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Want a healthy heart? Brew me a cup of builders!

Good news. Just one cup a day of strong brewed tea could help lower your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.

That is the result of a study conducted by Cambridge, Reading and California Universities who discovered that a diet rich in flavanol, a nutrient found in tea and red wine could indeed have substantial health benefits. The universities had 25,000 people take part in Europe and the United States in the study and discovered a difference in blood pressure between those with the lowest 10 per cent of flavanol intake and those with the highest 10 per cent was two to four units.

This is a similar change seen among those following a Mediterranean diet or special low blood pressure diet. Lead author of the report Professor Gunter Kuhnle said: “Green tea has very high amounts as does black tea. The problem is that people take their tea very differently. Some dip the bag in quickly and take it out again, whereas some leave it in the cup for hours. That makes a huge difference in the flavanol content.”

Professor Kuhnle went on to explain that if you like strong tea you could get your required levels of flavanol in one or two cups a day, if you like weak tea, then perhaps 10 to 12 cups a day are needed.

This discovery by the researchers could have very positive results on the general health of the UK population. If we all increased our flavanol intake there could be an overall reduction in cases of cardiovascular diseases.

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