Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Science Behind Your Calming Cup of Tea

A lady, out shopping, slips on some ice in the street - the nearest shop-keeper brings her out a cup of tea. Your friend comes round, red-eyed and visibly upset. What do you do? You flick the kettle on. We've come to view tea as something soothing - a fragrant hot drink that can either pick you up if you're feeling tired or calm your nerves if you're anxious. But it seems there's more to it than we think. The science behind our cuppa reveals that a cup of tea really could be beneficial to our health and our minds...

 cup of green tea


Drinking green tea helps the brain release the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine

A study published in 2009 found that camomile tea actually helped calm people. The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmapsychology, found that subjects that consumed camomile tea  over an eight-week period showed less anxiety than those who didn't. Green tea also contains L-theanin, which is thought to release dopamine into the brain and research found that you'll enter a more relaxed state 30-40 minutes after drinking it. (Source: Livestrong)

Black tea could help fight stress... and be good for your blood

Much is usually made of green tea, camomile tea and Rooibos tea, for example, but we don't usually hear about the benefits of good old-fashioned black tea. However, research conducted by University College London in 2010 changed all that. They found that when they observed tea drinkers vs a placebo group (the placebo drink had no real tea in it at all), and subjected them to stress, the tea drinkers returned to their calmer, pre-stress levels quicker. They also found that blood platelet activation (responsible for the risk of blood clots and heart attacks) was lower in the tea drinking group. Mine's milk, no sugar, please...

Three cups of tea a day could reduce your chances of having a stroke

According to research by the UCLA, at least three cups of either green or black tea drunk every day could reduce your risk of having a stroke. Tea drinkers were 21% less likely to experience a stroke than those who didn't drink tea, and the risk was reduced even further (another 21%) as tea consumption went up.   

I'm off to put the kettle on...


What do you think about this? Do you feel calmer after a cup of tea? Let me know in the comments below...