Drink This, Protect Your Brain

Drink This, Protect Your Brain

Want to save your brain? Load up on Lipton’s. Green tea may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is caused when plaques, or misshapen clusters of proteins, get in the way of neurons in your brain. So when scientists mixed these plaques in petri dishes with EGCGs (naturally occurring antioxidants found in green tea), the EGCGs acted like defensive linemen, preventing the plaques from damaging nearby cells.

Is a cup a day enough to defend your brain? It’s too early to say for sure, but that amount may give you the protection you need to lower your risk, says study author Mi Hee Lim, Ph.D. Researchers believe that a habit of drinking EGCGs when you’re young may prevent the long-term buildup of plaque that makes the disease so debilitating.

Your move: Swap out your afternoon coffee for a cup of green tea to instill the habit—and sip it piping hot. Brewing your tea in boiling water packs 40 percent more EGCGs than brewing it at a lukewarm temp. Be sure to let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes—you’ll get nearly a third more of the antioxidants than if you do a short, 1-minute-long soak.

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