April 14, 2024

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The Drink That Could Strengthen Bones and Brain as You Age

2 min read

From childhood, we’ve often been told about the importance of strong bones for overall health. Perhaps, you’ve been advised to strengthen your bones by consuming a glass of milk daily or by maintaining regular physical activity as you age.

However, there are several basic drinks that can help elevate your calcium consumption and supply your bones with the necessary nutrients they require to grow strong, irrespective of your age.

Tea: A beverage for bone strength

Clinical nutritionist Dr. Sue Xiao Yu from Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, suggests that tea should be a part of your daily regimen if you aim for robust bones.

Its beneficial components, such as polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids, have been found to significantly contribute to bone health due to their unique attributes.

“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 adds.

Choice, temperature, and quantity

Green, black, and oolong teas have been identified by research, according to Dr. Yu, to be the most potent in fortifying bones.

While there’s no research suggesting a preference for either hot or iced tea, one study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that the ideal temperature for optimal preservation of catechins is between 50°C-60°C.

As per the available data, one to four cups of tea per day is considered safe and effective if included as part of a comprehensive and balanced diet, which would supply essential elements such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K, as highlighted by the expert.

Beyond bone health

Tea’s health benefits extend beyond bones to other body organs and functions including the heart, brain, concentration abilities, and mood.

Certified nutritionist Neva Cochran mentions that tea flavanols, a type of anti-inflammatory flavonoid, can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and subsequently lower heart disease risks.

“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.”

With respect to brain functions, besides the antioxidative role of catechins, green tea has been linked through 21 studies to improved attention and memory.

Researchers have attributed this to the presence of caffeine and thiamine in green tea. The latter is an amino acid linked with improved concentration and calmness.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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