Worry. Stress. Anxiety. Insomnia. They all seem to feed into each other, don’t they? There’s a rather delicious and simple daily habit that may just help you calm down and get a good night’s sleep. Tea! In this case, green tea. L-theanine is available in green, black, and white teas, but green tea contains the most.
The amino acid, L-theanine, found in tea, crosses the blood-brain barrier within 30 minutes of taking it and promotes alpha-wave brain production, the same brain state people experience following deep relaxation and meditation. Stimulating those alpha waves has also been shown to boost creativity and alleviate depression.
Perhaps that’s why tea, and specifically L-theanine, is sometimes referred to as “meditation in a cup.” It reduces feelings of stress and anxiety and seems to prevent the abrupt rise in blood pressure and increase in heart rate that accompanies those feelings.
What is especially exciting about how this amino acid works is that it increases alpha waves and promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness or sedation. It promotes relaxation which will help you get a more restful night’s sleep, without that drugged feeling many sleep aids cause. Sleep research showed that sleep quality, recovery from exhaustion, and refreshed feelings were all enhanced by L-theanine.
You certainly can get L-theanine in supplement form, which is what is typically used in research, but an easy and delicious way to get those benefits is by enjoying a cup of green tea. You can just make a cup of high quality, organic green tea and include a squeeze or slice of lemon; you can have it the way I enjoy my tea, with butter, collagen and MCT oil; you can refrigerate your tea or cold brew it and infuse it with herbs like mint or basil or fruits like cucumber, lemon or blueberries; you can use matcha powder in your tea blend and even add it to your chia pudding. I even include a scoop in my hot chocolate.
What is your favorite healthy food for relaxation and stress relief?
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