Cup of tea perks up brain ac­tiv­ity

Lesotho Times - - Health -

WHEN you want to un­wind, a steam­ing cup of tea can be the per­fect op­tion. And it seems re­lax­ation is not the only ben­e­fit – as the drink may also im­prove brain per­for­mance, ac­cord­ing to re­search.

Neu­ro­log­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in­creases no­tice­ably around half an hour af­ter drink­ing black or green tea, a study found, in­clud­ing pro­cesses linked to mem­ory and de­ci­sion mak­ing.

It is un­clear which in­gre­di­ents are re­spon­si­ble for the ef­fect, but pre­vi­ous stud­ies sug­gest a piv­otal role is played by an­tiox­i­dants known as flavonoids – which are un­af­fected by the ad­di­tion of milk.

Th­ese are al­ready thought to help con­trol in­flam­ma­tion, pro­mote blood ves­sel func­tion andd limit clog­ging of the ar­ter­ies.

For the lat­est study, re­searchers at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity ver­sity in­ves­ti­gated brain­wave pat­tern­sterns to es­tab­lish the ef­fect of tea on var­i­ous neu­ro­log­i­cal func­tions.

Eight vol­un­teers rs were asked to drink a cup made with green or black leaves be­fore hav­ing ving their brain ac­tiv­ity mea­sured.sured.

Elec­trodes at­tachedached to their heads found three types of brain­rain­wave in­creased with­inthin an hour – al­pha, beta and theta.

There was a highly sig­nif­i­can­tant in­crease in the thetaeta waves be­tween 30 min­utes and an hour later, says the study pub­lished in Nutri­tio­n­i­tional Neu­ro­science.

Both black and d green tea stim­u­lated the ac­tiv­ity, which is linked with im­proved cog­ni­tive func­tion.

Less sig­nif­i­cant but still no­table was an in­crease in al­pha and beta waves, which are con­nected to alert­ness, mem­ory and log­i­cal rea­son­ing.

Study leader Dr Ed­ward Okello, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Medic­i­nal Plant Re­search Group at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­sity, said: “Tea has been as­so­ci­ated with many men­tal benefits, such as at­ten­tion en­hance­ment, clar­ity of mind and re­lax­ation.”

He added that the find­ings pro­vide fur­ther ev­i­dence for the drink’s as­sumed benefits.

“The highly sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in theta waves post-con­sump­tion may be an in­di­ca­tion of [tea [tea’s]s] pu­ta­tive role in cog­ni­tive func­tion, alert­ness and at­ten­tion,” he said.

Pre­vi­ous re­search has shown that drink­ing three to four cups of tea a day may cut the chance of hav­ing a heart attack.

The drink can also help pre­vent type 2 di­a­betes, and slows the pro­gres­sion of the dis­ease once it de­vel­ops.

The an­tiox­i­dants it con­tains have been found to halt cer­tain ef­fects of age­ing, while reg­u­larly drink­ing black tea has been shown to vis­i­bly lower stress lev­els.

White tea could also help pre­vent obe­sity, as it was found to lessen the growth of new fat cells.

— Daily Mail.

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