Sipping green tea is not just good for you heart - it could boost the memory as well, say researchers.
A study from China found that the chemical properties of the healthy beverage promotes the generation of brain cells, providing benefits for memory and spatial learning.
Study leader Professor Yun Bai from the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China, said: 'There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain.'
Professor Bai's team focused on the organic chemical EGCG that is found in green tea.
'We proposed that EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, a process known as neurogenesis,' said Prof Bai.
'We focused our research on the hippocampus, the part of the brain which processes information from short-term to long-term memory.'
The team found that ECGC boosts the production of neural progenitor cells, which like stem cells can adapt into various types of cells. The team then used laboratory mice to discover if this increased cell production gave an advantage to memory or spatial learning.