Look to the Green Teas To
Many of us have known for some time that drinking green teas is a healthy habit. But it may surprise some of us to learn that drinking black teas may be just as good for us.
I have never liked coffee. I love the look of the beans. I love the way it smells brewing. But I have never loved the taste. I really tried too. I have, though, always enjoyed hot tea. I am glad for that now.
It turns out that both green and black teas can help reduce cholesterol risk. And it appears that they work best together.
Tea is not a cholesterol lowering food. But it does reduce cholesterol risk by making it less harmful. And perhaps we should focus a bit more on that fact.
You and I are both concerned that we keep our cholesterol in check. We know that coronary heart disease (CHD) is closely related to our cholesterol levels. We are particularly concerned with our LDL cholesterol.
And for good reason. We know that the higher our LDL cholesterol is, the higher our risk is for developing CHD. But the risk is not just about LDL levels.
Most researchers on the subject believe that as LDL cholesterol oxidizes it increases the buildup of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis). In other words it is not merely the presence of LDL cholesterol that is the problem. It is how the LDL behaves that is the real issue.
Research has shown that LDL cholesterol modified by oxidation is present in the plaque that builds up on our artery walls. Oxidized LDL is not found, however, in normal artery walls.
In order to prevent the development of atherosclerosis many doctors suggest that we lower our LDL levels. In fact that is the primary focus of treatment for people with a high risk of coronary heart disease. But a complimentary solution is to keep our LDL from oxidizing.
When oxygen comes in contact with certain molecules the reaction leaves some of the atoms with unpaired electrons. They are then known as free radicals. These free radicals attack healthy cells in our bodies doing damage to cell membranes and DNA. The result is improperly functioning cells or even cell death. This process is blamed for many chronic conditions including my favorite … aging.
As the name implies antioxidants function to reduce or counteract oxidation. You are probably familiar with antioxidants such as vitamin-E and vitamin-C. But there is a lengthy list of antioxidants that roam through our bodies destroying free radicals.
The list of antioxidants is long for at least two reasons.
You have guessed the answer. Green teas and black teas are full of very powerful antioxidants that have been shown effective in preventing LDL oxidation.
Here’s why our universe is such a marvel of design. (O.K. it is only one reason.) The world is not a bland place. It is full of color. Plants are especially colorful. Plants get their colors from pigments called flavonoids.
But flavonoids are not just another pretty face. In the case of green teas and black teas, flavonoids are powerful antioxidants which are very effective in attacking free radicals. In fact they are many times more powerful than vitamin-C. They protect the plants from the elements. They also protect us. Once again the beauty conquers the beast.
There was a study conducted in China – where else would you research tea? – To determine if green teas are more effective than black teas in preventing LDL oxidation. Catechins are primarily found in green teas and theaflavins are found primarily in black teas. Since you asked I have included a list of the particular antioxidants in each group.
The results of the study showed that some catechins are more powerful in their antioxidant power than some theaflavins. The reverse is also true. The antioxidants are listed below in order of their antioxidant strength. Number one has the most antioxidant power in relation to LDL cholesterol and so on down the list.
So should we drink green tea or black tea? We should drink both … together. They work best together.
There have been many studies with green teas and black teas as the subject. The studies have usually shown that we have to drink a whole lot of tea – and drink it several times per day – to keep up our levels of catechins and theaflavins.
But science does more than just report findings. There are good supplements which blend optimal amounts of catechins and theaflavins in a concentrated form to help us maintain high levels of these antioxidants in our systems. This in turn helps reduce cholesterol risk by reducing LDL oxidation. If our LDL does not oxidize we are at lower risk for developing coronary heart disease.
It is important to buy top quality supplements. Please don’t buy supplements which are merely chemical reproductions. Take quality supplements which are whole food from organic sources.
So next time a little girl you know is throwing a tea party, why not accept? In fact offer to bring the tea.
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