If you want to sip on something good for your bones and that boosts your brain, put the kettle on and brew yourself a cup (or four) of tea.
"The major bone benefits of drinking tea are due to its powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids," says Sue Xiao Yu, a clinical nutritionist and registered dietitian.
"The potent polyphenols found in tea have shown to help increase bone mineralization, delay bone mineral density reduction, and increase the levels of vitamin D in your body." (And vitamin D deficiency is pretty common, so that last one is extra important for many of us.) "Catechins also help to protect bone building cells in the body, while flavonoids have estrogen-like properties that help to prevent bone loss," Yu says.
In order to reap these benefits, drink black, green, or oolong tea, as these are the types of teas most of the studies on tea and bone health looked at, according to Yu.
Keep in mind that tea is excellent for maintaining many other bodily functions as we age. It's good for your heart, brain, focus, and even your mood. Green and black tea are high in flavanols, which is a type of antioxidant, and these flavanols have been linked to reducing LDL cholesterol, also known as 'bad' cholesterol. This means it can lower the risk of heart disease.
The catechins found in tea also help protect the body from free radicals. This benefits the whole body and of course the brain as well. What's more, an article published in the journal Phytomedicine that took into account 21 separate studies on green tea found that tea consumption was linked to better attention and memory. The researchers say they believe this to be connected to the caffeine and L-theanine (an amino acid associated with calm and focus) in the tea.
Between the catechins, caffeine, and L-theanine, there are so many components unique to tea that make it a superstar brain-boosting beverage!