.1/7.8mmHg and the researchers concluded that green tea can indeed lower blood pressure.
The reason green tea is so effective at combatting high blood pressure is the polyphenols it contains. The polyphenols are a group of powerful, plant based nutrients. They can be sourced from a variety of foods but green tea is by far the richest source.
The list below highlights the key blood pressure lowering polyphenols in green tea and explains how they help lower blood pressure:
1) Epigallocatechin Gallate:- Epigallocatechin gallate lowers blood pressure in two ways. First, it keeps your arteries soft and supple which promotes good blood flow and keeps your blood pressure under control. Secondly, it reduces blood levels of LDL cholesterol which prevents blockages in your arteries and stops blood pressure building up.
2) Gallocatechol:- Gallocatechol lowers blood levels of LDL cholesterol which stops the LDL cholesterol clogging up your arteries and keeps your blood pressure levels low.
3) Epicatechin:- Epicatechin relaxes the blood vessels and improves blood flow which keeps your blood pressure levels low.
4) Thearubigins:- Thearubigins prevent the buildup of LDL cholesterol in the blood, keep the arteries free from blockages and ensure that your blood pressure stays low.
When it comes to lowering your blood pressure, green tea is one of the most effective natural remedies around. If you’re suffering from high blood pressure and not drinking green tea daily, you should definitely start. If you combine it with regular exercise and a healthy, natural diet, you can really put a dent in your blood pressure readings and avoid all the damage high blood pressure can cause.
Al-Dujaili.E., Bradley.J.P.,Almoosawi.S.,Fyfe.L., (2009) Effects of green tea consumption on blood pressure, total cholesterol, body weight and fat in healthy volunteers: Endocrine Abstracts. 20: 470