Tea’s ability to nurture the body is well known. For years, we have been told that it helps fight heart disease, cancer and weight gain; it strengthens our immune system and improves our oral health and skin. It offers physical benefits very few other beverages can, and for that reason, we have embraced it. We have made it the second most popular beverage in the world, drinking all kinds – black, white, green and oolong – savoring it in various forms – iced, hot, caffeinated and decaffeinated – and transforming it from grandma’s drink to everyone’s. We don’t need any more reasons to brew a cup, yet researchers can’t seem to stop themselves. Once again, they are telling us that tea can improve our health but, this time, mentally rather than physically.
Recent studies have found that the compounds in tea work wonders on our minds. The combination of caffeine and theanine, an amino acid found in green, black and oolong tea, increases the brain’s alpha rhythms. This allows a person to pay closer attention when performing complex tasks. He is more focused and, as such, more able to efficiently complete the project. His short-term mind is sharper, but what about long-term? Preliminary studies suggest that tea can help with that as well. When consumed, tea maintains brain cell function and assists in the repair of damaged cells, which helps combat neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Plus, since the risk of many neuro-diseases is heightened by the physical conditions that tea fights, you lessen the likelihood of the mental simply by lessening the likelihood of the physical. Your mind and body are taken care of in one delicious cup.
So, drink up. Your options are limitless. You’ll find health benefits in any kind (although, the wonders of green tea do seem to beat out the others), but keep in mind the caffeine content. Tea doesn’t have tons, so decaffeinated isn’t something you necessarily have to buy. However, coffee, chocolate, candy and various beverages all have plentiful doses. It’s important to take note of all of your caffeine sources and ensure that you don’t take in too much. Otherwise, have a tea party. Try them all. Find the one you love. Then, enjoy. Your body certainly will.
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