Brain Bulletin #32 - An Astonishing Drink For Your Brain

in Brain Bulletin

What is the #1 drink on the planet for your brain? Tea.

Tea is an astonishing source of antioxidants. Dr. John Weisburguer, renowned researcher at the American Health Foundation, says "Tea should be the national health beverage." Drinking tea soaks your brain in antioxidants, potentially slowing down brain decline. Dutch researchers found that tea keeps blood vessels that feed the brain healthy. Other research shows that tea prevents dreaded "lipid peroxidation" that first step to brain cell destruction.

Tea has another great brain benefit as well. Here is an interesting short article:

Are You Easily Distracted? Try Some Tea!

Newsweek Magazine Sept. 27, 2007

"Tea as a treatment for attention deficit disorder? If the beverages's other health credentials aren't enough - a host of studies have suggested it shields against heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and possiblly some cancers - now comes the news that it may also focus jumpy minds. "We have reports going back thousands of years that drinking tea makes people feel relaxed," says John Foxe, a professor of neuroscience and an expert on the mechanisms of attention at the City University of New York. "But it also seems to make them more alert."

The bulk of the research on tea until now has focused on the antioxidants it contains, the flavonols, catechins, and lignans that appear to arm the body against disease. It's thought that they improve blood vessel dilation, for example, and lower the risk of aortic atherosclerosis. "We know that the more tea one consumes, the stronger the cardiovascular protection will be," says Lenore Arab, at the University of California. By inhibiting damage to DNA, some researchers theorize, the antioxidants may also slow tumor growth.

Now neuroscientists are weighing in with evidence that components in the leaves of the Camelia sinensis plant may work wonders in the brain as well. According to Foxe's research, the amino acid theanine, which is found in green, black, and oolong teas, causes a decrease in the brain's "alpha rhythms" when people perform complex attention tasks, causing them to pay closer attention. Other brain studies are still in the very early stages but offer hope that tea might battle degenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, too. In mice, tea's main antioxidant shows an ability to curb brain cell death and encourage neurons to repair themselves."

What you eat and drink really does affect your brain! Even small dietary changes can help.

If you are not a tea drinker try it for 3 weeks. Ice tea counts, too. Just pour your tea over ice. Commercial bottled teas or powdered tea mixes have NO benefit. The tea must come from real tea leaves or bags. The top teas for your brain are black, green, and oolong.

Here are 2 things to try:

  • Substitute 1 cup of coffee for tea.
  • Drink ice tea instead of pop.

In the next Brain Bulletin you will read about an interesting study that discovered a surprising thing that makes your brain dumb.