Brew for your brain

Smart AgingEvery time you have a cup of tea, you may be helping your brain stay healthy.

Scientific research suggests that drinking tea may actually lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“It’s possible that ingredients in tea help to maintain and improve brain health because of their effect on brain cells,” says Dr. Carol Greenwood, a Baycrest senior scientist and professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto.

A study led by Dr. Sylvia Mandel, of the Eve Topf Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Israel, shows the consumption of green tea flavinoids, a naturally occurring compound in tea, helps keep brain cells healthy, and may even improve the brain’s ability to combat stressors.

“This is one of several studies showing the beneficial effects of green tea on the brain,” says Dr. Greenwood. “In addition to supporting the repair of injured brain cells, tea flavinoids also have anti-oxidant properties that help protect against further damage.”

Although this particular study dealt with green tea, Dr. Greenwood says flavinoids in green tea are similar to those in other teas, with the exception of herbal varieties. “Herbal teas are made from infusions of many different plants,” she says. “Green and black teas are from the same plant. The main difference between them is the way the leaves are prepared.”

While Dr. Greenwood recommends making tea your beverage of choice for good brain health, she adds, “Don’t forget to eat your fruit and vegetables, as well.”

To support Baycrest and exciting initiatives, DONATE ONLINE or call the donations line at 416-785-2875 or 1-800-223-2087.