Guest Contribution by Mike Jones
Tea is the quintessential health-boosting drink. Due to the increase in popularity of the organic living trend, more and more people nowadays have taken a liking to it, and it has to do with more than just its pleasant aroma and soothing warmth. One major benefit includes the positive effect it has on mental health.
How Tea Impacts Mental Health
L-Theanine and Caffeine
There are many reasons behind this. First of all, tea contains an adequate dose of caffeine, which increases alertness and improves mental focus. However, when its effects wear off, there are other compounds which work on relieving your mind from the damaging effects of stress, anxiety, and even depressive episodes.
For one, a 2008 study has uncovered that L-theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid that coexists with caffeine solely in teas, is a great way to relax without becoming drowsy. Research conducted one year before showed that the two by their powers combined reduce mental fatigue, while at the same time enhancing memory function and reaction time.
What is more, L-theanine and caffeine have beneficial effects over time as well, as detailed by a study conducted more recently in 2011. The participants in the clinical trial were administered green tea throughout the course of 16 weeks. At the end of the investigation, they exhibited significant cognitive enhancement.
Thus tea, and especially green tea, not only improves your overall mental state for the day, but it can make a positive impact on the long-term too. On top of that, these are merely the outcomes of the action of L-theanine when combined with mild doses of caffeine. There are even more useful compounds in tea that we should consider.
Catechins are an antioxidant that is present in green tea, and its outcomes in the case of achieving better mental health have been demonstrated by several studies. A study performed back in 2004 on animal subjects and published in the Experimental Gerontology journal proved this hypothesis with the help of at-risk mice.
The advantageous consequences of catechin therapy include the prevention of cognitive dysfunction, as well as the development of better memory skills. In addition to this, the antioxidant impedes negative brain changes from occurring, which can counteract neurodegenerative conditions in the long run.
Furthermore, one catechin known as theogallin has anti-depressive effects on the brain when working together with the L-theanine in tea. All in all, the main mental health benefits of the beverage are a result of all the health-enhancing compounds that go into it working together.
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Author Bio: Mike Jones is a Boston-based health and beauty writer. His work is featured mostly on HomeRemedyShop, but he usually contributes to multiple authoritative websites on the web. Through his writing, Mike constantly encourages everyone to embrace the healing power of nature.