Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coffee And Green Tea May Prevent Stroke

Are you a coffee drinker? Or would you rather green tea? When it comes to reducing the risk of a stroke, it doesn't matter which one you choose. They are both helpful in that respect. This is according to a 13-year Japanese study involving 82 369 people of both genders. You can read about it in a journal called "Stroke" by the American Heart Association.

Apparently, if you want to greatly lower your chance of a stroke, you just need to drink more green tea. If you prefer coffee, one cup a day can make a difference. Daily coffee drinkers are less likely by 20% to suffer a stroke than those who drink occasionally.

So, what is it about green tea and coffee that contributes to the health of the heart?

Let's talk about green tea first. Dr. Yoshihiro Kokubo who is the lead researcher and from the Department of Preventive Cardiology, National Cerebra and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan explains that catechins found in green tea effectively control your blood pressure and improve your blood circulation. If you suffer from hypertension, your large arteries may harden. In the end, the small blood vessels in your brain might get blocked. Hypertension could also weaken your brain's blood vessels, increasing the chances of it bursting. So yeah, you want to regulate your blood pressure because your blood pressure level and chances of stroke are directly related.

Now lets turn our attention to coffee. The helpful ingredients in coffee are quinides and chlorogenic acid. They help in 2 areas: body weight and blood glucose tolerance. As you know, being overweight and having an impaired glucose tolerance raises your chances of getting a stroke. So shedding your extra weight and keeping your glucose tolerance level normal are important if you want to avoid a stroke. 

Of course we know that most people drink coffee not so much for the benefit of their heart but more for their brain. Some people need it to wake up in the morning and get their brain working. You might find it interesting to know that coffee can chase away the blues too. A study recently published "Archives of Internal Medicine", took a look at more than 50000 American women. They found a less likelihood of depression among those who had a minimum of 2 cups of coffee daily.

Of course, when it comes to nurturing a healthy heart, it would take more than just drinking coffee and green tea. Eating a healthy diet and exercising must not be ignored.

Image from Flickr

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