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Black Tea May Help Lower Blood Pressure in Hypertensive People

High blood pressure and arterial stiffening can contribute to cardiovascular issues. A recent study suggests that drinking flavonoid-rich black tea may help lower blood pressure and reduce arterial stiffening in people with high blood pressure.

Participants in the study included 19 people with elevated blood pressure. Over the course of eight days they drank either two cups of black tea that included 129 milligrams of flavonoids per cup or a placebo. The tea did not contain sugar, milk, lemon, or any other additives.

All of the participants underwent a 13 day washout period after the initial phase of the study and then crossed over to the other group.

When the participants were part of the black tea group, they saw reductions in the reflection and stiffness indexes, both of which are measures of arterial health. They also had reductions of 3.2 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 2.6 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. Reductions in blood pressure were also seen when black tea was consumed after a high fat meal.

Researchers from the University L’Aquila in Italy and Unilever R&D in Vlaadringen, The Netherlands, conducted the study. It was published on February 4, 2015, in the journal Nutrients.

Previous studies have shown that the flavonoids in black tea may decrease inflammation, protect our DNA from damage, and improve heart and brain health by increasing blood flow.

In addition to tea, foods high in flavonoids include citrus fruits, grapes, strawberries, tea, cooked greens and dark chocolate, all of which are can be easily incorporated into your daily diet.

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