A Mind­ful Steep

Clean Eating - - BITS & BITES -

Your daily cup of tea may help ward off de­men­tia: Sci­en­tists from the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine have found an­other rea­son to drink up. Re­sults from a long-term study in­volv­ing over 950 Chi­nese sub­jects showed that reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of tea could lower the risk of cog­ni­tive de­cline by 50%, and sub­jects who were ge­net­i­cally at risk for Alzheimer’s dis­ease may have up to an 86% re­duced risk of cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment. Ac­cord­ing to the lead re­searcher, As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor Feng Lei, bioac­tive com­pounds found in tea leaves such as cat­e­chins and L-thea­nine are what give tea its cog­ni­tive-boost­ing ben­e­fits. These com­pounds have anti-in­flam­ma­tory and an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties that may help pro­tect the brain from blood ves­sel dam­age and neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion. Whether you pre­fer green, black or oo­long tea, you’ll get the same brain-pro­tect­ing ben­e­fits as long as your brew is made from loose-leaf tea and you’re con­sum­ing at least 1 cup per day. While the study was con­ducted on Chi­nese sub­jects, Feng be­lieves the ben­e­fits could ap­ply to other races. In fu­ture, the re­searchers plan to dig deeper into the ef­fects of the Asian diet on cog­ni­tive health, in­clud­ing more rig­or­ous test­ing of tea’s bioac­tive com­pounds.

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