A cup of tea in the morning is a refreshing start to your day. And what better way to relax in the evening than with a hot cuppa? While most of us need that caffeine kick when we wake up, tea is emerging as the morning favourite with plenty of health benefits to boot. Every sip can bolster our body’s defence system.
Tea is thought by some to be a real ‘cure-all beverage’. Whether you’re suffering from insomnia or a stomach-ache, or simply feeling low and looking for a pick-me-up, a cup of refreshing tea can make you feel a whole lot better! Not only this, you have a wide variety of teas to choose from. Green, black, oolong or your regular masala chai, tea is definitely good for you.
So, what can a daily cup of tea actually do? There’s more to tea than its role as a refreshing beverage. Drinking tea daily is said to lower the risk of heart diseases and stroke; it can even control cholesterol levels. Some studies indicate that regular tea drinkers are less likely to suffer a heart attack. Drinking tea helps keep the arteries clear and the blood clot-free. Enriched with many beneficial phytochemicals, tea (even without milk) can even help strengthen the bones.
Used in a different way, tea bags can reduce puffiness around the eyes after a long day. But tea has other beauty benefits too! Packed with antioxidants, tea can fight the signs of ageing and the effects of pollution. Tea has much lower caffeine content than coffee. This means that a cup of tea will not only refresh you in the early morning, but also keep away insomnia and help you to sleep better. Stressed out? Try a cup of hot tea to help you calm down. Tea has the added benefit of relieving stress. To make it even more enjoyable, spend a few quiet moments in a relaxed setting, and feel the stress slip away with every sip.
Here’s some good news to all those who are keen to shed those extra kilos: tea is completely calorie-free! That is, as long as you ditch the sugar and creamer. So, if you are looking for a calorie-free beverage, a cup of tea might be the answer. That’s not all! Drinking green tea regularly is known to increase the body’s metabolic rate. So by having four or five cups of green tea daily (without sugar or sweetener), you can actually burn some extra calories with no extra effort!
The antioxidants in your tea not only fight ageing but counter the effects of some carcinogens as well. Studies have shown that drinking tea regularly can potentially reduce the risk of cancer. Besides antioxidants, tea is packed with vitamins A and C and flavonoids, which help keep the body’s cells and tissues healthy by getting rid of the unwanted free radicals. Research has also shown higher immune system activity in regular tea-drinkers. Yet another reason to add tea to your daily beverage list!
It is a common myth that the caffeine in tea slowly dehydrates the body. Not only has research proven this wrong, but tea actually helps keep you hydrated, making it an ideal afternoon beverage.
There is a wide variety of teas to choose from. But if you are looking to get the most of its health benefits, choose your teas wisely and prepare them simply. Often, we tend to go for additives such as sugar and milk. Ditch the sugar/sweetener and add a bit of lemon or ginger instead. Herbal teas such as green or chamomile are healthy, and may be less of an acquired taste.
So whether you prefer a mug of hot tea in the morning or an iced one after your workout, tea can be the perfect beverage for you. Happy teatime!