Tea may be a powerful weapon in the fight against strokes.
New research from the University of California, Los Angeles suggests that drinking at least three cups of tea a day may reduce the risk of stroke by 21 percent.
"We're getting more hard proof that this does change things, and it does reduce the risk," said Dr. Sadat Shamim, a neurologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
Researchers say it appears black tea and green tea have similar beneficial effects.
"Right now, we believe that it's the antioxidants that are in the tea," Shamim said.
More research is needed to determine exactly how tea affects the body. But Shamim said doctors believe the compounds in tea may reduce damage to blood vessels.
Tea has several other advantages -- Sharmim said it has no side effects, is inexpensive and is easily available.
The UCLA study was funded by the maker of Lipton tea. Results were presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association International Conference in San Diego. The findings are published in the online journal Stroke.