With the festive season upon us with spiced pumpkin and cinnamon lattes or mulled wine being offered, here’s our guide to the drinks which you could choose to benefit your brain health. As always, it’s about balance and we've blogged before about the brain health benefits of coffee, water and wine.
Here are some other options we recommend.
Not everyone is a fan of the taste of green tea but if you don’t mind it’s flavour this is a good source of two brain boosting chemicals.
Green tea’s caffeine content is much lower than that of coffee but it’s also good for us as it contains two promising nootropic compounds, stick with me these are — l-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies have suggested that l-theanine may promote relaxation, as well as that l-theanine combined with caffeine may improve attention.
Kombucha is a fermented drink usually made from green or black tea, plus fruit or botanicals and its major benefit lies in its ability to introduce beneficial bacteria called probiotics to your gut. There are a number of companies in the UK making it. One supplier we recommend in Scotland, is Clever Kombucha. Check out their FAQs on everything you need to know about Komubucha.
Green juices and smoothies
We generally recommend making your own green juices or buy from a fresh supplier as the bottled ones you see in some coffee shops in plastic bottles can be packed with sugar and are lower in nutrients than the fresh alternatives. Always try to add leafy greens and fruits low in sugar. We’ve compiled a list of brain boosting foods you can add to your juices. You could also add a protein powder
You can buy matcha or turmeric lattes from many high street and independent coffee shops.Sometimes known as golden milk, turmeric lattes are warming, creamy drinks featuring the yellow spice turmeric. This powerful spice contains the antioxidant curcumin, which may increase your body’s production of what is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor .
Low BDNF is associated with mental deficits and neurological disorders, raising BDNF levels has been linked with improved brain function.
Like kombucha, kefir is a fermented beverage packed with probiotics and is made from fermented milk rather than tea.
A study has found that it may aid brain function by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and we know gut and brain health are intrinsically linked.
We are a fan of the award-winning Chuckling Goat kefir, read more on their product here.
Fruit juice - ideally along with the rest of the fruit
When it comes to getting your five a day, eating an orange is the better way to consume vitamin C over drinking orange juice because the whole fruit is lower in calories and sugar and higher in fibre but hey, this post is about drinking it. One review of 50 human studies found that those with higher blood levels of vitamin C or a higher self-reported vitamin C intake had better attention, memory, and language scores than those with lower blood or intake levels.
Keep Well, Dr Clara Russell