After discussing the lethal dangers of drinking soda earlier this week, I thought I’d share the benefits of another habit today—drinking tea.
Because you know what? You’d be hard pressed to find a healthier alternative to soda when you just can’t get excited about water. (Provided you skip the milk and sugar, of course.) Not just for your body… but for your brain, too.
Sip your way to a younger brain
As part of a recent study, researchers looked at two groups of healthy, older subjects, divided according to their tea drinking history and habits. The goal was to see how these drinking habits impacted their brains’ structure and function.
Subjects were either heavy tea drinkers (which in this case meant drinking either black, green, or oolong tea four to six times a week or more, on average). Or they were non tea-drinkers—which meant they rarely or never drank tea of any kind.
And lo and behold… the brain structures of heavy tea drinkers showed significantly fewer signs of cognitive decline.
Researchers observed greater efficiency in structural connectivity in this group. (That is, easier and quicker communication between brain regions). They also saw greater symmetry between brain hemispheres (striking a structural balance that resembled a middle-aged brain, rather than an older one).
When in doubt, supplement
This isn’t the first time research has uncovered a link between tea consumption and brain connectivity. (Which would be impressive enough if we didn’t already know about all of tea’s other benefits—for heart health, microcirculation, metabolic health, and more.)
So all things considered, it’s not the least bit surprising. It is, however, another good reason to dust off your teakettle and get brewing today.
Of course, drinking a couple cups of tea is just one way to reap the benefits. (And easily the best one on a chilly fall day—I brew a cup or two of loose-leaf green tea practically every day, myself.)
But green tea supplements are widely available and generally affordable, too. The only problem is that they’re not all created equal—so, as always, you have to keep an eye out for quality.
Here’s what I recommend:
- Look for a standardized product—one that contains 95 percent polyphenols is ideal. (You don’t want to bother with a product that’s standardized to less than 50 percent.)
- Choose a supplement that contains 60 percent catechins, and 30 percent EGCG.
Once you find a product that meets these standards, I usually recommend around 500 mg daily.
In the April 2012 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“How to ensure you’re getting the best green tea has to offer”), I take a deep dive into the secret to green tea’s success. Subscribers to my newsletter have access to this article, as well as the rest of my archives. Not a subscriber? No problem. Click here to sign up today!
“Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: Evidence from brain connectivity evaluation.” Science Daily, 10/11/2019. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191011112235.htm)