Green tea has become a popular beverage, whether it’s served on its own or with milk, hot or iced. But this traditional refreshment gives more than just a calming and refreshing effect--it can actually improve your memory.

ScienceDaily.com reports that aside from aiding cardiovascular mechanisms, green tea also boosts neural processes. Researchers from the Third Military Medical University in China say that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate), an antioxidant found in green tea, can help improve long- and short-term memory and even fight against degenerative diseases.

EGCG encourages the production of neural progenitor cells, which are similar to stem cells in their capability to adapt to other kinds of cells. This special flexibility can help “heal” or “connect” neuron cells, which in turn aid in improving a person's cognitive function.

"We proposed that EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, a process known as neurogenesis," says Prof. Yun Bai from the Third Military Medical University. "We focused our research on the hippocampus, the part of the brain which processes information from short-term to long-term memory."

So feel free to drink lots of green tea--though of course, take it easy on the sugar, if you prefer to enjoy it in one of the many milk tea spots around. You can also try taking Vitamin B12 and Folic acid to help sharpen your memory or even talking to yourself to recall exactly where you’ve put those car keys. Caring for your mental health while you’re young will not only keep you quick-witted, but also lessen your chances of developing age-related degenerative conditions.

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(Photo by Aradia Di via sxc.hu)

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