Chamomile is a tried and true tea variety people consume prior to bedtime, as it promotes relaxation and sleep.
The good news is chamomile tea also supports heart health and more! It is recommended for both adults and children alike and has been a staple in households for generations.
What gives chamomile tea it’s celebrity status?
Chamomile tea is the best known source of apigenin, a natural plant bioflavonoid which improves HDL function. HDL are protein particles made by the liver to clear excess cholesterol from around the body, including coronary arteries. This simple tea has also been shown to clear heart blockages as apigenin upgrades the ability of HDL to do its job to clean out the coronary arteries.
Apigenin is a powerful source of antioxidants that can help to fight inflammation, oxidative stress and harmful molecules. Additionally, it protects against certain cardiovascular and neurological diseases that are greatly impacted by oxidation.
Other sources of apigenin are onions, grapefruit, oranges, celery, tarragon, parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano and spearmint. Try brewing up a cup of chamomile tea and add some herbs into your cooking for an extra boost of apigenin.
Why is apigenin heart healthy?
- The plant flavonoids can lower blood pressure and normalize cholesterol levels. Inflammation and blood lipid accumulation are two risk factors for atherosclerosis. Apigenin can modulate both of those risk factors.
- Apigenin has been found to block the activation of inflammatory pathways and protect the heart muscle cells from damage.
- Increases flavonoids which are associated with lower risk of strokes.
- Apigenin can decrease hypertension-associated cardiac hypertrophy (abnormal thickening or enlargement of the heart muscle due to high blood pressure), which is associated with multiple types of heart disease.
- This compound is relaxing and has vasodilatory effects.
- Apigenin inhibits heart cell death and inflammation; this prevents tissue damage and cardiac injury and keeps the heart strong
- Apigenin can increase nitric oxide which is heart protective.
Other benefits of apigenin:
Pour a warm cup of chamomile tea daily or prepare it iced in the warmer months and incorporating the foods mentioned above that are high in apigenin as its benefits are not limited to heart health:
- Promotes sleep and relaxation
- Potentially decreases neuro inflammation leading to decrease Alzheimer’s risk
- Stimulates neuronal growth
- Helps to decrease insulin resistance
- Boosts testosterone
- Decreases cortisol
- Increases liver detox (can induce glutathione production)
- Boosts immunity
Overall, chamomile tea is a great source of antioxidants to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress to support heart health. Additionally, it helps to normalize blood lipid levels through its stimulatory action of HDL. Plus, it tastes great. Enjoy a cup today!
Recipes rich in apigenin: