If you’re a tea drinker, I have some fantastic news for you. In a recent study, scientists found evidence that drinking tea could drastically lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re not a tea drinker, it might be time to pick up the healthy habit!
The tea for Alzheimer’s study was conducted out of the National University of Singapore. During the study, researches followed more than 950 adults ages 55 or older. They also studied their tea drinking habits from 2003-2005. From 2006-2010, researchers followed up with the mean and women who participated in the study, to assess their cognitive function.
The results showed that people who regularly drank tea reduced their risk of neurocognitive disorders by 50%! Perhaps even more impressively, the protective benefits of tea particularly effective for people who were genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s. This group showed a reduced risk of cognitive impairment by as much as 86%.
How Does Tea Affect The Brain?
According to researchers, there isn’t one specific type of tea you should be drinking. As long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves and you drink it consistently, you are reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
So how do tea leaves benefit the brain? Tea leaves contains catechins and theaflavins, which are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect the brain from aging.
In a 2013 study, researchers found that the theanine and caffeine in tea helped tea drinkers perform better at work, by increasing creativity and alertness. When caffeine pairs up with L-theanine (a relaxation-promoting amino acid), the combination works to reduce mental fatigue while increasing alertness and memory.
In a 2012 study, researchers found that EGCG, a chemical found in green tea, helps improve memory. This chemical has the ability to boost the production of neural progenitor cells, which the brain then uses for its own needs.
How To Enjoy Your Tea
To reap the brain-boosting benefits of tea, make sure you’re using real tea leaves. Tea bags might be a convenient way to enjoy your drink, but according to the tea for Alzheimer’s study, the tea leaves are responsible for all the health benefits. So whether you prefer black tea, green tea or another type of tea, check your local health food store to find loose leaf, organic teas. You can even harvest your own leaves!
Here’s another tip: many of us like to sweeten things up, but be careful what you’re adding to your drink. Your tea can quickly become an unhealthy addition to your diet if you’re adding loads of sugar to it. If you like your tea a little sweeter, try adding a small of amount of local, raw organic honey. If you prefer your tea a little creamy, try adding some coconut milk for a dairy-free alternative to regular milk or sugary creamers. Enjoy!
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Molecular Nutrition Food Research
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