High blood pressure means your blood pressure is consistently too high and means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. While the condition doesn’t pose any health risks in the early stages, overtime, a consistently high blood pressure reading can lead to heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke.
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High blood pressure can be prevented or reduced by some simple lifestyle changes, including healthy eating and drinking.
Diet plays a decisive role in lowering one’s blood pressure and as a general rule, experts recommend to cut down on the amount of salt in food and to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
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Specific food and drink have been found to have blood pressure-lowering properties, including oolong tea.
Several studies involving regular tea drinkers reported reduced blood pressure, as well as reduced cholesterol levels and a reduce risk of heart disease.
Benefits of oolong tea
Oolong tea combines the qualities of dark and green teas and offers several interesting health benefits.
The traditional Chinese tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant which is the same plant used to make green and black tea.
All tea leaves contain certain enzymes, which produce a chemical reaction called oxidation.
Oxidation is what turns the green tea leaves into a deep black colour. This partial oxidation is responsible for oolong tea’s colour and distinctive taste.
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How does it help with blood pressure
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of health, the protective effect of habitual tea consumption and how it affects high blood pressure was investigated.
The study found that those who regularly drank tea throughout the day reported reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease.
A study done in China reported a 39 percent lower risk of stroke in those drinking 480ml of oolong or green tea per day.
In addition, regularly consuming oolong tea per day may reduce a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure by up to 46 percent.
It’s important to note that oolong tea does contain caffeine which can also raise blood pressure so it should be drank in moderation.
However the caffeine content in oolong tea is only about a quarter of that found in coffee so the effect on blood pressure is likely to be small.
The NHS advises: “Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may increase your blood pressure.”
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