With many of us left frazzled by the effects of the global pandemic, a new study – Tea for Minds and Hearts: A Scoping Review – concludes that a simple staple of the British diet could help us get on top of common mental health concerns and benefit heart health. Highlighting the 1 in 4 Brits who experience mental health issues at some point in the last year, the study shines a light on the potential role of tea in helping to reverse this worrying trend.
Depression, even when it’s not as severe as to be defined as ‘clinical depression’, has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and patients with major depressive disorder are known to have a higher prevalence of CVD. This is why many health experts claim, ‘what’s good for the heart is good for the brain’.
Scientists have put their heads together to identify possible reasons for the link and have concluded that it could be down to neovascular health (development of new blood vessels, especially in tissues where circulation has been impaired by disease or trauma).
With the state of the nation’s hearts and minds in dire straits and glimmers of hope that the humble brew could help, the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) authors of Tea for Minds and Hearts: A Scoping Review appraises the evidence. Plus, as part of their research review at TAP, the study authors found remarkable new evidence around the mental health benefits of putting on the kettle. Dr Ruxton says: “There’s emerging evidence that tea drinking (black and green) could aid relaxation and is associated with lower stress, dementia risk and cognitive decline, as well as potentially improving attention and psychomotor speed as we age. This adds to clear data over the past 20 years that drinking tea regularly lowers blood pressure and significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks.”
Read the full paper here: https://sciforschenonline.org/journals/nutrition-food/NFTOA176.php
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 Bond T, Derbyshire E, Jenkins G; (2021) Tea for Minds & Hearts: a scoping review. Nutrition and Food Technology Journal. https://sciforschenonline.org/journals/nutrition-food/NFTOA176.php
 Harshfield, E.L., et al., Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Incident Cardiovascular Diseases. JAMA, 2020. 324(23): p. 2396-2405.
 Dudek, K.A., et al., Neurobiology of resilience in depression: immune and vascular insights from human and animal studies. Eur J Neurosci, 2021. 53(1): p. 183-221.
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