You'll love this delicious tea of berries, oranges and cinnamon.
I’m a chef, nutritionist and author. I’m also the daughter of someone who struggled with dementia for a decade before eventually dying of it. Given my genetics, I worried that I was on a timetable, that my mind had an expiration date of age 70 or so.
So I decided to explore the role that food plays in fighting Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. My latest book, The Healthy Mind Cookbook, focuses on the connections between food and brain health. More and more studies show that what we put on our forks has a definite impact on mind and memory. I learned that it’s important to keep hydrated: Even a one to two percent loss of fluid in the brain has been linked to a host of mental impairments, including poorer short-term memory retention.
One of the scientists I talked to was Jeanne Wallace, a Ph.D. who knows a great deal about the brain. I asked Jeanne to share one of her favorite recipes. Her concoction harnesses the protective effects of green tea and certain berry extracts. I call it Jeanne’s Brain Tea, and it’s so delicious, you can enjoy it hot or cold. I especially like that the blueberry juice in it doesn’t spike blood sugar; such spikes can cause fatigue and fuzziness.
This brew of berries, orange peel, and cinnamon sticks (the orange peel adds brain-boosting antioxidants while the cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar) comes together in just 15 minutes, and you’ll often find a thermos of it in my car on those long California commutes. I’m doing what I can to keep my body and brain healthy. You can too!
|4 c. filtered water|
|4 organic green tea bags|
|1 cinnamon stick|
|Peel of 1 small organic orange or 2 tsp. dried organic citrus peel|
|3 Tbsp. unsweetened blueberry juice concentrate|
|3 Tbsp. unsweetened concentrate of another juice, such as raspberry, tart cherry, black currant, cranberry, lingonberry or pomegranate|
1. Bring water to a boil and add tea bags, cinnamon and orange peel. Turn off heat and let steep for 3 minutes, then remove tea bags.
2. Let tea cool to room temperature. Remove cinnamon stick and orange peel, strain into a glass pitcher and add berry concentrates.
3. Drink warm or chilled. If desired, add sweetener. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Cook’s Notes: Using a paring knife, peel the orange just above the bitter white pith. Use frozen blueberries for ice cubes.
Excerpted from The Healthy Mind Cookbook, by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson. Reprinted with permission of Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photograph by Maren Caruso.