Healthy Drinks

3 Cozy, Heart-Healthy Teas That’ll Spark Joy (and Fight Inflammation) With Every Sip

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Something about the first sip of hot tea on a cold and dreary winter day can instantly soothe your soul and fill your heart with joy. But aside from its naturally warming and soothing effect, research has shown that tea has several heart-healthy properties that can help support your cardiovascular system. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, tea drinkers tend to have lower death rates from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Considering the fact that cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, this is especially heartwarming news. We spoke with Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, Lipton’s registered dietitian nutritionist, who shared why tea is great for a healthier heart, how to get the most benefits out of drinking a cup of this beverage, and a few of the best heart-healthy teas to sip on throughout the day to help lower your risk of heart disease.

What makes tea so heart-friendly

According to Dr. Dubost, drinking unsweetened green and black tea daily can help support a healthy heart.

“Unsweetened black and green tea are some of the top sources of flavonoids in the diet," Dr. Dubost says. "Flavonoids are naturally occurring plant compounds found in tea and can help support healthy blood circulation, essential for heart health."

In addition to the antioxidant-rich flavonoids, Dr. Dubost notes that unsweetened tea is also comprised of 99.5 percent water, which makes it ultra-hydrating as well. Research shows that staying hydrated can help keep sodium levels balanced in the body, which is key for heart health, especially as you age.

How to brew tea for maximum heart health benefits

Iced, hot, sweetened, or unsweetened? How you drink your tea can be as versatile as how you take your coffee. Dr. Dubost shares a few things to keep in mind when brewing a cup. “Based on current scientific evidence, caffeinated, decaffeinated, hot, or cold unsweetened tea can help support a healthy heart,” she says. “My recommendation is to follow brewing instructions on the pack for the best taste and quality. Once brewed properly, you can choose to drink it hot or store it in the refrigerator for a cooler temperature.”

“Based on current scientific evidence, caffeinated, decaffeinated, hot, or cold unsweetened tea can help support a healthy heart."

But the most important part about brewing the best cup of heart-healthy tea is looking closely at the amount of flavonoids it has. “Scientific experts recommend a daily amount of 400-600 milligrams of flavan-3-ols—a subgroup of flavonoids—with tea being the leading contributor in the diet,” Dr. Dubost says. Fortunately, some brands highlight their antioxidant potency right on the label. “The majority of Lipton brewed green and black tea, including flavored varieties, declare the amounts of flavonoids per eight-ounce cup on the back of the pack,” Dr. Dubost adds.

If you're wondering whether green or black tea is more rich in flavonoids, Dr. Dubost shares that these teas are closely related, but they do have a few differences that can affect their health benefits. “Both green tea and black tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Given these teas come from the same plant, both contain the same components, including flavonoids and caffeine. However, the component levels may vary between green and black tea,” Dr. Dubost says. “For example, one cup of brewed unsweetened Lipton Black and Green Tea contains approximately 170 mg and 150 mg of flavonoids, respectively.”

Although Dr. Dubost says there’s no specific recommended time of day to consume unsweetened tea to obtain heart health benefits, she does recommend drinking about two to three cups per day to provide a sufficient level of flavonoids to support the cardiovascular system. However, if caffeine makes you feel jittery, you can always modify your tea order. “If you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, I recommend you consume unsweetened black and green tea in the morning or afternoon and decaffeinated green or black tea in the evening or before bed,” Dr. Dubost says.

3 cozy, heart-healthy teas to try

Apple Cinnamon Tea

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients
2 cups water
2 bags Lipton Black Tea
1 apple, cored and diced
1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon

1. Add water, black tea bags, diced apple, and cinnamon to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer until apples are soft, around five minutes.

2. Remove tea bags from the saucepan, then muddle the apples into the tea. Strain the tea into a heat-safe bowl.

Creamy Vanilla Tea

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups water
2 bags Lipton Black Tea
3/4 cup skim milk
2 Tsp date syrup
1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a saucepan, bring water and Lipton Black Tea bags to a simmer.

2. Reduce the heat, allowing the water to continue to simmer but not boil, then stir in milk, date syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. Steep until flavors are combined, around five minutes. Stir regularly to prevent the milk from burning.

3. Once the mixture is smooth and all ingredients are combined, remove it from heat. Pour into two mugs and enjoy!

Watermelon Tea Fresca

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients
2 Lipton Green Tea Bags
2 cups hot water
2 cups of cold seedless watermelon cut into chunks (can use frozen watermelon)

1. Brew Lipton Green Tea and refrigerate until cold.

2. Slice watermelon into chunks and store in the refrigerator until cold.

3. Put cold tea and watermelon in a blender and blend until smooth.

This herbal tea will help calm you for a great night's sleep:

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