Mental and Cognitive Health

  1. Tea slashes risk of cognitive decline

    Brew up a brain boost with tea leaves

    Maybe you only drink tea when you're trying to fend off the evening chill.

    Or maybe, when you're offered a spot of tea, you immediately proclaim your undying allegiance to coffee.

    If you're already a tea drinker, give yourself a big pat on the back. If you're not, listen up.

    Because according to a new study, drinking as little as a single cup of brewed tea a day can slash your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's in half.

    And there's no better time to put the kettle on than now!

    Chinese researchers at the National University of Singapore spent seven years collecting data from 957 Chinese seniors and found that daily tea drinking reduced the risk of neurocognitive disorders by 50 percent.

    The results were even more impressive for seniors who came from families with a history of Alzheimer's or dementia -- and who, therefore, were already genetically susceptible to the disease. Tea reduced their risk by a whopping 86 percent!

    In the study, the tea drinkers didn't have to change what they ate... or sweat buckets while exercising... or make ANY other lifestyle changes. All they had to do was polish off at least one cup of tea every day.

    The study revealed what I've been sharing with you right here in eTips: that bioactive compounds in tea leaves (catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins, and L-theanine) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

    And, as a result, long-term tea drinking will protect your brain from vascular damage and the resulting decline of your nervous system. That means you can keep your independence longer and hold onto those precious memories even more tightly.

    It's all thanks to one of the cheapest and easiest to access drinks in the world!

    According to the study, it doesn't matter if you drink black tea or green tea. The only thing you have to remember is that it has to be brewed from whole tea leaves.

    That's how I prefer to take my tea anyway -- without sogging up a bag made of god-knows-what that contains a metal staple and string and a paper tag. Nothing good can come from steeping that kind of chemical-laden packaging in hot water before you drink it.

    Now, the subjects in the study were considered "elderly," but if you're not already drinking tea, there's really no reason to wait.

    Tea has been shown to protect against bone breaks, fight coronary artery disease, and even reduce your risk of death from certain types of cancers.

    Green tea in particular can also jumpstart your metabolism.

    Just make sure you know how to boil water!

  2. Mushrooms protect against dementia

    Sharpen your mind with your favorite fungus

    You lose track of time... or your keys... or the day's appointments... AGAIN.

    When those "senior moments" pile up, it feels like your mind is going to mush.

    Everyone's forgetful from time to time. It just makes you human.

    But if the occasional absentminded day turns into a regular deal, you don't want to ignore it -- because it could signal the beginning stages of dementia.

    There's no "miracle" pill that can keep your minor impairment from becoming major, but there is something you can do now to ensure your mind stays as sharp as possible.

    And it involves protecting your brain from "mush"... with mushrooms!

    According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, regularly eating mushrooms -- the same tasty "fungi" you find in everything from omelettes to stir-frys -- lowers your risk of developing dementia.

    The study followed a group of about 13,000 older Japanese folks for nearly six years, keeping track of how often they ate mushrooms (among other lifestyle factors).

    At the end of the study, the researchers compared participants who rarely ate mushrooms (less than once per week) to those who ate them regularly (one to two times per week and three or more times per week).

    It turned out that the most frequent mushroom eaters had the LOWEST incidence of dementia!

    That's solid evidence that eating mushrooms may actually PREVENT cognitive decline.

    So, to stop your senior moments from "mushrooming" into full-blown dementia, it's time to add more of this fantastic fungus to your diet.

    As someone who's studied and practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine, this news doesn't come as a surprise to me. Practitioners of ancient medicine have been using mushrooms to heal a wide variety of disorders for centuries -- and mainstream Western science is finally clueing in.

    Reishi mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and maitake mushrooms are mainstays of not only Chinese medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, but also of delicious Asian dishes.

    But you can pick whatever mushroom variety pleases your palate.

    Portobello mushrooms are great on the grill... cremini and porcini mushrooms lend themselves well to Italian dishes... and regular old button mushrooms are ideal for salads and eggs (not to mention easy on the wallet).

    Eating mushrooms regularly may have benefits for your body as well as your mind, from reducing your risk of cancer to keeping weight in check.

    And these fabulous fungi are also rich in antioxidants, so they can naturally detoxify your body, too.

  3. B12 boosts your energy… and your brain

    Miracle vitamin fixes sagging energy levels Q: I've been struggling with energy problems for months now. Regular B12 injections used to help, but now my doctor says I should stop now that my levels are normal. Is there a reason why I can't keep taking B12? G.R.: When it comes to testing for B12, I've always had a big problem...
  4. Caffeine protects against dementia

    Boost your brain boost with your favorite morning sip When you have one of those mental "hiccups," it can feel like your brain is asleep on the job. Maybe you missed an appointment... forgot your grocery list... or even spaced out on a birthday or anniversary. Everyone's absentminded now and then -- but if your "senior moments" keep stacking up...
  5. Yoga eases major depression

    Ditch depression with this ancient practice You're feeling down... maybe even hopeless... and it's more than just "the blues" or a passing "funk." When you've got major depression, life's not exactly a bowl of cherries -- in fact, it's the pits. It seems like you'll never again take pleasure in the things you used to enjoy. To make matters worse...
  6. Blueberries protect against cognitive decline

    Boost your brain with this "power" berry We all forget life's little details from time to time. As we age, however, these lapses in memory and focus can become a bit more troublesome. Worst case scenario, those "brain burps" may be signaling the onset of something more serious, like mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or full-blown Alzheimer's. But British researchers have...
  7. Vitamin B3 prevents chemo-related neuropathy

    B vitamin stops cancer drug pain in its tracks As if going through chemo for your cancer weren't bad enough, you then find your hands and feet are tingling... burning... and crackling with "electrical" sparks. It's not your imagination. It's a very real condition called "chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy" (CIPN), which can sometimes feel like tiny firecrackers going off inside your...
  8. New link between Alzheimer's and diabetes

    Control your diabetes to prevent Alzheimer's Let's face it: Alzheimer's disease is a thief. It can steal your memory, your sense of time and place... and maybe even your personality. You want to do everything you can to put Alzheimer's in handcuffs before it starts breaking and entering! And that's especially true if you have diabetes. Scientists have known for...
  9. Nature's greenery helps combat depression

    A mood boost from our feathered friends When you've got the blues, you may feel like you never want to step outside your front door again. Depression -- and its close cousin, anxiety -- has a way of making you want to stay inside, draw the curtains, and nurse your woes with a box of tissues on the couch. You'd...
  10. Acupuncture may help prevent migraines

    Try this weird "needle trick" for migraine pain relief The light is blinding... you're in agonizing pain...and it's so bad, you feel sick to your stomach. When a migraine strikes, all you can think about is making it stop... RIGHT NOW. You might have some pretty heavy-duty painkillers ready to go for when one hits, but those quick fixes might...

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