Professor Ng Tze Pin from the National University of Singapore's psychological medicine, who was a leading researcher of the four-year study, says any type of tea is good for brain.
Catechins, a natural compound in tea, was found to protect brain cells from the protein, that build up over the years and undermines cognitive function.
It is known that tea contains caffeine but unlike in coffee, it also contains theanine, a natural compound that reduces the side effects of the caffeine such as increased blood pressure, fatigue and headaches.
Changes in brain cells, such as loss of nerve cells, genetic predisposition, minor strokes and protein that builds up with ageing may all lead to dementia, a progressive decline in cognitive capability.
During the study, scientists analyzed drinking habits of 2,501 Chinese people aged from 55 and older for four years. Also the participants' health, attention span, cognitive abilities were examined.
Around 38 percent of the participants said that they did not drink tea, while 29 percent preferred one type of tea and others reported about drinking different types of tea.
After a two years period, tea-drinkers showed the same results on memory tests as at the beginning of the study, while 35 percent of those who did not drink tea showed decline in cognitive tests.
Other benefits of tea:
- Ingredients found in tea are known to boost immune system, fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi, fighting against the diseases.
- Tea is rich in antioxidants, protecting healthy cells from damaging that may lead heart disease and cancer.
- Tea contains flavonoids, protecting blood vessels, preventing arterial blockage and reducing "bad' cholesterol.
- Black and green tea contains tannins or catechins that have antiseptic, antioxidant and detoxifying properties and protect against the development of cancer.
- Tea is a source of fluoride, giving your teeth strength and protecting you from dental cavities.