Need a Brain Boost? Study Recommends Green Tea

iced-green-tea-DanielleMarieSy-flickr.jpg

Research tells us that green tea is not only good for our health, but has a positive effect on brain function. It enhances our thinking processes, especially the working memory.

Recent research, done at the University Hospital of Basel, also gives us a clue as to how green tea benefits the mind—something that has been a mystery.

The Brain on Green Tea

To study green tea, the researchers gave healthy male volunteers a soft drink laced with green tea extract. Then, the mens’ brains were studied using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while the men worked on memory tasks.

It was discovered that the green tea extract enhances connectivity between different areas of the brain, and the increased connectivity improves mental functioning. Study participants performed significantly better on their memory tasks after consuming the extract.

Specifically, there was more connectivity between the brain’s frontal cortex and the parietal lobe. The frontal cortex is associated with attention, planning, short-term (working) memory, reward, and motivation. Our parietal lobe integrates incoming sensory information and spatial recognition.

“Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,” says researcher Prof. Stefan Borgwardt. The researchers hope that green tea may prove efficacious in treating certain cognitive disorders such as dementia.

Recipe: Citrus Mint Iced Green Tea

Green tea is not everyone’s cup of, well, tea. However, by experimenting with green tea recipes it is possible for most anyone to find tea drinks that are delicious and satisfying. For instance, Citrus Mint Iced Tea is refreshing and easy to make.

You will need:

  • 6 bags of green tea
  • 1/2 cup (125mL) fresh mint leaves
  • 3 slices of an orange
  • 3 slices of a lemon
  • 3 slices of a lime
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 handful of ice cubes

Preparation:

  1. In a saucepan or teapot, put the tea bags, all the citrus slices, and the mint leaves; cover with boiling water—steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain into a large pitcher; add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  3. Serve over ice.

Sources: Canadian Living; Science Daily
Photo credit: Danielle Marie Sy

 
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