In the UK alone over 100 million cups
are drunk every day, and millions more are drunk across India, China, Australia and other tea loving nations. The United Nations has even designated May 21 "International Tea Day."
In addition to many health benefits, consuming tea might affect mood and cognition. Scientists are researching whether the relaxing effects of a warm cup of tea are due to the healthful compounds, the context in which it is drunk (the ritual of brewing, and the time taken to rest and consume it), or a mixture of both.
No matter why, it is clear that drinking tea has definite positive benefits on our mental and physical health.
Boost those Brain Cells
Studies have shown that consumption of tea boosts brain function in healthy people. In a 2017 review of more than 100 studies
, coauthored by Stefan Borgwardt, chair and director of the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the University of Lübeck, Germany, it was discovered that
green tea can reduce anxiety; improve cognition by increasing memory and attention; and improve brain function. Long-term health benefits of tea drinking are evident, too: drinking at least half a cup of green tea a day seems to lower the risk of developing depression and dementia.
A Cocktail For Your Health
There are many compounds in tea that could be responsible for improvements in our brain function, and it is thought that it is the combination of antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG); L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, and caffeine, that work together to boost your brainpower. Studies suggest that L-theanine affects brain waves, leading to a feeling of relaxation without drowsiness.
A Healthy Body Equals a Healthy Mind
Flavanols, found in tea, cocoa and berries have been shown to be associated with lower blood pressure
. Tea consumption has also been linked to lower risk for cardiovascular disease, a booster to weight loss, and in some studies, helpful for those with cancer. It's also been shown to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, a hormone which can negatively impact the body in many ways.