New evidence for the cognitive benefits of tea comes from a study published in Psychopharmacology.
Researchers at the University of Basel have now found that green tea extract can improve working memory (Schmidt et al., 2014).
Working memory is vital to holding pieces of visual, verbal or other information in your mind while you manipulate them.
Better working memory has been linked to improved learning, attention and other vital outcomes.
In their study, participants were given a drink which sometimes contained green tea extract and were then asked to complete a series of tests of their working memory.
Either way the drink looked and tasted the same, whether or not it contained green tea extract.
Meanwhile, their brains were scanned to see how the green tea affected synaptic functioning.
What the researchers found was that not only did participants do better on the tests after ingesting the green tea, but that it enhanced the connections between the frontal and parietal regions of the brain.
The findings are interesting especially for older adults, as a series of studies have suggested green tea may be beneficial in this area:
“…consumption of green tea improved memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairments and that the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods such as green tea reduced beta-amyloid-mediated cognitive impairments.[…]
Furthermore, higher consumption of green tea has also been associated with a lower prevalence of cognitive impairments in older adults.” (Schmidt et al., 2014).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Image credit: Flood G