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10 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee

10 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee

Tea is one of the great uniters. There’s no problem or crisis that can’t be solved (or at least abated and eased if not solved) without the help of a cup of tea. However, coffee seems to overtaken as the hot drink of choice for a lot of people. That’s not to say we don’t mind the odd mug of Joe every so often, but really, tea has been an institution for centuries for a reason.

1. Tea is fantastic at hydrating the body and replenishing your fluid intake.

While coffee can do the same, tea has the added benefit of generally being just pure H2O with that awesome tea flavour, meaning that when it’s a scorching hot summer day, it’s much more beneficial to sip down some tea (hot or cold) as it’ll replace any fluids you’ve lost through sweating. It also means that it’s fantastic for your skin and getting it hydrated quicker.

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2) Tea has been shown in studies to help reduce the chances of developing certain kinds of cancers and tumours.

As to why, the scientific evidence remains a bit unsure, but the fact that tea has been linked to improving your health since legendary Chinese emperor Shennong wrote about it almost five thousand years in an almanac surely means something.

3) Tea will keep you going for longer.

While it’s been commented on that tea has less caffeine than coffee when given in the same amount of servings, this isn’t actually true. Tea has the same amount of caffeine as coffee, and while both are stimulants, coffee has a much bigger depressing effect (not making you sad but reducing your energy levels) than tea, meaning that while both tea and coffee will give you a bigger rush of caffeine, with coffee, the high will also last shorter and drop quicker. If you’re wanting something to keep you going through the work day, tea is the best choice.

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4) It’s easier than making coffee.

A churlish note perhaps but one worth noting: in the modern era, it’s much easier to just brew a cup of tea. Place teabag in a cup of hot water, remove after a few minutes, and you’re done. Admittedly the era of instant coffee makes coffee much easier to brew too, but in our world of gourmet coffees, it does seem much easier to plonk a teabag into a mug of hot water and have some instant relief.

5) There are a ton of antioxidants in tea, much more than you’re likely to get in coffee.

Antioxidants are fantastic for keeping your body ticking over and looking and feeling fantastic, hence why a lot of companies have jumped aboard the bandwagon of sticking antioxidants into products. In short, antioxidants keep you looking fresh, feeling great and tea has an abundance of them.

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6) Tea can help you shed some unwanted pounds.

Relatively recent research (try saying that five times really quick) has indicated that green tea might be a great aid in helping people who want to lose weight. It might down to the fact that green tea helps kick start your metabolism or simply that tea is a better substitute as a practically calorie-free drink as opposed to downing soft drinks to quench your thirst. Plus you can’t really add much to tea to give it extra calories. Check out your nearest coffee house next time and see how many options there are that can be ultra-fattening to put on top of your coffee.

7) Tea is also pretty good for your teeth.

That is, when managed in comparison to coffee. Drink too much tea, and we’re talking a lot here, and you’re getting too much fluoride in there. Drink a reasonable amount and you’re fine and unlike coffee, you don’t have the unwarranted side effect of discolouration when it comes to drinking a lot of your favourite cup of coffee.

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8)  It can also protect your bones.

An Australian study recently found that people who drank tea on a regular basis had stronger bones and actually were less likely to develop osteoporosis thanks to the high levels of tea catechins. In addition, another study a few years earlier found that drinking tea helped promote healthy bone formation. While I would certainly not recommend drinking too much (that well-publicised story about a woman who developed skeletal fluorosis after consuming 150 bags of tea a day rings true), having a cup of tea can be beneficial to keeping your bones strong.

9) Tea can help reduce stress

An advantage we can all use from time to time.. While the physical cause behind this remains unknown or murky at best, it’s a well-known fact that tea is used cross-culturally as a bonding tool as well as refreshment, which goes some way to explaining why some cultures have tea so deeply ingrained as part of their customs (e.g. the British). Tea, or rather specifically, green tea has also been found to work as an anti-depressant, meaning that taking a cup next time you’re feeling a little low might just help boost your mood.

10) Last but certainly not least: tea can help strengthen your immune system.

While it probably won’t help out a huge amount while you’re battling a bout of intense flu (apart from the benefits of just drinking something and helping to flush the bug out of your system), drinking tea can really help set up and improve your immune system for next time. It’s kind of like setting up a security software on your computer – it might not help you when you’ve just been infected and installed it, but it should really help you the next time something mean and nasty appears on the horizon.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, all this tea talk has got me hankering for a cup. I hope you’ll join me.

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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