When trying to maintain and improve your health, so called “superfoods” offer a number of potential benefits. Not only do they help nourish, they also offer healthy boosts to the body that can range from staying mentally sharp to helping to freshen breath.
Often overlooked along such superfood stalwarts as blueberries, spinach and dark chocolate is the positive effects drinking tea can have on the body. In fact, studies have shown that drinking black and green teas may offer a variety of healthy benefits other than their well-known soothing effect, as a number of compounds in these teas can benefit both the body and the brain.
If you occasionally feel a little forgetful, drinking a cup of tea could help. A recent study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that individuals who drank green tea showed improved brain function, including both active and working memory.
In the study, researchers provided participants with a beverage that either contained 27.5 grams of green tea or a placebo drink without tea. Researchers then conducted working memory tests and brain imaging scans on the participants. The study suggested that those who drank the green tea scored higher on the memory tests and showed increased brain function between the parietal and frontal regions of the brain when compared to participants who consumed the placebo beverage.
These results remain consistent with previous studies that found links between improved memory and regular tea consumption.
With the news of recent study finding linking mouthwash use and a potential increased risk of oral cancer, individuals looking to improve the freshness of their breath and their oral health may want to consider drinking tea as an alternative.
Studies have found that the compounds in green and black teas could help to limit the growth of harmful oral bacteria that causes infection, gum disease and cavities. In one recent study, researchers discovered that individuals who rinsed with black tea for one minute ten times a day had less buildup of plaque on their teeth when compared to individuals who rinsed using water.
If rinsing with black tea sounds like too much trouble, studies have also shown that drinking three cups of tea a day can also help to reduce harmful oral bacteria from the mouth.
Polyphenols, a compound found in green tea, have been shown in preliminary studies to possess some anti-cancer properties. One such study found that individual who regularly drank green tea were five times less likely to develop lung cancer when compared to individuals who did not drink green tea.
Additional studies have also found possible links between green tea drinking and patient recovery from breast cancer. Researchers believe polyphenols may help to reduce tumor growth, thereby helping patients with their recovery.
A number of studies have found links suggesting that drinking tea could help improve muscular strength by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that causes bones and muscle degradation.
A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health on 170 post-menopausal women provide participants with either tea, a placebo or a request to regularly perform Tai Chi exercises daily. After six months, the participants who drank the tea scored higher than the other two groups in improved muscle strength.
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