Green tea is quickly being recognized as alternative to coffee, but as a super healthy choice high in antioxidants that can boost the function of the body and brain. As the old sayings goes, “a healthy mind in a healthy body” or “a sound mind in a healthy body” is even more relevant now that more baby boomers living longer.
Drinking green tea daily is something we can strive to do even more now especially since it has the following mental health benefits.
Green Tea Protects Your Brain Against Alzheimers and Parkinson’s
Did you know that green tea has the potential to cure degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s and that includes an estimated 5.1 million people age 65 and older. Perhaps if people younger than 65 drank more green tea, the risk of getting either Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, might be reduced.
Scientists are already knee-deep in the early-stage research as stated in this article, and they’ve discovered that green tea contains a special component that can interfere with the accumulation of plaques in the brain, causing cells to die. So the key is obviously in preventing more cells to already die.
The bioactive compounds in green tea can affect the neurons, reducing the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkingson, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.
Green Tea Enhances Memory
Green tea extract can enhance memory in people suffering from mild dementia and mild cognitive impairments. In this case, the extract can be taken from the actual green tea leaves themselves unlike traditional green tea you may buy from a store. Japanese matcha tea, is one of the purest green tea base without any chemicals. This natural substance contains I-Theanine, which is responsible for improving memory and this research done by Chung et al. (2011) has backed up several relevant points.
Green Tea Calms and Soothes
No wonder green tea is associated with the color green, the color symbol for inducing calm and peace and is just what we need more of in our fast paced highly stressed world. Green tea includes the amino acid, L-Theanine, which is responsible for inducing a calming state. It increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Performance
Caffeine in coffee gives you that buzz, but the Theanine in green tea is also responsible for improved cognitive performance. So before taking a high-stakes exam, perhaps drink some green tea not to just get relaxed but to also to prolong enhanced cognitive performance as stated in the research carried out by Einother and Martens, 2013.
When you add up all the mental health benefits to the other pleasures, you can see how much more enjoyable drinking green tea can really be. As Henry James once said, “there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” So let’s raise a cup of green tea to that thought and drink heartily!