Now that the pandemic is here, everybody is looking at ways to incorporate healthy ingredients in their diet. Did you know tea is also one of the healthy beverages that can aid immunity? Read on to know more
It’s early in the morning. You have just woken up from a not so good dream. You open the curtains, look outside the window and it is raining heavily. The weather is gloomy and dark. It seems like the day is going to be a dull and somber one. Just then, your house help enters the room with your morning cup of tea. The aroma of that hot, thick-milked beverage excites all your senses and instantly, your morning, opposite to how you were imagining it to be a few minutes ago, turns out perfect. For a tea lover, happiness is certainly a cup of tea!
The beverage is known to have originated somewhere around 2700 BC in China and was initially used for medicinal purposes. Slowly but steadily, it started gaining popularity as it served medical requirements, had great taste, and also quenched one’s thirst. As higher sections of the society got to know about this tasteful potion, it began to become a means to socialise. Over a period, it started spreading to the lower sections as well because consuming it has never been a very costly affair. Since then till now, tea has seen itself pass through ages. Today, it helps create memories. A few sips of hot tea after getting drenched in the rains with one’s companions is a story that many can relate to and ponder upon. Now that the pandemic is here, everybody is looking at ways to incorporate healthy ingredients in their diet. Did you know tea is also one of the healthy beverages that can aid immunity? Read on to know more.
The immunity booster: Tea comes in a lot of varieties but one common thing among them is antioxidants. They not only battle free radicals which may cause heart problems but also help in repairing damaged cells in the body. A study finds that the beverage boosts the body’s defense mechanism against infections and contains a substance that might turn into a drug to protect against various diseases. Coffee does not have the same effect, researchers tell. Other studies have linked tea to helping combat osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease and to relieving some allergy symptoms. It’s a very common fact that our bodies cannot concentrate for long durations and hence, to get going, it is always advisable to keep taking breaks after concentrated sessions. In the late afternoon, around three and four, we are the most vulnerable. There is a dip in energy levels and the body feels more worn out than earlier in the day. The best way to recharge yourself is of course a nap but that is a luxury, which many cannot afford. The four o’clock tea time is therefore a popular and very common practice to regain the energy you need to power through another few hours of work. Tea contains caffeine which helps in keeping the mind alert and can keep one going for longer periods.
Both caffeinated and herbal teas may provide minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, copper and zinc. Our very own masala chai also adds to the list of healthy drinks as it contains many Indian spices such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and star anise — all of which are known to benefit our overall health.
Honey, lemon and ginger are all known to be brimming with a plethora of health-promoting properties and together they form the ultimate remedy. Honey is full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help boost our digestive system and immunity. It also helps soothe a sore throat. Lemon, on the other hand, is a good source of Vitamin C, which is known as an excellent immunity booster. And ginger helps slay germs and alleviate the symptoms of an upset stomach. Honey lemon and ginger tea helps in relieving menstrual cramps as well.
Herbal tea has been used for millennia because of its medicinal qualities but there is a dire need to sip on the beverage now more than ever. It doesn’t contain caffeine, which is why it is known for its calming properties. The ultra-properties of herbal tea is also known to relieve stress and in many cases, work as an anti-depressant. There are numerous types of herbal teas, all with their unique benefits such as chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint and many more. Herbal tea like fennel helps in relieving stomach ache, flatulence, colic and constipation. It also promotes better digestion of food and reduces gastric problems. While picking any one of it, just make sure you go for a well-sourced product with high-quality ingredients.
Everybody is usually aware of the benefits of green tea and its extracts. But here are a few more. It is exceptionally high in flavonoids that can help boost your heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Many studies show that green tea extracts, that are processed from the plant, can promote weight loss, blood sugar regulation, disease prevention and exercise recovery. It can also help keep your skin and liver healthy, reduce blood fat levels, regulate blood pressure and improve brain health, all together. Imagine what wonders it can do to your body. It caters mostly to people who cannot give up their daily dose of tea filled with milk and sugar but still need to opt for a healthier option. The beverage certainly has mood-altering magic that surprisingly starts working after a couple of sips, to say the least.
Tea is India’s go-to drink. The country consumes approximately 10 lakh tones of it every year. Yes, you read that right. It can be touching 40 degrees with a glaring sun over one’s head but still spotting a tea stall on the roadside would give people the happiness which most things in this world can not.
(The author, Dheer Shah, is the CEO of Samaara Tea.)