The Superfood That is Tea

Long-term benefits are due to the bioactive compounds in the leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine.

Tea is one of the superfoods we could all stand to have a bit more often. Green tea, black tea, white tea, and oolong tea all come from the same plant: camellia sinensis. The various methods of harvesting and drying the tea leaves produces different types of tea, but they all contain a good deal of antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols.

These special nutrients are excellent for your brain. A study from the National University of Singapore found some amazing cognitive benefits as a result of tea. The study collected over 950 Chinese seniors (all over the age of 55). They examined their cognitive function and found that those who drank more tea every day had a lower risk of cognitive decline. The more tea they drank, the lower their risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, even if they had a genetic predisposition to the disease. The researchers observed up to an 86% decrease in cognitive decline among those who drank the most tea.

But which tea will offer the best benefits? Is it the fat-burning, catechin-rich green tea, the flavonoid-rich black tea, or one of the others? Turns out, it’s all of them. The study found that all four types of tea offered the same neuroprotective benefits. These included all areas of cognitive function—memory, concentration, focus, attention span.

And the benefits don’t stop there. Tea can also increase fat burning, target belly fat, reduce oxidative stress, improve your heart health, boost immunity to disease, reduce your risk of strokes and heart attacks, protect your bones, fight cancer, and soothe your digestive system. Best of all, it contains a little bit of caffeine, enough to give you a boost of energy without causing a crash, like you get with coffee.

Start your day off with a cup of green, black, white, or oolong tea. It’s a great way to give your body the antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids it needs and will protect your brain and heart as well.


1. L. Feng, M. -S. Chong, W. -S. Lim, Q. Gao, M. S. Z. Nyunt, T. -S. Lee, S. L. Collinson, T. Tsoi, E. -H. Kua, T. -P. Ng. “Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: Findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study.” The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 2016; 20 (10): 1002.