|How green tea benefits the brain|
Black tea is the most commonly consumed kind of tea, but green tea comes in right behind and is quickly catching up due to the discovery of its insane health benefits.
By far, one of the biggest advantages to drinking green tea is how it can help your brain to function better and stay healthy.
If you’re still not convinced to make the switch to this emerald-hued beverage, here are the six biggest ways green tea helps your brain.
|Image of Green tea|
What is Green Tea?
Before we get started on all the insane brain benefits, let’s talk a little about where green tea comes from. You may be surprised to find out that all tea comes from the same plant called Camellia sinensis.
Where tea becomes black, green, oolong or white depends on how it’s processed. The more exposed to oxygen it is during this process, the darker the tea.
When tea leaves are harvested, green tea is created by either lightly steaming the leaves after they’ve been picked or not leaving them exposed to oxygen after in order to make them darker, which is what they do to create black tea.
Exposing tea leaves to the oxygen is a process called oxidation, and how oxidized it is has a direct impact on the kinds of antioxidants found in tea – the very antioxidants that give tea its beneficial effects.
Because green tea is oxidized so little, it retains significant levels of phenols, catechins, and antioxidants in concentrations that can’t be found in other teas.
Plus, it still has all the flavonoids found in other tea that is so good for your health.
You can get the compounds found in green tea in other fruits and vegetables, but not in the concentrations – that’s what sets green tea apart.
In fact, green tea has more than eight times the polyphenols of other fruits and veggies, so it packs quite a punch!
1. It Can Slow Mental Decline
Green tea has been studied quite extensively and a study from 2015 at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases found that people who imbibed green tea up to six days a week had less mental deterioration than those who didn’t drink it.
The study also exposed that green tea drinkers were at a lower risk of developing dementia. So, if you’re concerned about keeping your mind sharp as you age, then you better start drinking green tea!
2. It Improves Your Mood
The polyphenols in green tea spur your body to produce dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the regulation of emotional responses.
When you don’t have enough dopamine being produced in your brain, it can make your mood turn sour. Green tea can help!
Increased availability of dopamine can also help Parkinson’s patients because it’s also important in the function of smooth muscle, which goes awry in people who suffer from the disease, causing muscle tremors and rigidity.
3. It Feeds Your Brain
The fuel your brain runs on is glucose. Studies have found that green tea (specifically those amazing polyphenols) helps your brain to maintain a steady supply of glucose by helping the body to regulate its sensitivity to insulin.
When your body can utilize glucose more effectively, then it can keep the brain steadily supplied with its chosen fuel source and keep it all running smoothly.
4. It Protects Your Brain
Polyphenols are kind of the stars of the show when it comes to beneficial compounds in green tea, but it’s not all this jade colored elixir has to offer! Tannins are another important compound found in green tea and they have brain boosting benefits too.
Tannins have been shown to prevent brain damage in patients that suffer from strokes or other significant brain injuries.
A specific type of tannin found in tea leaves called gallotannin helps your body’s DNA to repair itself.
And this is a process that apparently continues, even when some parts of the brain have been injured, repairing brain cells and preventing the death of important neurons.
5. It Can Make You Smarter
Green tea, just like coffee, contains caffeine. Though it’s not in the same concentration as coffee, it’s still a stimulant that can help your brain function better.
How does that work? Well, caffeine goes to work on your brain by blocking a neurotransmitter called Adenosine. It’s normally an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it decreases the firing of neurons and impacts the concentration of other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine.
All of this action in your brain results in an improvement to your brain functions such as better reaction time and memory. Hence, green tea helps you get smarter!
6. It Reduces Stress
Stress is something you can’t really avoid, but too much of it is definitely not healthy – for your brain or the rest of you. Acute stress is essential to help you survive.
When humans lived in caves and hunted, the stress response kept them from getting gobbled up by a sabretooth tiger! But in today’s world, chronic stress has become a problem that contributes to poor health and disease.
Stress releases a hormone called cortisol, and elevated levels of cortisol in your body can start to impact your brain. It may make it more difficult for you to remember things while also increasing your feelings of worry and anxiety.
Green tea may be able to help you fix all that. Studies have found that green tea consumption lowers psychological stress by relaxing the mind and keeping the brain alert.
So, go ahead and have your one to six cups of green tea a day to feel more relaxed and free from stress.
Green tea isn’t quite a miracle potion, but it’s close! Consider adding it to your day and discovering all of these brain benefits for yourself!