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Does Green Tea Help with Depression? We think so.
Depression has been called the bane of human existence. It is a silent killer that completely consumes our mind, body, and spirit, while we try to maintain a strong front on the outside. Although talking to a professional or a loved one can help with our issues, there is another effective treatment that should be dabbled into more often.
That treatment is food. We are what we eat, and our gut is responsible for the production of serotonin that happens to be our 'happy hormone.' So, a happy, healthy gut means a happy, healthy you. Green tea is one such product that is extremely helpful in dealing with depression and anxiety.
Until now, most of us have associated green tea with weight loss, but the possibility of curing depression is another one of the many benefits of this magical drink. To further prove our claim, we have gathered all the benefits of green tea and how its antioxidants work to uplift your mood.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is a type of tea that is only minutely processed. Freshly picked tea leaves are boiled to avoid oxidation and to deactivate enzymes that might kill the organic green color. It aims to retain the quality of plant polyphenol.
Polyphenols are the main elements that lead to the development of mental well-being. They make up 30 percent of the total weight of fresh leaves. Antioxidants such as these are referred to as catechins.
Amino acids make up 2-4% of the total weight of green tea leaves, and one particular amino acid portion is theanine, which has unusual relaxing properties. The wellbeing-promoting influence of green tea is not due to a specific psychoactive chemical; rather, there is a symbiotic mixture of all antioxidants and active substances.
How Green Tea Helps Fight Off Depression
The following are the various properties of green tea that make it an excellent potential cure for depression in isolation.
The Anti-Depressant Properties of Catechins and Theanine
The antioxidants in green tea can aid to combat stress by working on the HPA axis. The HPA axis is a channel between the hypothalamus and the adrenal and pituitary glands, which are the essential hormone-producing parts of the human body.
This channel controls our response to stress and is affected by the rates of cortisol, a hormone that leads to the response to stress. Malfunctioning of the HPA axis is found in severe depressive illness.
Catechins decrease pain hormone rates and boost HPA axis instability to alleviate depression and symptoms of depression. Another mechanism of action that reduces anxiety and depression is affecting neurochemistry and enhancing antioxidant protection in the brain.
Along with catechins, green tea often provides a unique amino acid known as theanine that may assist with anxiety. L-theanine performs a therapeutic, anti-stress function by attenuating the operation of the HPA axis.
Getting Rid of Anxiety with L-Theanine
Consuming tea is a widely regarded and valued practice in Asian nations. In reality, relaxing is a core philosophy of the tea-drinking tradition. The intake of a single cup of green tea has an anti-inflammatory and calming effect. This preventive activity is verified by scientific research.
Several types of research have demonstrated the numerous forms in which catechins have an anti-depressive outcome:
Reduction of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Inflammation has a central part in causing depression and may lead to the development or deterioration of the condition. It can also be blamed for the clinical signs of depression, such as nausea, stomach discomfort, and decreased sleep. High levels of stress hormones induce increased inflammation in depression.
The key active ingredient of Green Tea, EGCG (epigallo catechin-O-gallate) has an anti-inflammatory impact. It prevents the function of large metabolic targets participating in inflammatory activities.
This anti-inflammatory activity of catechins may be helpful in inhibiting brain inflammation in psychiatric disorders. In addition to inflammation, there is a substantial rise in oxidative stress rates in anxiety.
Better Sleep Quality in Depression Due to Low Quantity of Caffeine in Green Tea
Sleep disruptions in depression can affect the cognitive capacity of the individual. Night disruptions and depression can also be a concrete proof-based warning indicator for suicide. Both scientists and patients are searching for healthy sleeping aids that are safe and free from these adverse effects.
Standard sleep-enhancing medications are widely addictive and have many side effects, including prolonged sleepiness. As a consequence, adherence to traditional sedative treatment is low.
With minimal caffeine, green tea can assist in boosting sleep patterns and reducing tension.
Refinements in sleep quality are more noticeable in people who consume green tea and have a reduced amount of caffeine relative to regular tea. There was also a decrease in depression and tension signals in the low caffeine community.
This is probably attributed to higher amounts of theanine in green tea. The proportion of theanine to caffeine and EGCG is 2.5 times greater in reduced caffeine tea than in regular tea. L-theanine is also an established natural sleep support.
Regular intake of green tea has a definite correlation with a decreased incidence of depression. Catechins, including ECGC, caffeine, and theanine found in green tea, strengthen antioxidant protection, increase cell viability, and preserve neurons.
They mediate a therapeutic impact by regulating the function of the HPA axis, reducing the rates of stress hormones, and affecting neurochemistry. L-theanine has an anti-inflammatory influence and enables enhanced attention and awareness.
Which is why, for moderate depression and for rehabilitation and avoidance of depression, the regular intake of green tea can have a possible preventive impact.