Tea drinking and brain health - Are they related?

Tea has been around for centuries and tea drinking has such a rich and vibrant history. Have you noticed how year after year new studies conducted keep on discovering yet another health benefit of drinking tea?

Not only is tea good for you, it tastes great too! And unlike what most fair skin obsessed Indian and Southeast Asian parents believe and often dissuade their kids from this healthy beverage, drinking tea doesn't cause skin darkening.

Drinking tea, in fact has found to lower the risk of of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Not only that it has also been proven to reduce stress, lower the risk of stroke and LDL Cholesterol levels, increase HDL levels, strengthen the immune system, stave off type 2 diabetes, promote digestion, inhibit growth of bacteria in the mouth, prevent cavities and lower blood pressure. Also check these hair benefits that you can get from black tea.

While Chinese green tea is touted as one of the healthiest beverage, research has found that most types of tea also provide quite a lot of health and antioxidant benefits.

a cup of steaming hot tea

Does Tea Drinking improve brain health?

A recent study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions -- and this is associated with healthy cognitive function -- compared to non-tea drinkers.

The research team recruited 36 adults aged 60 and above, and gathered data about their health, lifestyle, and psychological well-being.

Upon analysing the participants' cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.

"When a road system is better organised, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses less resources. Similarly, when the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently," explains Asst Prof Feng, who led the study.

We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers. Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections, he adds.

Does milk tea or addition of milk in tea provide the same benefits?

The British and Indians consumes billions of cups of tea each day. It's a very popular drink in these countries but the  caveat is that  around 90 per cent of them  drink their tea with milk. The study however does not take account of  those who drank milky tea. So we never know whether milky tea provides the same benefits as black tea.

However drinking tea with milk isn't a great idea. We cannot get reap the full benefits of antioxidants in tea due to the added addition of milk. Do read the post Don't drink tea or green tea with milk.

Final Word

Now that you know that besides its stimulating properties and the ability to perk you up, the humble tea has several other wonderful benefits, including its amazing effects on brain health, why don't you take some time and try  different  types of tea and savour the various flavours? Do read these te(a)riffic facts about some favorite teas.

So next time you need to unwind after a long day, just brew a cup of your favorite  tea, relax and enjoy while reminiscing the tremendous health benefits of this awesome beverage!

Do share in the comments about your favorite tea and why you like it and what benefits you got from it.

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