A couple of cups of green tea a day may keep the cardiologist away, a study finds.
The study showed that green tea improves blood flow and the ability of arteries to relax, Charalambos Vlachopoulos, a cardiologist at the Athens Medical School in Greece who worked on the study, told Reuters.
The cardiovascular benefits of all teas — as well as dark chocolate and red wine — are attributed to the flavonoids they contain and their antioxidant activity.
Vlachopoulos said flavonoids in green tea are probably more potent antioxidants than in black tea because green tea does not go through oxidization.
The researchers gave 14 healthy volunteers either green tea, diluted caffeine or hot water on three separate occasions and then measured the function of endothelial cells lining the circulatory system, which help relax arteries and ease blood flow.
Those who drank the green tea had an almost immediate improvement in endothelial function.
"Tea consumption has been associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in several studies," Vlachopoulos said in a news release. "Green tea is consumed less in the Western world than black tea, but it could be more beneficial because of the way it seems to improve endothelial function."