It needs no occasion, mood or season — a cuppa tea is an anytime fix. But its benefits go far beyond instant refreshment. Here are some celebs who swear by their cup of chai and why you will too.
The second most popular drink after water, chai is a flavourful way of getting enough fluid into your body. A study by the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK, found that people who consumed black tea on a regular basis had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. WebMD reports that the antioxidants in black tea may also help lower the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. A word of caution though, two cups a day is what you should be aiming for.
Also read: How to make the perfect cup of tea
While studies do attribute certain potential health benefits to consuming moderate amounts of caffeine, drinking loads of it can be harsh on your body. Enter tea, a perfect substitute and pick-me-up option with less caffeine. Kejal Sheth, nutritionist and founder of Nutrivity.in, says “Herbal tea leaves carry a variety of compounds. Some of the commonly known ones are the bioflavonoid, polyphenols and ECGC (epigallocatechin gallate). Some herbal teas have a tiny amount of caffeine in them but even if it’s present, it’s almost negligible. So one need not worry about the adverse known side effects of caffeine from their favourite cup of chai!” This means you can consume a warm cup right before going to bed without having to stay up all night counting stars.
Madhuri Dixit Nene
Always envied the dhak-dhak girl’s bright smile? You too can have that resentful smile. When deciding between the many options of beverages available – coffee, soda, energy drinks – brewed tea is the best if you want to avoid tooth erosion, according to a study in the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Brewed tea, unlike many other beverages, does not erode or stain your tooth enamel. However, you will have to skip those additives – milk, sugar or lemon.
Also read: How to make the perfect cup of masala chai
Herbal teas, especially those with peppermint, can be good for those troubled by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Researchers at the University of Adelaide found that peppermint activates an anti-pain channel in the colon, soothing inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract, which not only provides relief from IBS but also stomach cramps. Sheth says, “Herbal teas have anti-oxidant properties and polyphenols which are known to have medicinal and soothing properties.” However, it’s best to sip on herbal tea made with fresh/dried tea leaves rather than store-bought tea bags.
Sheth says that tea by itself has no calories unless you add sweeteners or milk. She adds, “One can substitute cow or buffalo milk with almond, soy or coconut milk to continue enjoying the benefits of tea. What's more, these kinds of milk have lesser calorific value as compared to traditionally used milk." Green tea affects the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) since it contains antioxidants adding to the BMR burn. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that some of the nutrients found in tea may help protect against osteoporosis in older women. The study also found that women who added milk to their tea had a much higher bone mineral density.
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