How can drinking green tea make me happier?

Feeling a little blah these days? Maybe it's time to start a green-tea habit.

New research suggests that drinking this sky-high-in-antioxidants green brew may help ensure that you never feel down in the dumps.

In a study involving more than a thousand elderly adults in Japan, those who reported drinking four or more cups of green tea a day were also 44% less likely to experience depression -- mild or severe. More research is needed to confirm a causal effect, but we already know that green tea is tops for many other health reasons. So you have every reason to sip away while the jury deliberates.

In the study, coffee and other types of teas didn't seem to have the same emotional benefit as green tea. So what gives? It's not entirely clear yet, but researchers suspect a type of amino acid -- called theanine -- found in high levels in green tea might play a role. In animal research this compound seems to help increase the brain's supply of two mood-boosting chemicals: serotonin and dopamine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.