Brain Foods… Brain Drinks?
Tea instantly gives you an association with the British but maybe it should be green tea they are drinking.
Do you drink tea, black or green, which do you prefer?
When you think of the British you think of tea being the drink of choice. It being so popular that breaks from work can be so aptly named as tea breaks, it is obvious there is something serious going on here.
Whilst we are constantly hearing about brain foods, brain drinks on the other hand are not a hot topic. But maybe our beloved tea is just that, or more it's close relative the green tea is.
Both normal and green tea are made from the same leaves, the Camellia sinensis leaves. The difference is down to how these leaves are processed, the leaves used for black tea undergoing oxidation by fermentation, whereas for green tea they are lightly steamed and then dried. It is this process that alters the properties of green tea and a compound in it called catechins (the subject of intense interest for their health benefits) that are being altered. Green tea has a whopping a 30-40% catechin content which for normal black tea shrinks to 3-10%.
Research carried out on the compound catechin found that a large player in it, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) promoted the generation of cells in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that processes information relating to short-term and long-term memory). The research was carried out on lab mice and those who received the EGCG showed improved learning and memory. This suggests that drinking green tea could have similar effects. Although there is still work to be done it does prompt a wider look at what other research has to say on the matter.
Although none of this is to say stop drinking normal black tea, it is healthier than many of the other options out there, but for those always looking for an edge maybe green tea is the way to go.
Original article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/glen-matten/green-tea-benefits_b_1918376.html