Written By Lisa S. Jones / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
While past studies have demonstrated that tea intake is beneficial to human health - and the positive effects include mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention - a study by researchers from the National University of Singapore reveals that regular tea drinkers have a better organized brain region which is associated with healthy cognitive function compared to non-tea drinkers.
The research team made this discovery after examining neuroimaging data of 36 older adults. The research was carried out with collaborators from the University of Essex and University of Cambridge, and the findings were published in the scientific journal Aging.
The research team recruited 36 adults aged 60 and above, and gathered data about their health, lifestyle, and psychological well-being. The elderly participants also had to undergo neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The study was carried out from 2015 to 2018. Upon analyszing the participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.
“Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organization,” says team leader Assistant Professor Feng Lei, who is from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
“Take the analogy of road traffic as an example - consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads. When a road system is better organized, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses less resources.
“Similarly, when the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently. We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers.
“Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organization brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”
Tips For Better Brain Health
Memory loss is something that mostly older people experience because as we grow old, the brain goes through depreciative changes which affect the brain health. In a bid to combat poor cognitive functions, different studies have been carried out to get to the cause of the problem and procure a solution.
Most of these studies - especially the cognitive studies conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University - have pointed to improving participation in physical, social and mental activities as the best solutions to keep the brain active.
“Many people feel, ‘I’ve worked my whole life, retirement is my time to rest,’ ” says Joann Akpan, Clinical Research Coordinator at Jefferson. “This particular way of thinking is why most old people end up with memory loss. When we don’t use our mind as actively as we did before, it stops being active as it was. It’s a simple process of gives and takes.”
When your brain, social life, and your body in general, are always active, memory loss won’t be one of the challenges you’ll face while aging. One thing you need to realize is that it’s not all about setting goals to increase physical or social activities.
You must strive to see it through. The best way to do so is by setting small goals and incorporating them into your daily life - baby steps. Let’s look at the tips to effectively set goals to engage in activities that are beneficial to the brain health of older people.
Creating a script will help you have a comprehensive plan which you can always go back to if you miss the target. It’s like a guide to remind you of the set goals so that they don’t deviate easily.
So, if you have an aged family member you want to help regain memory, start by drafting a script on how to achieve your goals. You will need to discuss this with the family member to know exactly the resources to use in improving brain health.
Find A Connection Story To Improve Brain Health And Memory
Remember, you are trying to work as a partner to help the family member improve memory. You will want to maintain a conversational tone and not a bossy attitude.
To get started, talk about memory issues the person can always relate to. You could talk about that one time you thought an important document was in your file only to discover it was sitting on your couch at home while you were busy turning the office upside down.
It could be about once forgetting where you dropped the car keys. It should be something the family member can say, “Yes, that does happen to me sometimes.” Then you can pick up from there.
Help Create Goals And Set A Routine For Brain Health
Find out what they love to do daily without getting bored quickly, and then find out what they will love to do once in a while. You can then set these activity goals and create them into a routine.
Observe how dedicated the person is to the routine and know when to upgrade or modify it to avoid loss of interest.
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Lisa S. Jones is a certified nurse, nutritionist, fitness coach and health expert. Her training credentials include a B.Sc. in Nursing from California State University in 2013 and Youth Nutrition Specialist Certification from the American Fitness Professionals and Associates in 2015. In 2017, she also received Holistic Nutrition Certification from the American Fitness Professionals and Associates.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.