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Coffee or Tea? Are there any health benefits for heart disease?

by , 01 August 2013

Drinking tea or coffee is a contentious issue - especially when it comes to cardiovascular disease (CVD). On the one hand, some experts believe these two beverages reduce the risk of CVDs. Others believe they increase your risk. So which one of these beverages is actually good for you?

Tea or coffee? Which one is better if you have heart disease or want to protect your heart?

Let’s look at what the experts say…

Is tea or coffee better for you if you have heart disease?

According to How to Fight Heart Disease and Win, the evidence suggests that high amounts of caffeine can cause irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and other research finds that caffeine can increase homocysteine levels (high homocysteine causes damage to your arteries).

It’s because of this that some physicians advise their heart patients, particularly those who have already had a heart attack, to drink little to no coffee.

But many consider this evidence on this to be weak.

So don’t panic if you’re among the many South Africans who need a few cups of coffee every day.

According to How to Fight Heart Disease and Win, researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently completed a long-term study on the possible link between hypertension and coffee that spanned three entire decades.

The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that drinking an average of two cups of coffee a day probably doesn’t play any significant role in causing high blood pressure.

One of the study’s authors said: “There has yet to be a single study finding such a link between coffee and high blood pressure, despite over 60 years of the theory’s being kicked around the scientific and medical communities.”

So what if you’re a tea lover and have heart disease?

According to How to Fight Heart Disease and Win, many recent studies have declared both black and green teas to be potential heart tonics. Tea’s antioxidant properties are the reasons why researchers believe it’s beneficial for your heart.

A study conducted in the Netherlands over a ten-year period showed that men who consumed three cups of black tea a day were less likely to die of ischemic heart disease than those who consumed just half a cup.

Green tea has been reported to have the ability to reduce atherosclerosis and high cholesterol levels.

According to findings from several other studies, green tea ‘mildly’ lowered LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol. It also increased antioxidant activity in the blood and made platelets in the blood less sticky.

If you want the full benefits of green tea, you’ll have to drink at least three cups a day to get them.

Bottom line: Both tea and coffee don’t pose any risks if you have heart disease. So go ahead and indulge in your favourite hot drink to protect your heart.

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