Multiple studies around the world show that tea catechins have the potential to reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and amyloid plaque formation, which can contribute to neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Catechins make up a major part of tea phenols (TPs) in all teas, particularly in green tea. The TPs in green tea contain the highest levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and neuroprotective properties. They can significantly reduce the effects of the day-to-day stresses or free radicals that our bodies encounter in the environment. Antioxidants protect our brain cells and can slow degeneration that can occur because of stress.
Tea also protects the brain by:
Increasing Blood Flow to the Brain
Studies have shown a powerful sign that tea consumption can enhance blood flow to the brain. This increased cerebral blood flow is likely because of the TPs’ ability to improve the function of the lining of blood vessels known as the endothelium.
Having better blood flow to the brain ensures that it gets enough oxygen and nutrients. This increased blood flow can also help reduce the risk of clot formation, which can aid in stroke prevention.
Reducing Metals within the Brain
According to a study at Philosopher University in Slovakia, as a person gets older, metals such as iron, copper, and zinc increase and create neurotoxicity, which can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Tea has shown great promise in chelating or removing these metals that accumulate and cause the formation of amyloid plaques that can cause such conditions.
Increasing Cognitive Function & Creativity
Researchers have found that those who consume tea regularly seem to exhibit improved attention, memory, creativity, and overall mental acuity. Writers, visual artists, and musicians alike have extolled the virtues of tea for its remarkable ability to open up avenues of creativity.
Improving Mental Health
Not only is tea a potential benefit for protecting against neurodegenerative diseases but also for supporting overall mental health and well-being. Sipping a cup of tea can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety any time of the day – even before bedtime!
Drinking a cup of tea before bedtime can actually help improve the quality and duration of your sleep. Sleep is essential for good mental health.
The amino acid L-theanine, which helps to reduce stress-related anxiety, can also help normalize or even enhance mood. L-theanine, in combination with moderate levels of caffeine, provides a gentle and steady boost in alertness without the jitters while reducing drastic mood swings.