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Will Green Tea Raise My Blood Pressure?

Updated on November 4, 2007

If you are prescribed any kind of blood thinner, you are given a long list of foods containing Vitamin K to avoid. Vitamin K is a natural blood thinner. The thought is that any one of these foods can made your blood thinner, like Wafarin, work too well. You don't want to accidentally cut yourself and not have it stop bleeding. And, as you have probably guessed, green tea is on the list of no-nos for people taking blood thinning medication. Other foods include salads, spinach and garlic.

You Don't Need To Cut It Out Entirely

If you are taking blood thinners, you don't have to cut out green tea entirely. One or two cups of iced or hot green tea can still be enjoyed without any undue concern.

And if you don't take blood thinners, you now have another reason to indulge in a bottle of iced green tea or a box of green tea bags. Regular green tea is not only loaded with antitoxins, but helps keep your blood moving.

But if it does get your circulation moving, can green tea affect your blood pressure?

Well, It Depends...

The answer is going to be a lot longer than the question. Put the kettle on.

Green tea by itself will NOT raise your blood pressure, if you drink in moderate amounts, like one to three cups a day. However (and you knew a however was coming into this, didn't you?) green tea does contain caffeine, which can definitely raise your blood pressure if you overindulge in it. If you buy ready-made bottle of green iced tea, check the ingredients. They may have a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners in it that can raise your blood pressure.

You can still drink iced green tea. Just make it yourself. That way, you can control the sweeteners and will know right away if you are using decaffeinated green tea or caffeinated green tea. Some people prefer the taste of caffeinated green tea while others can't detect any difference. Try to get the plain green tea bags or loose leaf if you're really into tea, and avoid heavily flavored green tea bags. Most green tea bags available in the United States are blended with natural and artificial sweeteners to make the taste more acceptable to what the average American palette is used to. Green tea is an acquired taste.

Be Sure To Brew It Properly

If you are worried about your caffeine intake, brew your green tea very lightly. The longer the tea brews, the stronger the taste (which in green tea can be very bitter) and the more caffeine is put into the tea. If you are making iced green tea, you don't really have to worry about brewing time, because your tea will be watered down.

But if you prefer your green tea hot (like I do), then your have to take some time learning how to properly brew green tea. Check the instructions on the box of tea - some will taste okay if you use boiling water, but most will not. And yes, it makes a BIG difference in the taste. You need to use hot water - water that's just about to come to the boil, but not actually boiled - in order to get the best flavor.

For more information on brewing green tea, click here.

Do you think this guy really loves green tea?

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