Tea v. The Brain
Tea is a wonderous drink which has an effect our brain in a number of contrasting ways. It can both perk you up and calm you down at the same time. Studies are now also looking at the protection it could potentially be giving our brains in the fight against degenerative diseases
Tea contains caffeine which is a well known stimulant which boosts alertness but tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine which is thought that provide calmness and improve focus. These two compounds are probably the reason why tea has been associated with many mental health benefits such as improved mental attention, clarity of mind and relaxation. However it also must be said that further research is still needed to understand the exact mechanisms.
Emerging research is also starting look at the benefit of tea in ageing and mental function. Likely due to its content of polyphenols, tea could have a beneficial effect on cognitive function following stroke and be beneficial in ageing. It has also been suggested that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions, and this is associated with healthy cognitive function, compared to non-tea drinkers.
In fact in many different regions of the world tea consumption has been associated with either a decreased risk of neurodegenerative disease, or an Improved cognitive function in older populations. The bioactive compounds held in tea have numerous mechanisms which could potentially provide protection against degenerating conditions but what is lacking is the scientific evidence of the connection between those two things.
Until the evidence connecting to these two things is conclusive, then we can make
any assertive health claims about tea and brain health. However even putting the physical elements within tea to one side to consider the positive effect on your mental health of the making and drinking tea as part of a healthy daily ritual. It is a positive choice to drink something that tastes good and is good for you. Drinking good quality loose lead tea takes a little extra time, but it's a chance to slow down and wind down the noise in your day. Taking time to examine the tea leaves and how they smell. Then after the kettle boils, listening to the satisfying sound of the water splashing over the leaves and then taking a moment to reflect while the tea infuses for just long enough to give you a perfect tasting brew. If that isn't good for your brain then I don't know what is.