Most people can’t start their day without at least one cup of coffee giving them the jolt they need to get into gear. While there’s nothing wrong with relying on your morning joe (in fact, there are plenty of benefits), results from a new study might convince you to swap your regular brew for a nice cup of tea — or at least add it to the rest of your daily beverage intake.
Research from National University of Singapore published over the summer found that regular tea-drinkers — meaning those who enjoy the drink at least four times a week — had more efficiently organized structures of their brains. They came to this conclusion after observing participants over a 25 year span. It didn’t matter if they sipped on green, oolong, or black tea options, MRI scans showed the same beneficial results. If you’re wondering why the way our brains weave themselves together makes a difference, Assistant Professor Feng Lei, who led the research team, put it more simply in a press release by comparing it to traffic on the road:
“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.”
As anyone who’s been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic can attest, clogging up our minds like so is definitely something we’d like to avoid — especially as we age.
The press release also mentions that this study comes on the back of a previous one from 2017, also led by Lei, that found daily consumption of tea helped in reducing the risk of cognitive decline as we age by up to 50 percent. That’s an impressive number when it comes to keeping our mental function from fizzling out. These more recent findings also shed light on exactly how they came to those initial results in the first place.
There will likely need to be more research done on the subject, but it can’t hurt to up your intake of tea to keep your brain as healthy as possible in the meantime!