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Last Updated on August 23, 2018

11 Health Benefits of Black Tea that You Didn’t Know About

11 Health Benefits of Black Tea that You Didn’t Know About

Have you ever heard people criticizing your choices in having caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee? Though over-indulging in anything will have negative consequences, having an extra cup of black tea might not be as bad as you might have imagined.

Personally I love my perfect cup of tea. It’s how I like to begin my day—not to help me wake up, but rather I like to enjoy a tasteful cup of bliss first thing in the morning. When it comes to herbal, green or black tea, different things suit different people and a doctor’s recommendation should never be overlooked, but for most of us, indulging in a cup or two of black tea might in fact be a healthy life choice, as some studies have shown.[1]

Both green and black tea are made from a shrub called Camellia Sinesis, but with different processing methods. In addition to the leaves being withered, rolled and heated, black tea leaves are fermented before the final heating process.

Below are 11 health benefits of black tea, though it should be noted that it is recommended that black tea to be consumed without any additives like milk or sugar to truly harness its benefits.

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1. Oral Health

Studies funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association suggests that black tea reduces plaque formation as well as restricts bacteria growth that promotes the formation of cavities and tooth decays.[2] Polyphenols found in black tea kill and surpass cavity-causing bacteria as well as hinder the growth of bacterial enzymes that form the sticky-like material that binds plaque to our teeth.

2. A Better Heart

As identified by Arab L. et al. in their 2009 research paper called “ Green and black tea consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis”, it is seen that regardless of people’s country of origin, individuals who consume 3 or more cups of tea had a 21% lower risk of a stroke than people who consume less than 1 cup of green or black tea per day.

3. Antioxidants

Black tea contains polyphenols, which are also antioxidants that help block DNA damage associated with tobacco or other toxic chemicals. These antioxidants are different from those obtained from fruits and vegetables and therefore as a regular part of our diet they can provide additional benefits towards a healthy lifestyle.

4. Cancer Prevention

Though a lot more research is required to confidently suggest cancer prevention techniques, some research over the years suggests that antioxidants like polyphenol and catechins in tea may help prevent some types of cancer.[3] It has been suggested that women who drink black tea regularly have a lower chance of ovarian cancer than their counterparts.

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5. Healthy Bones

It has also been suggested that regular tea drinkers have stronger bones and lower probability of developing arthritis due to the phytochemicals found in tea.

6. Lower Risk of Diabetes

Based on a research study conducted of elderly people living in the Mediterranean islands, it was discovered that people that had been consuming black tea on a long-term basis on a moderate level (i.e 1-2 cups a day) had a 70% lower chance of having or developing type 2 diabetes.[4]

7. Stress Relief

We all are aware and well experienced about the calming and relaxing benefits of black tea. Not only does it help slow you down after a long day, studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can help you relax and concentrate better.[5]

Black tea has also been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol when consumed in moderate amounts on a regular basis.

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8. Better Immune System

Black tea contains alkylamine antigens that help boost our immune response. In addition it also contains tannins that have the ability to fight viruses and hence keep us protected from influenza, stomach flu and other such commonly found viruses in our everyday lives.

9. Healthy Digestive Tract

In addition to improving your immune system, tannins also have a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illnesses and also help decrease digestive activity.

10. Increased Energy

Unlike other drinks that have a relatively higher caffeine content, the low amounts found in tea can help enhance blood flow to the brain without over-stimulating the heart. It also stimulates the metabolism and respiratory system, as well as the heart and the kidneys.

11. Happiness Factor

If a perfect cup of tea makes you smile and lets your heart indulge a little, then what could possibly be the harm?

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There you go, 11 reasons why you should drink black tea more often. When you’re drinking it without additives like milk or sugar, you’ll experience more of its health benefits!

Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

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 and brain power:

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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