For some folks, teeing up a golf ball is a great way to relax. In fact, according to Jimmy Demaret, the first golfer to win the Masters three times, "Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at [them]."
But for those of you who find teeing up that small white ball more frustrating (or boring) than relaxing, there's another kind of tea that can help you chill.
New research shows that if you take up drinking tea regularly, you can expect to see your top blood pressure number (systolic) dip by around 2.6 mmHg. Your bottom number (diastolic) will go down by about 2.2 mmHg.
The researchers who discovered this data looked at the results of 25 randomized, controlled studies on tea and blood pressure, with a total of 1,476 participants).
They concluded that if such improvements happened to everyone with high blood pressure, the stats for related stroke risk would fall by 8 percent, for coronary artery disease mortality by 5 percent, and for all causes of mortality by 4 percent.
Green tea seems to have the most powerful effect on blood pressure; black tea is second. And it makes no difference if the tea is caffeinated or decaffeinated.
So how does tea lower your blood pressure? It seems to allow blood vessels to relax and help their lining stay healthy.
Although this study didn't say how much tea to drink, others studies indicate that three to four cups a day may be optimal.
No pressure. Tea up a cup!
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