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New Study Suggests Drinking This Beverage May Be the Key to Staving Off Heart Disease

Drink the stuff thrice a week, and you might get an extra year.

In the name of good health, you've probably read it all. Do this to increase your chances of living longer. Try that to be healthier right now. Well, what if we told you the answer to avoiding chronic disease and potentially tacking on another few years of life may have something to do with tea?

Yes, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the key to fending off cardiovascular disease may be as simple as drinking more tea.

The study, which followed more than 100,000 adults from China starting in either one of three enrollment periods (1998, 2000–2001, 2007–2008), unveiled that regular tea consumption was associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and slightly increased life expectancy. More specifically, those who drank tea at least three times per week enjoyed 1.41 more years free of developing atherosclerotic (also known as coronary) cardiovascular disease, which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

This could be telling information, seeing as this particular form of cardiovascular disease is often the culprit of heart attack and stroke, and also happens to be the most common type of heart disease in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 18.2 million adults aged 20 and up (roughly 6.7 percent of the population) have the disease.

RELATED: Putting Spinach in Your Smoothie May Help Prevent Heart Disease

The study also revealed that those who regularly consumed tea (about 31 percent of participants) lived 1.26 years longer than those who didn't drink tea at all or that often. It's important to note that those observed in the study were at an index age of 50, and data for tea consumption were collected through standardized, self-reported questionnaires. The median time in which participants were followed up with from when they first enrolled in the study was 7.3 years. The two follow-up periods occurred between 2007 and 2008, as well as between 2012 and 2015. It was within those two follow-up periods that the incidence of cardiovascular disease or mortality from the disease or any other cause was noted.

These findings are in line with other existing research on the many health benefits of tea. For example, there are several studies that have shown both black and green tea may aid in lowering the harmful kind of cholesterol known as LDL, one of the main risk factors of heart disease. Another study found that drinking two servings of green tea per day was associated with decreased abdominal fat, also known as visceral fat, which is linked to increased risk of heart disease.

So, if you're looking for a morning pick-me-up, rather than a cup of coffee, consider switching to a cup or two of tea—even if only a few times per week.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
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