Green tea has so many benefits for your brain that it truly is one of the best foods for your brain. Here are six ways it can help your brain:
- Green tea contains polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants improve mood and protect against Parkinson’s and other brain disorders.
- Polyphenols help regulate blood sugar levels, keeping your brain running smoothly on a steady supply of glucose.
- Tannins found in green tea may prevent the brain damage that occurs after strokes and other brain injuries.
- Green tea protects your brain by improving the flexibility of blood vessels, allowing more blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen to reach your brain.
- Green tea has a protective compound that increases levels of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. It has also been found to prevent plaque buildup in the brain, which is suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s.
- Green tea is a good source of l-theanine, an amino acid that creates theta brain waves and puts you in the same brain state as meditation. It also releases neurotransmitters that can improve memory recall, learning, and positive mood.
Findings show that you should drink at least 2 cups per day, or its equivalent in supplements to receive real brain benefits.
My Perfect Cold Brew Green Tea Recipe
My favorite way to drink green tea is as iced tea. If you don’t make it right, however, it can be very bitter.
Here’s how to make perfect iced green tea every time:
Place 4 bags into a quart container and fill with cold water, preferably filtered. I usually use flavored tea bags — peach, mango, orange, and berry are some of my favorites. Let it steep for 3-4 hours in the fridge.
That’s all there is to it! It will never be too weak or too bitter.
Surprisingly cold-brewed tea actually delivers more health benefits than hot-brewed, since none of the beneficial compounds are destroyed by heat. (1)
Let me know how you like it!
Does Brand Matter?
You can spend a little or a lot on green tea.
If you are buying pre-made green tea in a bottle you almost certainly are spending a lot per serving and getting very little health benefits in return.
One good way to determine the effectiveness of your green tea is by it’s level of the potent antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which is found only in green tea.
Diet Snapple Green Tea contains almost no EGCG, while Honest Tea Green Tea with Honey contained only about 60% of the catechins claimed on the label. (2)
According to one consumer study Lipton Green Tea was the least expensive way to get EGCG due to its low cost (10 cents per bag) and relatively high level of EGCG (71 mg per bag). The most expensive was Teavana Green Tea Gyokuro at 94 cents per serving, despite its high level of EGCG (86 mg). (3)
In general it’s better to get tea from Japan rather than China where industrial pollution is a big problem.