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Green tea gets a lot of attention when it comes to healthy beverages that fight disease and keep you healthy. And this is for good reason; green tea is known to help with losing weight, lowering cholesterol, fighting depression, and more. And while green tea may well be one of the healthiest drinks out there, black tea shouldn’t be cast aside. If you don’t enjoy green tea, or you just want to mix it up, black tea is another extremely healthy choice; black tea benefits include improving triglyceride and cholesterol scores.
What is Black Tea?
Both green and black teas are made from the leaves of the plant called Camellia sinensis. Green tea is made from the freshly harvested leaves, while black tea is made after the leaves are fermented. Catechins like epigallocatechin are particularly abundant in both green and black teas.
Black Tea Benefits for the Heart
Total tea intake, as well as both green and black tea intake individually, are related to reduced cardiovascular disease risk. Several studies have shown black tea in particular to help lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease including LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
In one study, for example, participants drank either 200 ml of black tea or plain hot water three times per day for 12 weeks. The results showed significant reductions in triglyceride levels (35.8% in men and 28.6% in women) and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio (16.6%) in the black tea group.
There were also non-significant increases in HDL levels (17% in men and 24% in women), and reductions in fasting serum glucose by 20.3% in men and 14.8% in women.
Black tea can also help lower other risk factors for heart disease, especially those related to weight gain and obesity. Researchers found that drinking three cups of black tea per day for three months inhibited weight gain and reduced both waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio. Studies suggest that black tea may help prevent diet-induced obesity by inhibiting the absorption of fats in the intestine.
Boosting Your Intake
If you don’t already drink tea regularly, it may be time to start. Alternate with some of the other very healthy warm beverages available, like rooibos (which is caffeine-free) or matcha tea. Coffee also offers some amazing health benefits.
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Originally published in 2015, this post has been updated.