As you age, its good to know about how to protect the health of your brain, & in this article you might want to step up your intake of green tea!
Green Tea. One recent 2006 study reported in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that of 1003 Japanese men and women over age 70 - those who drank 4-6 cups of green tea per week (or 1 cup per day) lowered the incidence of problems with thinking, remembering and concentrating by 38%. And drinking 2 or more cups of green tea per day lowered the incidence of cognitive impairment by a massive 54%!
Parkinson's disease: Researchers discovered that green tea polyphenols protect dopamine neurons that increases with the amount consumed. They also show that this protective effect is mediated by inhibition of the ROS-NO pathway, a pathway that may contribute to cell death in Parkinson's. (Ref source). The BBC Website has also highlighted the potential for green tea in this area after good results from animal studies.
Others study show polyphenols influence glucose metabolism in part by helping the body regulate sensitivity to the hormone insulin, likely helps deliver a steady and even glucose supply to the brain.
Initially when learning Tai chi - students go through the conscious efforts of remembering the steps and hand movements, With practice and after mastering this initial effort, the student becomes more comfortable with Tai chi. Soon, you realise that indeed the coordinated movements can become like a meditation - in that you are comfortable and absorbed in what you are doing.
MRI studies on the brain activity & benefits
In a study reported in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital found changes in meditators.
Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress.
Stress 'management' through meditation (the sitting variety) - study with functional MRI shows 'Participant-reported reductions in stress ..were correlated with decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.'
Note that Mindful Meditation typically involves improving the attention and concentration (as in anapana practice or watching the breath). On the other hand Body awareness, in turn, helps us to recognize the emotions and sensations we are experiencing.
Free radicals are considered to cause extensive oxidative damage to tissues and cause damages and aging in our tissues and organs.
Anti-oxidants is the popular word to describe the substances that mop up the free radical reactions. Natural diet (fruits, veggies) and supplements (fish oil, vitamin C etc).
According to Wikipedia, antioxidants are widely used as ingredients in dietary supplements and have been investigated for the prevention of diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease.
In research published by Prof Sanetaka Shirahata, of Kyushu University ( Laboratory of Cellular Regulation Technology), in 1997, he says that the ideal scavenger for active oxygen should be 'active hydrogen', H (H+ + e‐).
Their findings are that indeed that the electrolyzed water can scavenge the free radicals.
Ref: BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS (here)