Drinking Tea 3 Times A Week Linked To Longevity, Study Finds

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Woman Sitting at a Table Drinking Tea

Image by @CamLee / Twenty20

It's no secret that tea in all its variations can have a ton of health benefits. And one benefit, according to new research, might be a longer and healthier life—if you're drinking enough, that is.

In a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers discovered that drinking tea at least three times a week was linked to longevity and greater overall health.

We're always happy to have another excuse to sip on a cup of tea, so we dug deep into the findings to learn more about how they came to the magic number three, and which teas are the healthiest.

Habitual tea drinkers versus nonhabitual.

To conduct the study, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences looked at health surveys of nearly 101,000 participants, which included habitual tea drinkers (three or more times per week) versus never or nonhabitual tea drinkers (fewer than three times per week). They monitored these participants for roughly seven years on average.

When the study was up, the findings suggested those who drink tea regularly may just have a leg up on those who don't. For example, a 50-year-old habitual tea drinker is estimated to suffer from a stroke later in life than a nonhabitual tea drinker and to live 1.26 years longer, based on the research.

Tea drinkers who reported consistent habitual consumption over the years were found to have a 39% lower risk of heart disease and stroke (with a 56% lower risk of fatalities from either), plus a 29% lower risk of death by any cause.


Which tea is best?

You might be wondering, well, which tea should I go for? And it would seem all the good stuff we hear about green tea holds true.

"The favorable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers," says first study author Xinyan Wang.

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, and, according to this study, it's very popular in East Asia (49% of the habitual tea drinkers chose green tea).

The researchers conducted an analysis of types of tea within the study and found green tea was linked with lower chances of heart disease, stroke, and all-cause death. When it came to black tea, those same benefits were not observed. (The study notes black teas are not as rich in polyphenols and are often taken with milk, which has been found to counteract the benefits of tea.)

If you're looking for a simple way to incorporate a healthy habit into your routine, sipping green tea a few times a week is a great place to start. Take it a step further and make teatime a ritual, immersing yourself in the mindfulness of brewing your perfect cup for additional de-stressing effects.

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