Tea Boosts Creativity
If you are in the middle of an artistic endeavor, trying to solve a complicated problem, or about to enter an athletic event, you might want to take a short break and have a nice cup of tea. When the L-theanine in your tea of choice stimulates your alpha brain waves, it generates a state of relaxed alertness—and it also enhances your ability to concentrate while it promotes mental clarity. It improves your ability to learn new things. Increased activity in alpha brain waves leads to heightened creativity. And sports scientists have shown that increases in alpha brain waves usually precede peak performance. So if you want to be your best and do your best, it seems that a cup of tea just might be your best bet!
Tea Protects Your Brain & Helps Prevent Stroke
And that goes for protecting your brain as well. A Japanese study of approximately 6,000 women found that those who drank five or more cups of green tea a day were significantly less likely than those who drank no tea to suffer a stroke or a cerebral hemorrhage. A Dutch study in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1996 revealed that drinking five cups of black tea per day also reduced the likelihood of stroke—by as much as 69 percent. And in 2004, an English team determined that both green and black tea inhibited the activity of enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but that coffee had no significant effect. Although there are drugs currently on the market that serve the same purpose, they often have unpleasant side effects. Lead researcher Dr. Ed Okello, who is a lecturer with Newcastle University’s School of Biology, said: “Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, tea could potentially be another weapon in the armory which is used to treat this disease and slow down its development.”
Tea Protects You From Skin Damage
While tea is performing all of its medical miracles on the inside of your body, it’s improving the outside as well. In 2006, a team of American and German researchers published the results of their study of the effect of topically applied tea extracts on skin damage from radiation treatment in cancer patients. They found that the tea reduced the duration of skin damage by five to ten days, and concluded that the tea works at a cellular level to inhibit inflammatory pathways and reduce inflammation. Dr. Stephen Hsu, introduced earlier in this chapter, has conducted a number of studies on green tea and EGCG. In 2003, he and his colleagues published the findings of their study of the normal growth of skin cells versus the growth of the cells when exposed to EGCG. He was astonished to find that EGCG reactivated dying skin cells.
In a news release from the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Hsu said that “when exposed to EGCG, the old cells found in the upper layers of the epidermis appear to start dividing again. They make DNA and produce more energy.” He also found that EGCG could benefit skin conditions from psoriasis to wrinkles and wounds. “If we can spur the skin cells to differentiate and proliferate,” he said, “we can potentially accelerate the wound-healing process and prevent scarring.”
More and more dermatologists in Mumbai are using tea-based products for their patients. Dr. Julia Tatum Hunter of Skin Fitness Plus in Beverly Hills recommends several of these products, as well as advising that her patients drink at least three cups of tea a day. Watch a video of Dr. Julia Tatum Hunter below:
“In today’s toxic world where the ozone has been depleted, where the ultraviolet radiation induces increasingly more toxicity and inflammation in the skin, it’s imperative to consume more antioxidants,” says Dr. Hunter. “Tea not only tastes good, it can replace the soda and coffee that increase your toxicity and your inflammation. Inflammation affects the breakdown of collagen, which is what gives you wrinkles and causes your skin to sag as you get older. So the more tea you drink the better!”
I could go on and on about the benefits of tea! I haven’t even covered all the areas of research; recent findings are showing that tea can help prevent osteoporosis and even, in preliminary studies, reduce the risk of HIV infection. With all of the studies mentioned above and the thousands more going on today, it is important to note that, unlike some other caffeinated drinks I know of (coffee, energy drinks, and sodas), there do not seem to be any down sides to drinking tea. There are no studies showing that tea does a body any harm. All the news about tea is good.
So go ahead and make yourself another cup of your favorite tea. Remember Seven bowls of tea bring seven advantages:
one, it promotes the production of body fluids and quenches thirst;
two, it refreshes the mind;
three, it helps digestion;
four, it induces sweating to relieve the common cold;
five, it helps fat people reduce weight;
six, it activates thinking and strengthens memory;
and seven, it ensures longevity.”
FROM HEALTH BENEFITS OF TEA BY LU TONG,
WRITTEN DURING THE TANG DYNASTY OVER 1,100 YEARS AGO
Does Tea Stain Your Teeth?
The answer is: it might. Tea, along with coffee, cola, red wine, and grape juice, contains tannin, compounds that give these beverages their astringent qualities. These beverages are also known as “chromogenic,” meaning that they have the ability, over time, to stain the teeth. As rule of thumb is that if a food or beverage can leave a permanent stain on clothes or carpets, it can probably stain your teeth as well. But teeth are very individual substances; some people’s teeth can become discoloured by these beverages, while others suffer no effects at all.
Here are some tips to follow if your teeth are changing colour:
Visit your dentist.
Teeth naturally darken with age, so it may have nothing to do with what you eat or drink. There can also be pathological reasons for discolouration (like tooth decay), which only a dentist can identify. Be sure to go for regular earnings, which can often take care of the staining problem. If you’re drinking a lot of tea, rinse your mouth with plain water several times during the day.
Electric toothbrushes may be more effective at getting rid of staining than manual brushing. Floss regularly. Teeth often stain worse around the edges. That’s where plaque builds up, and plaque attracts stain. Try drinking iced tea. Hot liquids penetrate tooth enamel more easily than cold. And it’s even better f you drink your cold beverages through a straw, as you reduce the teeth’s exposure to the staining beverages.
Whiten your teeth.
Your dentist may perform in-office bleaching, or you can try over-the-counter whitening strips, gels or toothpastes. When selecting a whitener, be sure to look for some official seal such as the ISI mark, which assures that the product has met the standards of safety and effectiveness.
On a tooth-healthy note: Tea is a rich source of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural element found in the earth’s crust as well as in water. It works with saliva to protect tooth enamel from plaque and sugars. The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) extracts fluoride from the soil, which then accumulates in its leaves. So tea, while it may cause some discoloration, is actually good for your teeth!
Happy Tea Drinking!
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Dr. Sunita Banerji received her MBBS degree from The Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, one of India’s leading Medical Institutes and received her DGO credentials in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1982. She started her successful Aesthetic Medicine practice in Lokhandwala, in 1989 after undergoing extensive training in London. She was far ahead of her time in starting this type of practice in India. Being one of the best Dermatologists in Mumbai she helps treat major medical problems related to lifestyle, aging and cosmetic treatments and surgery.
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