We know that teas have numerous health benefits. They are loaded with antioxidants and are great for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health. Teas are chock full of polyphenols which slow down aging, so it's like drinking from the fountain of youth. They can help improve eyesight, maintain healthy weight, boost metabolism, and regulate blood sugar.
Perhaps what is really intriguing about tea is that just one cup can reduce stress levels and improve your mood — you can channel the feeling of Zen by slowly sipping you brew. Not to mention what a great alternative it is to a cup of joe, (something you don't want to be dependent upon) as mentioned in my article on reasons to cut back on coffee.
Whether it is hot or cold, more than 158 million cups of tea are consumed daily in America. It is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Recent studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describe how beneficial teas are for our health... teas can assist in everything from weight loss to preventing numerous medical diseases to curing the blues.
“Tea has historically been associated with mood and performance benefits, such as relaxation and concentration,” the ACJN reports. “Tea was shown to improve alertness and arousal and performance and creativity.”
Scientists have found that theanine, an amino acid found in teas, acts as an antidepressant and a natural stress-reliever. Theanine has also been noted to perpetuate physical and mental relaxation and can decrease anxiety without causing sleepiness. This happens because theanine affects serotonin and dopamine in the brain, neurotransmitters that give rise to a calm, happy, and tranquil feeling. Some more positive qualities about theanine include relief of PMS symptoms, blood pressure regulation, and enhancement of memory and concentration.
Adding some exotic spices in your tea will also greatly lift your spirits. Ginger, for instance, is known as the "universal medicine" in Ayurveda. This herb improves vigilance and mood. In 2010, Austrian scientists looked at cineol, a constituent in ginger, and found that it improves alertness in visual tasks. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study conducted in 2012, Thai researchers found that ginger enhanced working memory and cognitive function in healthy middle-aged women.
To learn more about which teas can help boost your mood, take a look at our slideshow.