Last month marked the celebration of National Tea Day, an important event for any British person who regularly enjoys a cuppa once (or ten times) a day. However, National Tea Day this year was especially important, with the organisation behind it working in conjunction with MIND mental health charity to encourage people to talk over our national brew.
Although it may seem that a cup of tea may is just a simple home comfort in times of piling deadlines, or the perfect accompaniment to a catch-up with a friend, our nation’s symbolic hot drink has actually proven to have health benefits too.
Researchers and scientists have found that tea can actually lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. There is also evidence that switching your regular English tea to half a cup of green tea a day could lower the risk of both depression and dementia.
Tea has also proven to help with sleep, fatigue and anxiety
Alongside these positive effects, tea has also proven to help with sleep, fatigue and anxiety, with black teas containing acidic and citric flavours that have levels of L-thiamine which can support all three of these issues.
At a time of mounting deadlines, and with exams on the horizon, a cup of tea can also help with intellectual capacity and memory. Again, green tea is particularly useful in this arena, helping to enhance your brain’s functionality and several cognitive processes that affect spatial orientation, memory and attention.
These studies have been prompted by a call for more preventative ways of tackling anxiety, depression and age-related cognitive decline through nutrition to help aid the burden on health systems with limited treatment options.
Green tea has a positive impact on both cognition and mood with the chemicals within it suppressing distraction
For anyone wanting to branch out to other teas aside from the typical Yorkshire Tea or PG Tips, experts have also suggested that, alongside green tea, chamomile and peppermint tea are particularly beneficial for your health.
As mentioned, green tea has a positive impact on both cognition and mood with the chemicals within it suppressing distraction and sustaining both attention and memory, yet chamomile has also been proven to be particularly successful for relaxation and sleep.
Peppermint tea has been proven to be useful for relaxation of both the mind and muscles
Peppermint tea has been proven to be useful for relaxation of both the mind and muscles and a tea of choice in moments of high anxiety and stress. On top of this, it is useful in boosting immunity and fighting cold and flu, which could be particularly useful given our current climate.
Drinking a cup of tea may benefit your mental health in other ways, too. Taking the time out of your busy day to enjoy a hot drink with a housemate or with a friend at a café will inevitably boost your mood, as well as build and maintain those all-important relationships with those around you.
So, if you haven’t already today, go and put the kettle on. Have a cup of tea as a simple and easy way of aiding your mental health in a time of high levels of stress and anxiety and, most importantly, as a way of looking after you.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.